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Can Prostatitis Cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED) And How To Treat It

Ever wondered whether prostatitis causes erectile dysfunction (ED)? You have come to the right place then. This article explains how prostatitis can cause erectile dysfunction in detail with research evidence.

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Eager to know whether prostatitis causes erectile dysfunction (ED)? You have come to the right place then. This article explains how prostatitis can cause erectile dysfunction in detail with research evidence.


Before explaining the connection between prostatitis and erectile dysfunction, let us understand the types, causes, as well as signs, and symptoms of prostatitis. Keep reading to know more.

What Is Prostatitis?

The inflammation of the prostate gland leads to prostatitis. It is one of the most common urinary and sexual disorders in men across the world. 

There are four types of prostatitis that include:

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis
  • Chronic or recurrent bacterial prostatitis
  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis
  • Chronic prostatitis (nonbacterial) – It is the most common type.

The common signs and symptoms of prostatitis include blood in the urine, body ache, difficulty in urination, pain and burning sensation while urinating, frequent urination at night, penis pain and discomfort, painful ejaculation, the urgency to urinate, and urethral discharge.

The causes of prostatitis may include enlarged prostate gland, dehydration, bladder/urethral infection, history of trauma in the pelvis, use of a urinary catheter, and structural/functional abnormality in the urinary tract. 

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Does Prostatitis Cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED)? If So, How?

Yes. Severe prostatitis can directly lead to erectile dysfunction. The milder prostatitis can cause painful ejaculation, which interferes with sexual pleasure, reduces sexual desire, followed by the development of erectile dysfunction. 

The development of ED involves two mechanisms:

1. Through Endothelial Dysfunction

Normally, the penile muscles and endothelial lining (the lining in the blood vessels) should widen to allow the blood to enter the penis region for erection purposes.

Men with chronic prostatitis are more likely to experience endothelial dysfunction where it prevents the penile tissue from getting filled with blood and impair erectile function. 

2. Through Psychological Issues

A 2008 study revealed that patients with prostatitis who experience pain and urination problems develop psychological issues like anxiety, depression, stress, etc. that can affect their erectile function and sexual behavior.

3. Via Oxidative Stress

The inflammation of the prostate gland causes swelling which would strangulate the nerves, alter the nerve signal along with the imbalance of oxygen and antioxidant agents. As a result, oxidative stress takes place which leads to a chronic reduction in the flow of blood to the penis thereby causing difficulty in erection.

Is There Any Research Evidence To Prove That Prostatitis Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?


A 2016 research study reported that chronic prostatitis can impair erectile function through increased endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress.

Another 2020 research study reported that the history of prostatitis is an independent risk factor in developing erectile dysfunction.

Is It Safe To Take Viagra (Or Other ED Medications) If You Have Prostatitis?


Doctors recommend Viagra (Sildenafil) and other PDE-5 inhibitors for treating erectile dysfunction as they help in widening the penile blood vessels for the blood to enter into the penis region to achieve and maintain an erection. These medications won’t interfere with the inflammation of the prostate gland.

In case you are diagnosed with prostatitis, it is always better to undergo treatment for prostatitis in order to improve erectile function.

A Word From Noah

As mentioned above, chronic prostatitis causes erectile dysfunction (ED) through endothelial dysfunction, psychological problems, and oxidative stress. 

However, talk to your doctor if you are experiencing the prostatitis-related symptoms listed above. 

Here at Noah, our doctors have the right skills and experience to diagnose your condition, evaluate your medical history, and recommend the right treatment to get rid of both prostatitis and erectile dysfunction.


Articles featured on Noah are for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. If you're looking for a healthcare provider, click here.


Hu Y, Niu X, Wang G, Huang J, Liu M, Peng B. Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome impairs erectile function through increased endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and corporal fibrosis in a rat model. Andrology. 2016;4(6):1209-1216. doi:10.1111/andr.12273 (Link)

Ma C, Cai Z, Xiong J, Li H. History of Prostatitis Is an Independent Risk Factor for Erectile Dysfunction: A Cross-Sectional Study. Biomed Res Int. 2020; 2020:8964673. Published 2020 Oct 17. doi:10.1155/2020/8964673 (Link)

S. Aubin, R. E. Berger, J. R. Heiman, and M. A. Ciol, “Original research—sexual pain disorders: the association between sexual function, pain, and psychological adaptation of men diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain syndrome type III,” The Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 657–667, 2008 (Link)

Reviewed By
Published On
February 2, 2022

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