Are There Health Benefits of a Prostate Massage?

Prostate massage is a way to empty fluids from your prostate ducts. This therapy might offer some health benefits, or your doctor might use it to diagnose a problem. But it’s not something doctors usually recommend or use for testing or treatment.

The prostate is a small gland about the size of a golf ball between the base of the penis and the rectum. Its main job is to make the fluid, also called semen, that helps sperm travel and survive.

Massaging the prostate empties that fluid out of your prostate ducts. To do the procedure, your doctor will slide a gloved finger into your rectum, then massage or press on the prostate from there. It may feel slightly uncomfortable, but it doesn’t take long.

Conditions Prostate Massage Might Help

Although studies are limited, prostate massage may be helpful in some medical situations and with some health conditions.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland. It can cause symptoms like pain when you pee and pain around your groin and pelvis.

A doctor might do a prostate massage to diagnose the condition. He can test the fluid that comes from your prostate ducts to see what’s causing the problem.

Although the most common treatments for prostatitis are antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), prostate massage is another option. It can help ease pressure and swelling by releasing fluids that build up in the prostate. Small studies have found that massaging the area several times a week -- along with taking antibiotics -- can give relief from pain and pressure.

Diagnosing a Medical Condition

Sometimes a doctor might do a prostate massage during a prostate exam. The purpose is to get some fluid to examine under a microscope to look for signs of an infection or other problem.

Erection Problems

The main treatments for erectile dysfunction include medications, pumps, shots, and implants. Lifestyle changes that can help treat the condition include getting more exercise, eating a healthy diet, and doing pelvic floor exercises. Some men say they've had increased sexual pleasure and are able to ejaculate more easily with prostate massage, though there isn’t scientific proof to back up those claims.

Urine Flow

Your urethra -- the thin tube that drains your bladder -- is surrounded by your prostate. So, a swollen prostate can affect your urine flow. You might have a weak flow of urine, or it might even be cut off.

Prostate massage might ease swelling in the area so it could put less pressure on the urethra.

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Prostate Massage Risks

Some men choose to give themselves a prostate massage, whether for medical reasons or for sexual pleasure. But there's a chance you can hurt yourself if you massage your prostate too roughly. It should not be painful. If you need one for health reasons, it’s best to get it from your doctor, who knows the proper technique to use.

If you feel pain after a prostate massage, see your doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nazia Q Bandukwala, DO on June 11, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Medscape: "Diagnostic Prostate Massage."

Prostate Cancer Foundation: "Prostate Gland."

Mayo Clinic: "Prostatitis," "Erectile Dysfunction," "Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)."

Urology Care Foundation: "What are Prostatitis and Related Chronic Pelvic Pain Conditions?"

Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management: "Current treatment options in the management of chronic prostatitis."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Prostate Tests."

Harvard Health Publishing: "5 natural ways to overcome erectile dysfunction."

Sexual Medicine Reviews: "Multiple Orgasms in Men -- What We Know So Far."

Urologe A: "Prostate Massage with Unwanted Consequences: Case Report."

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