Fertility And Your Prostate

More than 10% of American men struggle with fertility, with issues ranging from erectile dysfunction (ED) to poor sperm count and quality. Finding the underlying cause can help with treatment and increase the chances of pregnancy. For some men, an ongoing condition with the prostate, called prostatitis, can lead to fertility struggles. Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland, often caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, prostatitis can negatively impact reproductive health.


Prostatitis and infertility

Men with prostatitis can experience difficult, painful urination, pelvic pain, and urinary incontinence. Other symptoms include pain in the lower back and groin, fever, muscle aches, and painful ejaculation. Prostatitis is often overlooked as an underlying cause of male infertility. In men with prostatitis, the bacterial infection causes inflammation, which spreads to the seminal tract and leads to obstructive azoospermia. In some cases, epididymitis occurs, also reducing testicular function. The pain can also lead to stress, depression, and decreased libido. Men with suspected prostatitis are encouraged to visit a doctor or urologist promptly for diagnosis and treatment.

Can treatment help with fertility?

Doctors can help men with prostatitis in several ways. Prostatitis treatment can range from antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs to pelvic floor therapy. If the infection is caught early, men can experience reduced pain and less prostate inflammation. This, in turn, can improve sperm production, increase ejaculation, and, in some cases, decrease ED symptoms. If prostatitis has caused an obstruction or damage to the seminal tract or testes, surgery can help. A surgeon can use minimally invasive means to address the issue, possibly improving fertility.

Turning to IVF

After treatment, men may see improvements and go on to conceive naturally within a few months. However, in some cases, prostatitis treatment may not be enough to improve fertility. At this stage, the doctor will likely suggest in vitro fertilization (IVF) if pregnancy is an immediate goal. During IVF, the woman will take fertility medication to encourage egg growth and prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy. The eggs are then retrieved and combined with a concentrated sperm sample from the male partner in the lab to create embryos. The healthiest embryo is then transferred to the woman’s uterus for pregnancy. The couple may need multiple cycles for a successful pregnancy. However, advancements in IVF have led to a high success rate, especially for patients with male-factor infertility.

Tackle prostatitis, improve fertility

While rare, prostatitis can impact male fertility, especially if left untreated. The bacterial infection causing inflammation can spread to different reproductive organs, obstructing sperm health and function. Taking immediate action at the sign of any symptoms can lead to prompt and effective treatment. However, if the condition is severe and conservative treatment does not improve male fertility, treatments like IVF can help achieve the dream of building a family.

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