Are There Things I Can Do To Help Myself If I Have Erectile Dysfunction
Yes, there are changes you can make in your life that may help with your erectile dysfunction. Remember to speak with your doctor or healthcare team before making any of these changes.
Some changes you may want to consider are:
- Try to exercise on a regular basis.
- Try to eat a healthy diet.
- Drink responsibly. Long-term, heavy drinking lowers your ability to have an erection.
- Try to lower your stress and fatigue . Being diagnosed with prostate cancer and working in all the changes it brings to your life can be stressful. Stress and the tiredness caused by your prostate cancer treatment, can make it difficult for you to get in the mood. Many men going through prostate cancer treatment feel this way. Talking with your partner might help lower your stress. You may also speak to your doctor or healthcare team about how you are feeling. They are there to help you through this time.
- Stop smoking. Research studies show that smoking can harm your ability to have sex. If you need help to stop smoking, speak with your doctor or healthcare team.
- Practice your Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder and bowel. These muscles also help with erections. For more information, please see the IMPACT booklet, Kegel Exercises for Men.
Less Sex For Prostate Cancer Prevention
Another study published more recently in the same journal found that men who have lots of sex in their twenties and thirties are more likely to get prostate cancer, especially if they masturbate a lot.
This study, done at the University of Nottingham in England, also relied on questionnaires. The study participants included 431 men with prostate cancer diagnosed before age 60 and 409 men without prostate cancer. Among its findings were that men with prostate cancer are more likely to have had female partners, more likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease, and more likely to masturbate.
What Will I Learn By Reading This
When you have treatment for your prostate cancer, you may have erectile dysfunction also known as impotence. Erectile dysfunction is a very common side effect . Side effects from prostate cancer treatment are different from one man to the next. They may also be different from one treatment to the next. Some men have no erectile dysfunction. The good news is that there are ways to deal with erectile dysfunction. In this booklet you will learn:
- What erectile dysfunction is
- 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
It is important for you to learn how to deal with erectile dysfunction so that you can continue to have a satisfying intimate relationship.
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Sex And The Prostate: Overcoming Erectile Dysfunction When You Have Prostate Disease
If you are concerned about erectile function, its important to understand what erectile dysfunction really is. Failing to have an erection one night after youve had several drinks or even for a week or more during a time of intense emotional stress is not erectile dysfunction. Nor is the inability to have another erection soon after an orgasm. Nearly every man occasionally has trouble getting an erection, and most partners understand that.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse at least 25% of the time. The penis doesnt get hard enough, or it gets hard but softens too soon. The problem often develops gradually. One night it may take longer or require more stimulation to get an erection. On another occasion, the erection may not be as firm as usual, or it may end before orgasm. When such difficulties occur regularly, its time to talk to your doctor.
Erectile dysfunction can have many causes, including some forms of prostate disease and medications and surgery for prostate cancer. Fortunately, in many cases, this problem can often be effectively addressed. Some men find relief by taking medications to treat erectile dysfunction. If these arent effective for you, a number of other options, including injections and vacuum devices, are available. The possibility of finding the right solution is now greater than ever.
Pde5 Inhibitors: Viagra Levitra And Cialis
Approved by the FDA in 1998, sildenafil revolutionized the way we think about and treat erectile dysfunction, largely because it is so easy to use and effective. Since then ;the FDA has approved three closely related drugs, vardenafil , avanafil and tadalafil .
All four drugs work in a similar fashion, by affecting the normal physiology of the penis. In particular, they block PDE5, an enzyme that breaks down the erection-producing chemical cyclic guanosine monophosphate. This enables the penis to fill with blood and to stay erect long enough for intercourse. Of course, its important to realize that none of these drugs is an aphrodisiac. Youve got to feel sexually stimulated in order for them to work.
The main differences between the drugs have to do with timing: how quickly they begin to work, and how long their effects last . Levitra may start working slightly faster than Viagra although the FDA says that like Viagra, it should be taken about an hour before sexual activity. Some studies suggest that Levitra may help some men who dont respond to Viagra. And while some doctors are skeptical about this claim, theres no harm in trying Levitra or Cialis if Viagra doesnt work for you.
Cialis has also been approved to treat men with both erectile dysfunction and BPH. The dose is lower, usually 5 milligrams per day.
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Men’s Psychological And Culturally Diverse Adaptation To The Sexual Side Effects Of Prostate Cancer Treatment
The quality of life research in prostate cancer emphasizes the importance of sexual functioning as a part of overall well being., After prostate cancer treatment, beyond the loss of erections, men’s responsiveness to visual, desire-inducing stimuli can diminish,, and their libido can decrease. All men continue to have orgasms , but some report absent, less intense or even painful orgasms. Some men report feeling sad and tearful about the loss of erectile functioning. Their self-regard is diminished and they experience the changes in sexuality as a loss of quality of life.,
Several qualitative studies described patient reports of loss of manhood and loss of familiar self that can come with the sexual side effects of prostate cancer treatment., Men also experienced loss of the capacity to respond to sexual cues, sexual fantasies, and spoke with nostalgia about past sexuality and loss of self-worth. Some men avoided sexual encounters for fear of failure or embarrassment. For others, the loss of erections was synonymous with the loss of the meaning of life. Men in these studies did not confide their emotional pain, even when family support was available, although some confided in other men with prostate cancer. Instead, men coped by maintaining their competent roles, for example, being an engineer.
Cultural diversity and adaptation
The impact of prostate cancer on couples’ relationships
Effects on partners and relationships
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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The Basics: How An Erection Occurs
At its most basic level, an erection is a matter of hydraulics. Blood fills the penis, causing it to swell and become firm. But getting to that stage requires extraordinary orchestration of body mechanisms. Blood vessels, nerves, hormones, and, of course, the psyche must work together. Problems with any one of these elements can diminish the quality of an erection or prevent it from happening altogether.
Nerves talk to each other by releasing nitric oxide and other chemical messengers. These messengers boost the production of other important chemicals, including cyclic guanosine monophosphate, prostaglandins, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. These chemicals initiate the erection by relaxing the smooth muscle cells lining the tiny arteries that lead to the corpora cavernosa, a pair of flexible cylinders that run the length of the penis .
Figure 1: Anatomy of the penis
The penis is made up of three cylindrical bodies, the corpus spongiosum which contains the urethra and includes the glans of the penisand two corpora cavernosa , that extend from within the body out to the end of the penis to support erection. Blood enters the corpora cavernosa through the central arteries.
Are There New Strategies In The Near Future That May Be Helpful In Improving Erection Recovery After Surgery
Recent strategies have included cavernous nerve interposition grafting and neuromodulatory therapy. The former, as a surgical innovation meant to reestablish continuity of the nerve tissue to the penis may be particularly applicable when nerve tissue has been excised during prostate removal. In the modern era of commonly early diagnosed prostate cancer, nerve-sparing technique remains indicated for the majority of surgically treated patients.
Neuromodulatory therapy, represents an exciting, rapidly developing approach to revitalize intact nerves and promote nerve growth. Therapeutic prospects include neurotrophins, neuroimmunophilin ligands, neuronal cell death inhibitors, nerve guides, tissue engineering/stem cell therapy, electrical stimulation, and even gene therapy.
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Does An Enlarged Prostate Affect A Man Sexually
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.;
A Primer On Prostate Cancer
Even though prostate cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers in America, on average men have only a three percent risk of actually dying from the disease. Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate gland, the gland that produces the fluid that makes up semen.;Tumors are often slow-growing and highly treatable. However, patients sometimes experience no symptoms until the cancer has spread. Thus, early detection by your doctor is important. Treatments for prostate cancer include: chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
Its important for you to get your prostate checked. The American Urological Association recommends you discuss the benefits and limitations of these tests with your doctor:
A digital rectal exam ;once a year after age 40, or earlier if you are having symptoms. Although some men consider this test embarrassing, it is a quick, simple procedure that could save your life.A PSA ;blood test once a year for men over 50 or earlier for men in high risk groups, such as African-Americans or those with a family history of prostate problems.
If you have a positive DRE or PSA, your doctor may order a biopsy to determine if cancer is involved.
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Radiation Given For Prostate Cancer
Some men will have issues with erections within a few years of external beam radiation for prostate cancer. Some of these men may have erections that allow penetration, but only a small portion report their erections are as good as they were before treatment.
Some men with early-stage prostate cancer have a choice between radiation and surgery to treat their cancer. When looking at how mens erections are affected by prostate cancer treatment, there does not seem to be much long-term difference between the two. Men who have had radiation may see a general decrease in the firmness of their erections over time . In contrast, after surgery most men have erection problems right away and then have a chance to recover erections in the first 2 years following the surgery. About 4 years after either treatment, the percentage of men reporting ED is about the same. Treatments can often help these men get their erections back whether theyve had surgery or radiation.
What Is Erection Restoration
UCLA HealthThe Mens Clinic offers a penile rehabilitation program for men after prostate cancer therapy. You do not have to have your cancer care through UCLA Health to see the specialists at The Mens Clinic. The idea of penile rehabilitation is to optimize blood flow to the erectile tissue as it is recovering from surgery or radiation therapy.
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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.
The Prostate Gland And Prostate Cancer
The prostate gland is a male reproductive organ that sits around the urethra, the outlet tube for urine, just below the bladder. The glands surface is usually smooth and regular. The prostate is about the size of a walnut.
The prostate gland releases a clear fluid into the urethra that represents up to a third of the semen during ejaculation. One of the functions of the fluid is to carry the sperm and help sperm movement.
The prostate also helps the drive of semen during ejaculation.
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Prostate Cancer And Occurrence Of Sexual Dysfunction
Although the prostate is close to the penis, there has been no report of sexual dysfunction caused directly by prostate cancer. However, if a growing prostate tumor causes lower urinary tract symptoms, such as prostate hypertrophy, it could decrease sexual function. That would be a secondary reduction in sexual function caused by severe lower urinary tract symptoms, rather than a direct effect of the prostate cancer. That is, prostate cancer does not directly cause abnormalities of the corpus cavernosum.
A sudden reduction in sexual function in patients with prostate cancer frequently occurs because of psychological instability caused by the occurrence of the cancer, and, in particular, depression., The occurrence of prostate cancer also often has a negative effect on the mental status of the female partner, causing a decrease in sexual function in the female partner. Because a diagnosis of prostate cancer simultaneously causes fear and anxiety in married couples regarding the effects of prostate cancer on their lives, it also creates an unstable mental status in their sex life, resulting in reduced sexual activity.
Prostatectomy Surgery & Your Sex Life: The Basics
Your prostate gland plays a key role in your sexual and urinary function. If your prostate is surgically removed, youll likely experience changes to your ability to have sex.
Several different methods are used to remove part or all of the prostate gland. The type of technique thats used for your prostatectomy may have an effect on your sex life and sexual performance after surgery.
Because your prostate plays a key role in producing and secreting semen, you may not be able to ejaculate normally after its surgically removed.
Its normal to experience erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery. Although most men regain the ability to get an erection in the months and years after surgery, some develop persistent erectile dysfunction that doesnt improve over time.
Medications like sildenafil , tadalafil and others can often help to improve your sexual performance after prostate removal.
When these arent effective, other treatments, such as injectable medications or penile prosthesis, may help you to enjoy a healthy sex life.;
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If You Have A Partner
If you have a partner, talking openly with them;can help you feel closer. It can also help you make changes to your sex life together. Talking about things can help you avoid misunderstandings and find ways to cope with problems.
There are different ways you can show your partner you care about them. This can include spending time together and showing affection through touching, holding hands or putting an arm around their shoulder. You may also find new ways to share sexual pleasure.
Talking to a counsellor or sex therapist may help you and your partner adapt to changes in your sex life. You can ask your partner to come to appointments with you. This will help them understand the issues you are dealing with.