Objectives: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and sexual dysfunctions are diseases with a high prevalence in aged men. Several studies have found a link between BPH and LUTS resulting from deterioration in sexual function in men aged 50 years and older for whom TURP is considered the gold standard. The impact of TURP on sexual functions still remain uncertain, nor is it clear what pathophysiological mechanism underlying the emergence of new episodes of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) following TURP in patients with normal sexual function before surgery, while retrograde ejaculation and ejaculate volume reduction represent a clear side effect; derived from BPH treatment. The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the effects of transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) on sexual function in patients operated in the period 2008-2012 at the Department of Urology of the University Hospital P. Giaccone, and at Villa Sofia-Cervello Hospital- Palermo. Secondary objective was to reconnect the sample data to interventional practice and international standards.
Materials and methods: The retrospective longitudinal study was conducted on 264 of the 287 recruitable patients, aged between 50 and 85 years, suffering from BPH who underwent to TURP in the period 2008-2012. Telephone interviews were conducted and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) was administered to assess sexual function. Patients enrolled were asked to respond to the test by referring at first to their sexual status in the period before surgery and subsequently to the state of their sexual function after treatment so as to obtain, for each patient, a pre- and post-TURP questionnaire in order to get comparisons that corresponding to reality and to avoid overestimation of the dysfunctional phenomenon.
Results: In the pre-TURP, the 94.32% of the sample reported being sexually active, with good erectile function in 41.3% of cases, ED mild/moderate in 51.5% and complete ED in 1, 5% of cases; good libido in 62.9% of cases, lack of libido in 31.4% of cases and absent in 5.7% of cases (the latter data corresponded to patients not sexually active); to be sexually satisfied in 29.5% of cases, slightly dissatisfied in 11, 7% of cases, moderately in 35.3% of cases, dissatisfied and very dissatisfied in 23.5% of cases (of which 17.8% sexually active and 5.7% non-active). In the post-TURP 89.4% of the sample reported being sexually active, with good erectile function in 39.1% of cases, DE mild/moderate in 46.9% and complete DE in 4% of cases; good libido in 53.8% of cases, lack of libido in 33.7% of cases and absent in 13.5% of cases (including 1.9% of sexually active and 10.6% of non-active); to be sexually satisfied in 29.5% of cases, slightly dissatisfied in 9.5% of cases, moderately in 35.3% of cases, dissatisfied and very dissatisfied in 17.8% of cases (of which 14.8% sexually active and 10.6% inactive). Retrograde ejaculation was referred in 47.8% of those sexually active after TURP (42.8% if we consider the whole sample).
Conclusions: TURP had no negative impact on erectile function in contrast to ejaculatory function. Of the 109 patients with good erectile function in pre-TURP, 5.8% reported a worsening of erectile function after TURP. Among the 136 patients with ED moderate/mild pre-TURP 3.7% reported a worsening in the post-TURP, 16.2% reported an improvement, while 9.5% stopped any sexual activity. In 3.7% of the cases a complete ED was reported after TURP, while a decline of libido and sexual satisfaction was detected in all patients with worsening of sexual function. Retrograde ejaculation was observed in 48% of those sexually active after TURP. Particular attention has to be paid to the psychological aspects, both before surgery and in the postoperative period, which may become an important factor in the decline of sexual activity.