Sexual Health Q&A

Does surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) affect a man’s sexual function?

Men who were able to have successful erections before surgery should still be able to have them afterward. However, if men had erection problems before surgery, those problems will likely continue.

Many men experience retrograde ejaculation or “dry climax” after surgery. This means that when a man ejaculates, semen goes backward into the bladder rather than forward out of the penis. Because of the way the surgeon cuts tissue, the neck of the bladder becomes wider, making it easier for semen to take that path. Retrograde ejaculation is not harmful. The semen exits the body when the man urinates. However, it makes it more difficult for men to father children.

Most men find that orgasms feel the same after surgery. Those who have retrograde ejaculation may need to adjust to having dry orgasms.