How To Maintain Your Sex Life After Prostate Surgery
Although prostate surgery can affect your sexual experience and performance, getting surgery to remove part or all of your prostate doesnt mean that you can no longer have sex or enjoy a satisfying sexual life.
However, it does mean that you may need to make some changes to how you and your partner have sex. These may include using ED medications, erection-promoting devices or engaging in penile rehabilitation exercises to keep your penis stimulated and healthy.
If youve recently had prostate surgery, its important to talk to your healthcare provider before you make any changes to your health habits. Theyll be able to inform you about what you can do to restore and improve your sexual function after surgery.
Can Anything Be Done For Erectile Dysfunction Caused By Prostate Cancer Treatment
Yes, there are things you can try if you have erectile dysfunction after your prostate cancer treatment. You should keep in mind that the following things will affect your ability to have an erection after your prostate cancer treatment:
- How good your erections were before your treatment
- Other medical conditions you have like high blood pressure or diabetes
- Some types of medicines you may take such as medicines for high blood pressure or antidepressants
- Things you do in your life such as drinking or smoking
- Your age
- The type of prostate cancer treatment you had
It is important that you and your partner speak with your doctor or healthcare team about what you can do. Your doctor or healthcare team will speak with you about what might work best for you if you have erectile dysfunction. It is important that you speak with them since some treatments for erectile dysfunction can affect other medical problems you may have.
Types of treatment for erectile dysfunction include:
Will Treatment Cause Erectile Dysfunction
When youre sexually excited, nerves cause tissues in your penis to relax, allowing blood to flow into the organ. The nerves that control erection are very delicate. Surgery or radiation for prostate cancer may damage them enough to cause ED. When you have ED, you cant get or keep an erection.
Radical prostatectomy is a surgery to remove the prostate gland. When your surgeon removes the gland, they may damage the nerves and blood vessels that run along it. If theyre damaged enough, you wont be able to get an erection following the procedure.
Today, doctors can do nerve-sparing surgery, which helps prevent permanent ED. Your surgeon can still touch those nerves and blood vessels, causing ED as a temporary side effect. Many men have trouble getting an erection for a few weeks, months, or even years after their procedure.
Radiation therapy also damages blood vessels and the nerves that control erection. Up to half of men who have radiation for prostate cancer experience ED afterward. In some men, this symptom will improve with time. Sometimes radiation side effects dont appear until a few months after the treatment. If ED starts late, it may not be as likely to go away.
A few treatments can help with ED until youre able to have erections on your own again.
Additional treatments include the following:
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Sexual Performance After Prostate Cancer And Getting Back To Enjoyable Sex After Prostate Surgery Is Possible Heres How:
1. Masturbate solo sex is a great way to help you relax, build confidence, and find out how your body will respond after surgery.
2. Kegel exercises mastering these pelvic floor exercises before surgery can actually improve your orgasm after surgery. They may even help you achieve multiple orgasms. Bonus they help strengthen urinary control, too.
3. Involve your partner remember that sex is best as a team sport so the sooner you work together, the better. Use physical and emotional intimacy to build up to penetration.
4. Stay ahead of Erectile Dysfunction oral medication for ED is a great way to speed sexual recovery. Using prescriptions such as Viagra or Cialis, even for a short time, can give you the confidence and sexual potency you need.
5. Have sex the more sex you have, the more sex youll have. Meaning, penile rehabilitation through touching, intimacy, and erectionpractice will actually get you back in the game faster.
What Determines Erection Recovery After Surgery
The most obvious determinant of postoperative erectile dysfunction is preoperative potency status. Some men may experience a decline in erectile function over time, as an age-dependent process. Furthermore, postoperative erectile dysfunction is compounded in some patients by preexisting risk factors that include older age, comorbid disease states , lifestyle factors , and the use of medications such as antihypertensive agents that have antierectile effects.
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Habits And Lifestyle Changes
Your healthcare provider may recommend making certain changes to your habits and lifestyle to promote blood flow and improve your erectile health. These may include:
Treating any underlying health issues
Changing your eating habits to maintain a healthy weight
Exercising regularly to improve your cardiovascular health
If you smoke, quitting smoking and nicotine products
Limiting your consumption of alcohol
Weve talked more about the effects of good habits and lifestyle changes on ED in our guide to naturally protecting your erection.
Although these changes are unlikely to treat prostatectomy-related erectile dysfunction on their own, they can contribute to an increase in blood flow, better overall health and improved sexual function.
Why Is There Increasing Concern At This Time Regarding Erectile Dysfunction Issues Following Radical Prostatectomy
The reality of the recovery process after radical prostatectomy today is that erectile function recovery lags behind functional recovery in other areas. Patients are understandably concerned about this issue and, following months of erectile dysfunction, become skeptical of reassurances that their potency will return.
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What Have I Learned By Reading This
You learned about:
- Why prostate cancer treatment can cause erectile dysfunction
- What can be done about erectile dysfunction
- How erectile dysfunction may affect your sex life
- What your partner can expect
If you have any questions, please talk to your doctor or health care team. It is important that you understand what is going on with your prostate cancer treatment. This knowledge will help you take better care of yourself and feel more in control. It will also help you manage any side effects you may have from your treatment.
Changes In Penis Size
Some men notice that their penis is shorter after surgery . Some men notice other changes such as a curve in their penis or a narrower area. We don’t know for certain why these changes happen, but it could be because of low oxygen levels in the penis, caused by not having erections. Other treatments such as hormone therapy with radiotherapy may also cause changes to the size of your penis.
Encouraging blood flow to the penis after surgery may help prevent this. In particular, using a vacuum pump, either on its own or with PDE5 inhibitor tablets could help maintain your penis size and improve erections.
Keeping your penis active after surgery
Although you may not be ready or recovered enough for sex, you can still start treatment for erection problems in the weeks immediately after surgery. It could be taking a low-dose PDE5 tablet once a day or using a vacuum pump, or sometimes both together. The treatment along with masturbation encourages blood flow to the penis. This can help keep your penis healthy. You may hear this called penile rehabilitation. Think of it in the same way as having physiotherapy if you had injured your arm or leg. Starting treatment soon after surgery may help improve your chance of getting and keeping an erection. But it may not work for every man.
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Types Of Prostate Cancer Treatments
For men who have undergone prostate cancer surgery, for example, many surgeons recommend avoiding sexual activity for at least several weeks in order to allow for proper healing. Radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy do not necessarily preclude men from returning fairly rapidly to their prior level of sexual activity.
However, there can be side effects as a result of these treatments that make sex difficult or impossible. These possible side effects include fatigue and erectile dysfunction. So even if you’ve been given the go-ahead by your healthcare provider, you may find it necessary to redefine what sex means for you and your partner and to explore new or alternative sources of pleasure.
If you have been treated with implanted radioactive seeds , your healthcare provider will likely give you a certain time frame wherein sexual activity should be avoided due to the presence of radioactivity within your prostate. Most men can have sex one to two weeks after their seed implant. Men should wear a condom for the first two months after their seed implant. This break in sexual activity is also meant to allow for proper healing following the implantation procedure.
How May Erectile Dysfunction Affect My Sexual Relationships
Prostate cancer and its treatment can affect your desire for sex. Every man is different but the feelings caused by having cancer and the physical stress of treatment can affect the way you feel about your body and your relationships. Some men talk about feelings of a loss of their role within the partnership or family. This can sometimes affect a mans self esteem and confidence. For others, the physical effects of treatment may lead to tiredness and a lack of energy. Physical changes after some treatments can also affect the way you feel about your body and appearance . All of these things may result in a lack of interest in sex.
If you are feeling tired or under stress, tell your partner how your feel. Loss of interest in sex does not mean you lose interest in a loving and supportive relationship. There are ways to remain physically intimate without having sex. If you are used to a close physical relationship, it is important to remember that hugs, cuddles and kisses maintain intimacy, provide support, and do not have to lead to sex.
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Sexual Potency At The Heart Of The Poten
Despite the advances weve made across the board in prostate cancer care, preserving sexual function took a back seat to eliminating the disease for many doctors and researchers until now. Because we know SAbR is effective in treating patients prostate cancer, our focus today can shift to sexual wellness.
I am leading the POTEN-C clinical trial, and it includes investigators at UT Southwestern and other top centers throughout the country. All of us will be working together to determine the effectiveness of a novel technique that involves the use of SpaceOAR, a gel that increases the space between the prostate and rectum during radiation therapy. This extra space might give enough room to reduce the risk of sexual side effects after treatment even more than what weve seen in the current generation of SAbR.
Importantly, this study is a collaborative effort with randomization and quality controls to stringently evaluate both the ability of this novel technique to improve sexual quality of life and whether it can be standardized across multiple centers. We have used the SpaceOAR for most of our patients over the past several years and presented the initial experience at national meetings. As of April 2018, well start recruiting around 40 patients at UT Southwestern with prostate cancer to take part in the POTEN-C study, and well eventually enroll 120 participants nationwide.
How Will Prostate Surgery Affect My Sex Life
Experienced robotic surgeons like Dr. David Samadi dont open the endopelvic fascia during surgery, which spares the rick of damage to nerve bundles that control sexual function. The recovery of the function, however, is not immediate and you should not feel discouraged if weeks or even a few months after surgery you experience erectile dysfunction. It is not an indication of long-term damage.
One major change that you will notice in your sex life is the absence of sperm. Having no prostate, the body will not produce semen during the orgasm. The sperm cells will be simply reabsorbed by the body them. This is not harmful and you shouldnt be worried about it. Plenty of men deal with the problem with the help of medication that improves erectile dysfunction.
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Sex When You’re Single
Being sexually active and feeling attractive can be just as important if you are a single man. All the treatments described here are available to you if you’re single – whether you want to be able to masturbate, have sex, or want to start a new relationship.
If you are starting a new relationship, sexual problems and other side effects like urinary or bowel problems could be a worry. Some men worry that having problems with erections will affect their chances of having a new relationship. Fear of rejection is natural, and everyone has their own worries, whether or not they’ve had cancer. If you’re single, you may want time to come to terms with any changes prostate cancer has caused before you start having sex or dating.
Try talking over your worries with someone you feel comfortable with, such as a friend. Counselling or sex therapy may also help if you would prefer to talk to someone you don’t know.
Erection Concerns After Prostate Biopsy
When his doctor mentioned the prostate biopsy, Stans heart sank. What did this mean? Did he have cancer? And if so, how would his life change?
Quietly, he listened his doctor explain. Stan had high levels of prostate-specific antigen and the doctor had found an unusual lump on his prostate during his digital rectal examination. These two factors made a biopsy necessary. Stan might have cancer and catching it early was important.
Some men do develop ED for a time after a prostate biopsy. But not all do. Learn more hereâ¦
Stans expression was stoic, but inside, his body was in turmoil. He was anxious about his prognosis, of course. Also, the idea of having a needle in his private parts made him nervous. He knew the biopsy was necessary. He knew it could save his life. But he had other questions, too.
For example, what would happen to his erections? Would the biopsy procedure affect his sex life?
Lots of men share Stans concerns. The anxiety of a biopsy is enough to cope with, but wondering about your erections afterward is also difficult.
Some men do develop erectile dysfunction for a time after a prostate biopsy. But not all do. Lets look at this topic more closely.
What happens during a prostate biopsy?
Typically, a prostate biopsy is done in one of three ways:
Will I have problems with erections afterward?
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Sexual Intercourse And Other Risk Factors Of Prostate Cancer
Sexual Intercourse and Prostate Cancer risk factors are not relevant.
So the answer to the question If having sex with a person with prostate cancer risky is in negative.
However, the study at several medical schools, shows that men with high sexual activity and frequent ejaculation are at lower risk of prostate cancer.
Study shows that men who have in average 4 to 7 ejaculation per week up to the age of 70 are 36% less at risk of prostate cancer comparing to the one who have 2 to 3 times sex per week.
Such a risk of sexual transmitted disease, whether it is through intimate contact like kissing, intercourse or oral sex are not relevant.
Erection Restoration After Prostate Cancer Therapy
Whether youve had surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to treat prostate cancer, chances are, you have suffered some changes in sexual function. After a radical prostatectomy, men may have nerve and blood vessel alterations to their erections that make it more difficult to achieve and maintain erections. Additionally, because the prostate gland and seminal vesicles make the majority of semen fluid, men after prostatectomy will no longer ejaculate. They can still have the pleasurable sensation of orgasm, just no ejaculate fluid. Ejaculate fluid also greatly diminishes after radiation therapy. Erections tend to lessen after radiation as well although it is often a more gradual decline.
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Sex Life And Prostate Cancer
On this page
We have included information about managing side effects in our information on individual treatments. As your side effects improve, you may feel more interested in having sex.
If cancer and its treatments affect your sex life, it can feel like a serious loss. You do not need to be in a relationship to feel this. But there are different ways to manage sexual difficulties.
Cancer and its treatments can also affect how you feel and think about your body. You may feel less sexually attractive. If you are having issues with your body image, ask your doctor or nurse for advice.
Certain lifestyle changes may help improve body image concerns, such as being more physically active, eating healthily and managing your weight. Ask your doctor or nurse for advice.
Prostate cancer treatments can have a direct effect on your sex life.
Different cancer treatments may:
- cause difficulties getting or keeping an erection
- affect your ability to have an orgasm or to ejaculate
- the penis and testicles to get smaller if you are taking hormonal therapy for a long time.
If you are having sexual difficulties, there are different treatments and types of support to help you.