Prostatic Urethral Lift Versus Medical Therapy: Examining the Impact on Sexual Function in Men with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Claus G. Roehrborn, Daniel B. Rukstalis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Sexual dysfunction is a common side effect of medical therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), whereas prostatic urethral lift (PUL) offers safe and effective relief of lower urinary tract symptoms while preserving sexual function. Objective: To compare the long-term impact on sexual health of PUL or daily medical therapy of doxazosin or finasteride alone or in combination in BPH patients. Design, setting, and participants: This was a comparative analysis of sexual function outcomes from PUL studies (L.I.F.T. [n = 107], Crossover [n = 42], and MedLift [n = 39]) and the Medical Therapy of Prostatic Symptoms (MTOPS) trial. The men included were sexually active with International Prostate Symptom Score ≥13, Qmax ≤12 ml/s, and prostate volume 30–80 cm3. MTOPS subjects completed the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory, while PUL subjects completed the International Index of Erectile Function and the Male Sexual Health Questionnaire for Ejaculatory Function. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Mean percentage changes from baseline in erectile, ejaculatory, and sexual satisfaction domains were compared at 12, 24, 36, and 48 mo. Results and limitations: PUL significantly improved erectile function through 24 mo, and ejaculatory function and sexual satisfaction across all time points. Medical therapy did not improve sexual function at any time point. Finasteride significantly decreased erectile function at 48 mo, and combined therapy significantly reduced ejaculatory function at 12 and 24 mo. Comparatively, PUL was superior to finasteride in preserving erectile function at 24 and 48 mo, and superior to doxazosin and combined therapy at 12 mo. PUL outperformed all three medical therapies at all time points in improving ejaculatory function and sexual satisfaction. Limitations include the use of distinct patient-reported questionnaires and narrowed data on comorbidities that influence male sexual function. Conclusions: Indirect comparison reveals that PUL is superior to BPH medical therapy in preserving erectile and ejaculatory function and sexual satisfaction. Patient summary: In our non–head-to-head study, only patients undergoing PUL for an enlarged prostate experienced improvements in sexual health. Conversely, patients on medical therapy experienced worsening of erectile and ejaculatory function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-227
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • 5α-Reductase inhibitor
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Ejaculatory function
  • Erectile function
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Prostatic urethral lift
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • α blocker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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