The amount of attention you give your prostate should increase as you age.
While that sounds odd at a glance, it's true. Your risk of developing prostate conditions increases as you age, and understanding this buried organ can help you avoid issues before they happen, or treat prostate issues when they do.
Prostate issues can not only cause urinary problems but can even lead to erectile dysfunction (E.D.). Regular prostate exams are key to avoiding issues in the long run.
But what about prostate massages? The best treatment for erectile dysfunction is generally prescription ED medications, but can prostate massage help treat E.D. symptoms too? Here’s what to know about prostate massages and their ability to help with your sexual prowess.
What Does the Prostate Do?
The prostate plays an important role in the male reproductive system. The prostate’s primary function is to produce a fluid that, when combined with other necessary ejaculatory fluids including sperm, creates semen. Semen is the term for the fluid that men ejaculate on orgasm. During ejaculation, prostate muscles work to expel semen through the urethra forcefully.
The prostate is about the size of a walnut and located near the top of the pelvic floor muscles, underneath the bladder. It is possible to reach the prostate through the anus due to its proximity to the rectum. Physicians use this entry method when examining the prostate, and it is also how prostate massage works.
What Is Prostate Massage Therapy?
Prostate massage therapy means exactly what it sounds like: massaging the prostate gland for therapeutic or medical purposes.
Prostate massage therapy aims to help empty fluids accumulated in prostatic ducts located throughout your reproductive organs. By “milking” the prostate, this procedure can help reduce an enlarged prostate or prostatitis symptoms. Both of these issues are known to contribute to sexual and urinary difficulties.
A prostate massage can also be pleasurable, and some consider the prostate gland the “male G spot.” The penis, prostate, and urethra are connected to the prostatic plexus, a group of nerves that are activated during orgasm.
A prostate massage is not the same as a prostate exam. In the latter, a doctor is evaluating the prostate for inflammation and size.
How Is Prostate Massage Therapy Performed?
During a prostate massage, a doctor or medical professional will apply lubrication to a plastic glove and slide their finger into the rectum. They will continue to press further inside until they make contact with the prostate. From there, they will press against the prostate and massage it to cause the prostate to contract and expel excess fluids.
These fluids are known as prostatic secretions. The doctor may also use these fluids to check for signs of a more serious condition.
What Are the Side Effects of Prostate Massage Therapy?
The tissues surrounding the prostate and rectum can be very sensitive. It’s not uncommon for men to experience cuts, tears, swelling, and soreness after undergoing a prostate massage.
An overly intense massage could result in bleeding, infection, or hemorrhoids, but these cases are rare when the massage is performed by a professional. It’s possible to perform massage therapy on yourself.
What Conditions Does Prostate Massage Therapy Treat?
Prostate massage as a medical treatment is not thoroughly researched, and evidence is mixed that a prostate massage can help with medical conditions. While it can enhance ejaculation and orgasm, prostate massage is not a proven treatment for E.D.
Some of the medical conditions that some believe prostate massage therapy may help include an enlarged prostate and prostatitis.
Clinically known as benign prostate hyperplasia, an enlarged prostate is common in older men. An enlarged prostate can be a precursor to prostate cancer, which is why medical professionals perform prostate exams.
The exact cause of an enlarged prostate is unclear, but it may involve age-induced hormonal changes. When the prostate becomes too large, it squeezes the urethra and blocks the flow of urine. It’s common for men with an enlarged prostate to endure erectile difficulties and ejaculation problems.
When you have prostatitis, the prostate becomes swollen, inflamed, and tender. This condition leads to painful urination and ejaculation along with general pain around the groin and pelvic region.
A doctor will test fluids from the prostate ducts during a prostate massage to determine the cause. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can help treat symptoms.
Can a Prostate Massage Help With Erectile Dysfunction?
A prostate massage can help treat ED caused by an enlarged or inflamed prostate. However, prostate massage therapy will not be beneficial for the majority of ED cases.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
As mentioned earlier, an enlarged or inflamed prostate could cause sexual dysfunction and erection problems; however, the most common causes of erectile dysfunction are related to the circulatory and cardiovascular systems.
Other potential causes of E.D. include psychological issues. If you cannot “get in the mood,” it’s difficult to achieve an erection without help.
The most common causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Low self-esteem
- Nerve disorders
- High cholesterol
- Injury to the spine or pelvic region
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Clogged arteries
How Can You Treat Erectile Dysfunction?
If you don’t have an enlarged prostate or prostatitis, your ED will likely not benefit from a prostate massage. However, there are plenty of other effective erectile dysfunction treatments.
Prescription medications like Viagra® (sildenafil), Cialis® (tadalafil), and Levitra® (vardenafil)® are common, popular, and effective in treating E.D. for most men.
While these medications won’t cure the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction, they can provide erections that are firm enough for sex.
These medications are all phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. They work by enhancing the effects of chemicals released in your body during arousal. These substances dilate your blood vessels and relax the tissues and muscles of your penis to create an erection. These drugs typically “work” for four to six hours, but timeframe can vary depending on metabolism, dose, and medication. Cialis, for example, can help men get an erection for as long as 36 hours.
Side effects of these medications can include headache, indigestion, flushing in the face and body, abdominal cramps, and back pain.
Most men shouldn’t take PDE5 medications if they're taking medications for conditions related to blood pressure, including nitrates and alpha-blockers. A doctor – including those at Rex MD – can help you decide if a PDE5 inhibitor is right for you based on your medical history and any other medications you're already taking.
If you’re unable to take PDE5 inhibitors, using a vacuum pump is another effective and affordable way to treat E.D. for many men. Vacuum pumps are also commonly used for fun and pleasure.
This device is fairly simple and helps create an erection using a cylinder placed over the penis, and suction.
- Insert your penis into the empty cylinder-shaped chamber of the device.
- Press it firmly against your lower abdomen to create an airtight seal.
- Activate the hand or battery-powered pump to remove air from the chamber and create a vacuum.
- After a few minutes, enough blood is drawn into the penis to create an erection.
- Trigger the release valve, eliminating the vacuum, and remove the device.
- Slip a construction band around the base of the penis to keep blood trapped and maintain the erection.
Never wear a constriction band for longer than 30 minutes at a time or risk permanent nerve damage.
Prostate massage therapy may help some people experiencing sexual difficulties caused by an enlarged prostate or prostatitis.
Enlarged prostate and prostatitis do not cause most cases of ED, however. The most common way to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction is with a prescription medication like those available online from Rex MD.
If you cannot take ED medications, alternative treatments such as a vacuum pump may help you achieve erections.
How does the prostate work? - InformedHealth.org - NCBI Bookshelf
What Is Prostate Massage? | For Better | US News
Clinical Collection and Protein Properties of Expressed Prostatic Secretions as a Source for Biomarkers of Prostatic Disease
(ED) Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction | NIDDK
PDE5 Inhibitor - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf