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Does Prostate Cancer Affect Libido

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Stem Cell Transplant Effects On Erections

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Stem cell transplant involves getting very high doses of chemotherapy drugs. One complication of a transplant is graft-versus-host disease. Men who have had graft-versus-host disease are more likely to have a long-lasting loss of testosterone. In some cases, these men may need testosterone replacement therapy to regain sexual desire and erections.

Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer What Are The Common Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

A large number of men who have prostate cancer do not experience visible signs and symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, the moment the prostate gland becomes enlarged, this is when a variety of pains and discomforts can occur, including:

  • The urge to urinate more frequently than usual
  • Painful urination
  • Pain and discomfort in the pelvic region
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Trouble getting and maintaining erections for sex
  • Reduce libido or sex drive

Once you come upon these signs and symptoms, you should go visit your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection and immediate treatment of prostate cancer can save you from a lot of serious complications that can significantly lower the quality of your life.

What Are The Available Treatments For Bph

As men get older, their prostates tend to become enlarged. This is usually from a lifetime of bad habits. However, prostate enlargement does not equate to prostate cancer. Having an enlarged prostate does not inevitably mean you will get cancer.

Once diagnosed, doctors usually recommend medication. It is essential you know that some of the drugs used to treat BPH have side-effects. Some of these include erectile dysfunction and a diminished sex drive.

Men who take alpha-blockers and alpha-reductase are prone to develop erectile dysfunction.

Studies show that approximately 3% of men who took Dutasteride and 6.4% of men who took Finasteride experienced a loss of libido.

Therefore, it is not uncommon for men to experience flagging sexual desire and compromised erectile after initiation of treatment.

Recent scientific research has pointed out that medicine such as blue pills will also have a relaxing effect on the prostate.

30% of men facing BPH will encounter compromised sexual function. One-third of men suffering ED have troubling symptoms related to the prostate.

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Does Prostate Cancer Have To End Your Sex Life

Andrew Lloyd-Webber has been left impotent following prostate cancer

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber last week revealed hed been left impotent following prostate cancer surgery. He is one of 37,000 men who are diagnosed with the disease each year in the UK.

There are various treatment options available, but which is best and what are the implications for your sex life?

There are three considerations when it comes to treatment, says David Neal, professor of surgical oncology at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

We need to remove the cancer, prevent urinary incontinence and preserve sexual function and the majority of patients agree this is the order of importance.

However, the key indicator of what your sex life will be after the operation is what it was like before. Remember also that sexual function may begin to wane naturally once a man reaches his 50s and 60s.

John Anderson, vice president of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, agrees.

Its important to look at the demographic of many men who get prostate cancer. It is typically a disease of older men and, in these men, erectile function is not always at its best anyway.

Then there is the tumour itself your risk of impotence depends on the extent of the disease, which dictates how much treatment you will need.

‘Your choice of surgeon is also critically important more so than the technique you undergo, says Professor Neal.

How Soon After Prostate Cancer Treatment Can I Be Sexually Active Again

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This will depend on what type of treatment you have had and how you feel. It could be several weeks, for others it may be a lot longer for erections to return. Some men will never be able to keep an erection without the help of artificial methods like medicines or medical devices . If you were having problems having erections before treatment, this will not get better after treatment.

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Nerve Damage From Surgery

The most common way surgery affects erections is by removing or causing injury to the nerves that help cause an erection. All of the operations listed above can damage these nerves. The nerves surround the back and sides of the prostate gland between the prostate and the rectum, and fan out like a cobweb around the prostate, which makes it easy to damage them during an operation.

When possible, nerve-sparing methods are used in radical prostatectomy, radical cystectomy, AP resection, or TME. In nerve-sparing surgery, doctors carefully try to avoid these nerves. When the size and location of a tumor allow for nerve-sparing surgery, more men recover erections than with other techniques. But even if the surgeon is able to spare these nerves, they might still be injured during the operation and need time to heal.

Even when the nerves are spared, research has shown that the healing process takes up to 2 years for most men. We dont know all the reasons some men regain full erections and others do not. We do know that men are more likely to recover erections when nerves on both the left and right sides of the prostate are spared.

Tips For Talking With Your Partner

Feeling less of a desire to have sex or having trouble getting an erection may affect your relationship. Try to be as open with your partner as you can. Here are some tips:

  • Bring your partner with you to doctors visits. Being part of the conversation may help them understand what youre experiencing.
  • Listen to your partners concerns, too. Remember that this issue affects both of you.
  • See a therapist or a sex therapist to help you work out any issues that are affecting your sex life.
  • If sex is a problem right now, its possible to fulfill each other sexually in other ways. Cuddling, kissing, and caressing can also be pleasurable.

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Its Complicated: Enlarged Prostate And Sex

BPH and sexual function

Prostate enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia , and erectile dysfunction are separate problems. Both increase with age, but one causes problems in the bathroom and the other in the bedroom. However, the two are somewhat linked.

BPH happens when your prostate becomes enlarged, but cancer isnt the cause. A mans prostate continues growing throughout most of his adult life. This is why many older men are affected by the condition.

ED is the inability to get or maintain an erection. It can be caused by physical conditions such as:

It can also be caused by psychological issues.

These two conditions dont necessarily seem linked, but certain treatments that relieve BPH can cause ED and other sexual side effects. On the other hand, treating ED can improve enlarged prostate symptoms.

  • inability to empty the bladder
  • a weak urine stream

A surgery called transurethral resection of the prostate can help relieve these symptoms. Men who have this procedure often experience sexual side effects after surgery.

Between 50 and 75 percent of men experience retrograde ejaculation after TURP, according to Harvard Medical School. This means that semen released during orgasm enters the bladder rather than exiting the penis. Retrograde ejaculation is sometimes called dry orgasm. Its not harmful but can affect male fertility.

Myth: Prostate Cancer Needs To Be Treated Right Away

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FACT: In certain cases, prostate cancer may not be treated immediately especially in the early stages when the cancer starts growing or if the treatment can increase health problems. In such cases, an active surveillance may be recommended by undergoing regular screening to monitor the spread of the cancer and decide upon the course of treatment over the behaviour of disease over a period of time.

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Cancer Can Affect Male Sexual Desire And Response

Some general changes in sexual desire and response may be linked to cancer and cancer treatment. In fact, any person going through cancer treatment might lose interest in sexual activity during cancer treatment, at least for a time. Because treating the cancer is often the main concern, sex may not be a priority for you or your partner. When people are in treatment, things like worry, depression, nausea, pain, or fatigue may cause loss of desire. Cancer treatments that disturb the normal hormone balance can also lessen sexual desire.

This information is for adult males with cancer. If you are a transgender person, please talk to your cancer care team about any needs that are not addressed here.

Radiation Therapy And Sexual Function

Sexual dysfunction occurs in 20~80% of patients who undergo radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may cause injuries, including to nerves, if the radiation range expands to the trigone of the bladder, ectopic ureteral orifice, posterior and lateral rectal wall, and bulbo-membranous urethra. Complications that occur after radiation are classified as early and late. Early complications occur in tissues that undergo rapid mitosis, like the intestinal mucosa, and are typically reversible, whereas late complications occur due to injury of the microvessels, and are irreversible changes.

Generally, the main complications that occur after radiation therapy, such as proctitis, urethral stricture, edema of the penis and lower extremities, and erectile dysfunction, have been shown to occur at incidences of 10% or less. Additionally, the frequency of maintaining erectile function after radiation therapy has been reported to be approximately 50%, which is higher than that of radical prostatectomy. Formenti et al reported no increase in the frequency of sexual function abnormality after adjuvant radiation therapy following a nerve-preservation radical prostatectomy. Litwin reported no difference in quality of life among radical surgery, radiation therapy, and observation groups, but found that patient satisfaction with sexual function and voiding symptoms was lower in the radical surgery group than in the other two groups.

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Psychological Effects Of Cancer Treatment On Erections

Many men report disappointment, fear, and distress when they have trouble with erections. They report they feel that something important is missing. Men may report a general unhappiness with life and depression when they have problems with erections. These feelings are a natural part of coping with erection problems. And most men, if they are able find effective treatments to help with their erections, will start to feel better. If these feelings are severe or persist, most men find it very helpful to see a mental health professional who specializes in sexual issues or a psychiatrist who can help address these feelings.

Worries about self-image and performance can sometimes lead to erection problems, too. Instead of letting go and feeling excited, a man may focus on whether he will be able to function, and fear of failure might make it happen. He may blame the resulting problem on his medical condition, even though he might be able to have an erection if he were able to relax.

A therapist or mental health professional who specializes in helping patients with sexual issues can often assist in the treatment of erection problems caused by anxiety and stress. Any treatment for an erection problem should be based on the results of a thorough exam, which should include both medical questions and certain medical tests.

Diagnosis Of An Enlarged Prostate

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In order to establish the possible underlying causes for an enlarged prostate, doctors will perform a variety of tests.

Tests which are commonly used to find the cause of an enlarged prostate include:

  • A digital rectal exam. A physician or nurse will insert a gloved finger into the patient√Ęs rectum to digitally examine the prostate for swelling and/or enlargement.
  • Swab tests for urethral discharge or urine. To determine underlying conditions such as STIs/STDs and urinary tract infections. A swab of discharge or urine is taken and sent to a medical laboratory for culturing, so that any microorganisms are identified.
  • Urinalysis. A urine sample is sent to a medical laboratory for analysis and may be tested for urea nitrogen or creatinine, among other things.
  • Blood tests. A sample of blood is sent to a medical laboratory for analysis, which may include tests for creatinine or blood urea nitrogen, as well as antibodies and infectious agents.
  • Prostate-specific antigen test. A blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory to be tested for prostate-specific antigen , an enzyme produced by cells in the prostate. A change in PSA levels can indicate that there is a problem with the prostate.

If patients are referred to a urologist, they may have further tests, including:

Before referring the patient for tests, the physician may also ask questions in order to determine the possible causes of the discomfort, their severity, and their duration. Such questions may cover:

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How Will Treatment Affect My Libido

Prostate cancer may dampen your sex drive. Knowing that you have cancer and going through treatment can both cause you to feel too anxious to have sex.

Hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer can also affect your libido. This treatment slows prostate cancer growth by lowering testosterone levels in your body. You need testosterone to have a healthy sex drive. Hormone therapy can also affect your self-esteem and sex drive by making you gain weight or causing your breast tissue to enlarge. If your hormone levels are low, your doctor may be able to prescribe testosterone replacement therapy to bring them back up to normal. This depends on your overall cancer treatment plan.

2013 study , about 3 percent of participants reported that they had a reduced penis size after radical prostatectomy or radiation plus hormone therapy. The men said their smaller penis affected their relationships and their satisfaction with life.

For men who do experience this, the change in size is generally half an inch or less. This decrease in size may be due to tissues shrinking in the penis. These tissues may shrink because of nerve and blood vessel damage.

If youre concerned about this side effect, ask your doctor about taking a drug for an erectile dysfunction , such as Cialis or Viagra. The increased blood flow from these drugs may help prevent your penis from getting smaller. Theyll also help with acquiring and maintaining an erection.

Enlarged Prostate This Treatment Can Help You Avoid Sexual Side Effects

Benign prostatic hyperplasia , or enlarged prostate, is a common condition in men older than age 50. BPH occurs when the prostate gland becomes enlarged and begins to press on the urethra the tube that carries urine out of the body.

When the prostate continues to grow, it can lead to urinary symptoms that include:

  • Leaking or dribbling of urine
  • Frequent nighttime awakenings to urinate
  • Urinary retention or urgency
  • A weak urine stream

BPH is not prostate cancer and it doesnt lead to cancer. However, the two conditions may have similar symptoms in the early stages

So its important that men who experience these symptoms be evaluated by a mens health specialist to rule out cancer and determine the best treatment options to relieve their symptoms.

Without treatment, BPH can lead to serious complications in some men, including , kidney or bladder damage, urinary tract infections and bladder stones. In some extreme cases, BPH can cause a total inability to urinate and require emergency catheterization.

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How May Erectile Dysfunction Affect My Sex Life

Most men find that their sex life is different after prostate cancer treatment. Some men question their manliness when they cannot have an erection or find that they are not interested in sex. This can happen even if you are not currently in an intimate relationship. You may find this upsetting. Even if one of the medications or erection aids is helpful, having sex using these things may take some getting used to. It may not feel entirely natural. You can talk with your doctor or healthcare team about these feelings. Counseling may also help.

If you have an intimate partner, it is important for you to talk to your partner about how you are feeling. There is an old saying that a problem shared is a problem halved. Not everyone wants a sexual relationship. Dont try to guess or assume what your partner wants. Have an open and honest discussion with your partner.

This may seem unnecessary in long-term relationships as people tend to assume they know all there is to know about their partner but this is not always the case. With time, you and your partner may be able to find satisfying ways to have a sex life even though you have erectile dysfunction. Your partner will also have concerns about your sex life as well as concerns about your health. Talking about your feelings is very important during this time.

Does An Enlarged Prostate Affect A Man Sexually

What Do You Need To Know About Sex After Prostate Cancer?

The quick and easy answer is that an enlarged prostate can definitely impact men and their sexual health. If that’s all you were looking for, you can go on with your day, but the ways in which an enlarged prostate can affect a man’s sexual health is quite interesting and worth a read.

The prostate is a uniquely male structure in the human body that works in a unique way. Because the urethra is dual purpose and is the common pathway for semen and urine, the prostate acts as the traffic controller, ensuring that both are routed correctly and do not occur simultaneously. Additionally, the prostate is a crucial component in the creation of seminal fluid.

To fully answer the question as to how an enlarged prostate can impact a man sexually, it is important to compare the different dimensions surrounding sexual health and how an enlarged prostate affects these components of sexual functioning. Below is a deeper look into an enlarged prostate and its effect on male sexual health.

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