Second-hand prostatism: effects of prostatic symptoms on spouses' quality of life, daily routines and family relationships Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of this study was to explore the impact of male prostatic symptoms on their partners' quality of life, daily routines and family relationships. A structured telephone interview study was carried out on a random sample of 215 of the wives and partners of men aged 50 years or older drawn from those registered at four family medicine centres in Israel. They were asked about sleep disturbances, number of night-time wakings, and the effect on sexual relations, travel, entertainment, family and social relationships. The vast majority of women (86%) were affected by their partners' prostatism, with multiple consequences for their daily routines, quality of life and relationships. Sleep was the area of greatest concern, with 46% of women regularly waking due to their partners' urination disorder. The women reported other limitations: 37% noted problems with sexual functioning; 17% were unable to take long trips with partners; 10% could not visit places without toilets; while 8% were unable to go to the cinema or theatre. Women felt that their partners' prostatic symptoms were also to be blamed for upsetting family relationships (10%) and relationships with friends (16%). There was near total correspondence between women and their male partners regarding the effects of prostatic symptoms. Prostatism has an impact on men and women; strategies that consider the whole couple should be developed and utilized when considering treatment options.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001