What are prostatic calculi (prostate stones)? Do they affect sexual function?
Prostatic calculi (also called prostate stones) are small brownish-gray stones that form in the prostate. Each stone, or calculus, is roughly the size of a poppy seed. A man may have one calculus, or he could have hundreds of calculi.
Most of the time, prostatic calculi themselves don’t cause any symptoms, and they often aren’t found during routine medical exams.
However, prostatic calculi can become infected and, in turn, lead to urinary tract infections and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland).
Some men with prostate stones experience pain in the lower back, penis, or perineum (the area between the anus and the scrotum). They might also have trouble urinating.
Prostate stones are more common in men who are middle-aged or older, and especially in men with an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Prostatic calculi that don’t cause symptoms usually don’t require treatment. Sometimes, they pass on their own in a man’s urine.
If stones are causing symptoms or contributing to other prostate conditions, they might be treated with antibiotics. In more severe cases, they can be removed surgically.
The direct effects of prostatic calculi on a man’s sexual function have not been widely researched. Some studies have suggested that ejaculatory pain and erectile dysfunction (ED) might be associated with prostatic calculi, but more information is needed.
Men who have questions about prostatic calculi are encouraged to see their andrologist.