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How To Get An Erection After Prostate Cancer

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How Do Penile Injections Work

Pelvic physical therapy after prostate cancer treatment (part II: erectile dysfunction)

The penile injection may consist of a single medication or contain a combination of 2 to 4 different medications. Your doctor will figure out which formulation to use and the dose that works best for you. Depending on what your doctor ends up prescribing, the penile injection may be available as a brand name medication or as a compounded medication .

What Might Affect My Sex Drive

The following things may affect your sex drive.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer is likely to lower your sex drive. This is because some types of hormone therapy lower your testosterone levels, which is what gives you your sex drive.

If youre on long-term hormone therapy, ask your doctor or nurse about intermittent hormone therapy. This is where you stop hormone therapy when your PSA level is low and steady, and start it again if it starts to rise. Your sex drive may improve while youre not having hormone therapy. But this can take several months and some men dont notice any improvement. Intermittent hormone therapy isnt suitable for everyone.

If having sex is important to you, you can still try treatments if your sex drive is low. Some of the treatments for erection problems may still work for you.

Your thoughts and feelings

Some men with prostate cancer feel that they have lost their self-esteem, self-confidence or sense of masculinity. Feeling down or stressed can mean you have less interest in sex. If you feel like this then consider getting some support. As well as helping you to feel better about yourself it may help improve your sex life.


All treatments for prostate cancer can cause tiredness or fatigue during or after treatment. If you feel very tired, you may lose interest in sex or not have enough energy for it.

Other side effects

How Might Prostate Cancer Affect My Sex Life

Sex is an important part of life for many of us. Dealing with prostate cancer and living with the side effects of treatment can have an impact on your sex life. Many men with prostate cancer say that changes to their sex lives and relationships are some of the biggest issues they have to deal with.

There is no right or wrong way to deal with changes to your sex life. Some men will want to try treatments for erection problems, while some will prefer to find other ways to be close to their partner. Whats important is that you find whats right for you and dont be afraid to ask for support if you want it.

Feeling sexual is partly physical and partly about your thoughts and feelings. It depends on how well your sex organs are working and whether other parts of the body are helping them work, for example, the blood supply, nerves, brain and hormones. The way your body responds sexually also depends on your thoughts and feelings about yourself and others.

If youre in a relationship, the sexual impact of prostate cancer could affect both you and your partner. So its important that you both get support if you want it.

Prostate cancer can affect your sex life in overlapping ways affecting your mind, body and relationships.


Finding out you have cancer can make you feel down or anxious, changing your feelings about sex.


Treatment can damage the nerves and blood supply needed for erections. Hormone therapy can affect your desire for sex.


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Who Has Nerve Preservation

Patient who are potent are understandably keen to retain this and so are we. As well as allowing erections following surgery, nerve preservation also allows an earlier return to continence so we always practice nerve preservation whenever the cancer control allows it, which is in about 80% of men. When the cancer is close to one of the nerves we might partially nerve preserve on that side if it is safe to do so and will discuss this with you beforehand if this seems likely.

The decision to nerve preserve is taken after considering the patients existing erections, PSA level, biopsy report, MRI scan, rectal examination under anaesthetic immediately before the operation starts and the way the NVB looks and feels during the operation. It is always discussed with patients before surgery.

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Sex When Youre Single

Newly Diagnosed

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 theyve had cancer. If youre 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 dont know.

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What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises And Can Improve Erection Quality

As we age, we lose muscle tone throughout your body. That includes the muscles that men need to maintain erections. However, there are physical exercises men can do to reduce erectile dysfunction. The best ones are known as pelvic floor exercises or kegels.

Those muscles are the core of how your body and therefore keeps erections strong.

The process starts with identifying the muscles you need to activate. Thats best achieved by lying down with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Thats when you breathe out and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds.

Its important that you identify the right group, at the base of your buttocks, on either side of your perineum. It can be easy to mistake other muscles, such as the legs or stomach for the pelvic floor.

Once you are confident you have the right muscle group, then doing the exercises in a seated or standing position three times a day can firm and strengthen the muscles, with a likely improvement within four to six weeks.

Some men find that after the initial strengthening that options like Pilates become appealing as not only are there many exercises which improve the pelvic floor, but they can improve overall posture and strength.

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What Is Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer develops in the prostatea small gland that makes seminal fluid. It is the second most common type of cancer in men. Prostate cancer usually grows over time and in the beginning stays within the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. While some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and may need minimal or no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread quickly.

Prostate cancer that is caught early has a better chance of successful treatment.

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Addressing Health Care Disparities: Q& a With Leeann Medina

In this guest Q& A blog post, and as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, CancerCares Disparities Program Coordinator and oncology social worker Leeann Medina-Martinez, LMSW discusses CancerCares Spanish language services and addresses health care disparities, including what can be done to overcome obstacles to care and the resources CancerCare offers to improve health care access.

What Is The Problem

Erectile Dysfunction Solutions after Prostate Cancer Treatment

Some 6,500 radical prostatectomies are performed every year in the UK . In a negative association, an increase in one quantity corresponds to a decrease in the other. Association does not necessarily mean that one thing causes the other. More of Urological Surgeons, 2019). While approximately half of these men have pre-existing erectile dysfunction, over 50% of the other half can expect to lose natural erections after prostatectomy surgery, especially if their cancers are locally advanced and require wide clearance to ensure removal of the whole tumour.

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Surgically Induced Erectile Dysfunction

Unfortunately, many men have unrealistic expectations for sexual recovery after surgery. In many cases, treatment for prostate cancer, especially with radical prostatectomy, has permanent side effects.

Long-term and potentially permanent sexual dysfunction is a common consequence of radical prostatectomy. This can be a massive issue for both a man and his partner.

Even when a mans doctor is quite candid concerning reduced or non-existent sexual function, many men still expect improvements in sexual functioning one or more years after surgery. 4

It is a given that a man might be capable of recovering usable erections after surgery. However, it is also a given that sexual sensations after a prostatectomy will never be the same as they were before surgery.

In most cases, sensation after surgery is significantly altered. Therefore, if a patients expectation for success means recovery to the physical action and sensations prior to surgery, he is destined to be, at the very least, disappointed.

Loss of erectile function often causes a devastating blow to a man used to having sexual performance. Due to a lack of communication with his doctor, he may also be rather surprised about how total the loss is. This loss may also be perceived quite strongly by his partner.

Since complete surgical erectile dysfunction is a very real possibility, any man considering a radical prostatectomy, must, if he values his sex life, also consider other options very seriously.

What Side Effects Do Penile Injections Have Are Penile Injections Painful

Like any medicine, penile injections can have side effects, but they are usually temporary.

    You might experience:

  • Pain, bruising or bleeding. While the small needle and correctly following your doctorâs instructions will definitely help, you could still experience some pain at the time. There may also be some bruising or bleeding at the place of injection, for a short time after injection or when you experience the erection.

    Rarely, you may experience:

Certain conditions can make penile injections risky to use. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Sickle cell anemia or trait

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Sex And Erection Problems After Treatment For Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer treatments can affect your sex life. Some treatments can damage the nerves that you need to get an erection. Other treatments can affect the levels of hormones needed to get and maintain an erection.

Even if you can’t get a full erection, you can still have a sex life. There are several treatments that may help you but not everyone chooses to have treatment. Treatments might include:

  • drug treatments such as tablets and creams

Sex therapy and counselling can also help. Speak to your doctor or specialist nurse if this is something you think might help.

Why Erectile Dysfunction May Result From Prostate Disease

Prostate cancer breakthrough to save your sex life

In the past, it was thought that most cases of erectile dysfunction were psychological in origin, the result of such demons as performance anxiety or more generalized stress. While these factors can cause erectile dysfunction, doctors now think that 70% of the time the problem can be traced to a physical condition that restricts blood flow, hampers nerve functioning, or both. Such conditions include diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and alcoholism.

However, some types of prostate disease and treatments may also be responsible.

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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.

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Management Of Erectile Dysfunction

About 75% of men who undergo nerve-sparing prostatectomy or more precise forms of radiation therapy have reported successfully achieving erections after using these drugs. However, they are not for everyone, including men who take medications for angina or other heart problems and men who take alpha-blockers.

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Tips To Improve Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Surgery

You need to have prostate surgery and youre worried about your sexual health moving forward. With rates of erectile dysfunction after a prostatectomy as high as 85%, you have very good reason to be concerned.

While it may take some time for your sexual function to get back to normal after prostate surgery, board-certified urologist Dr. Robert Cornell wants you to understand that there are solutions.

Heres a look at post-prostatectomy ED and some ways in which we can help restore your sex life.

What Can You Do To Treat Erectile Dysfunction Following Prostate Surgery

Men’s Continence and Erectile Function After Prostate Cancer Surgery – by Stuart Doorbar-Baptist

The best thing to do is to consult a doctor after your surgery.

Doctors can do blood tests, check forhigh blood pressure, and observe your blood flow. If youre experiencing penile pain and other symptoms that might affect your sexual desire, theyll know how to address it.

So if youre looking to have regular sexual relationships, you should know that there are ways around it. By taking the appropriate steps, its still possible to have and maintain an erection after prostate cancer treatment.

As mentioned earlier, prostate cancer patients will be given different treatments by their doctors. A doctor will look at factors like your age, the medicines youre taking, what prostate treatment youve had, and what pre-existing conditions you have on top of prostate cancer like diabetes.

Your doctor will also look at your lifestyle. Ifyoure a heavy smoker or drinker, for example, then you might be asked to stop.

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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.

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.

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Are There Any Surgical Techniques That Have Been Developed To Improve Erectile Function Outcomes

At this time, there are several different surgical approaches to carry out the surgery, including retropubic or perineal approaches as well as laparoscopic procedures with freehand or robotic instrumentation. Much debate but no consensus exists about the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches. Further study is needed before obtaining meaningful determinations of the success with different new approaches.

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Surgery For Prostate Cancer

Surgery is a common choice to try to cure prostate cancer if it is not thought to have spread outside the prostate gland.

The main type of surgery for prostate cancer is a radical prostatectomy. In this operation, the surgeon removes the entire prostate gland plus some of the tissue around it, including the seminal vesicles.

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Predicting Sexual Outcomes After Prostate Cancer Treatment

Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate Procedure in Chennai

Information about a mans baseline characteristics and prostate cancer treatment plan can help predict erectile function after treatment.

In order to provide men with more personalized assessments of their risk of erectile dysfunction, researchers have assessed how several patient and treatment characteristics affect sexual outcome after treatment. The primary outcome of interest was whether the patient had functional erections suitable for intercourse. This outcome was assessed two years after treatment with prostatectomy, external radiation therapy, or brachytherapy.

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How To Treat Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Surgery

Prostate surgery is challenging enough. But to make matters worse, such an operation may impact ones sex life. The prostate is a vital part of the reproductive system. Its responsible for producing fluids that carry sperm.

So when the prostate is affected, this can lead to conditions like erectile dysfunction.

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Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Cancer Treatment

  • Original: May 2, 2020

Erectile dysfunction is the most common side effect after prostate cancer treatment irrespective of precision dose and delivery of radiation therapy or if the nerves were spared during surgery. Sexual dysfunction occurs because the nerves and blood vessels that control the physical aspect of an erection are incredibly delicate, and any trauma or stress to them can result in temporary or permanent damage.

Within one year after treatment, most men with intact nerves that were not significantly damaged will see a substantial improvement in sexual function. The skill of the surgeon or radiation oncologist can have a significant impact on long term sexual function, so its important to select your treatment and team very carefully.

When selecting treatment make sure your doctor explains the type and probability of side effect from their treatment facility. Sometimes treatment selection will depend on which side effects are most tolerable for you age and lifestyle.

Age, obesity and the ability to spare the nerves are the major determinants of the type and severity of side effects. In general, it is more challenging to spare the nerves in men with higher risk disease because the prostate cancer may have already spread past the nerves outside the prostate capsule.

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Which Prostate Cancer Treatments Can Cause Urinary Problems

If youâve already had treatment or want to know more aboutrelated urinary problems, check below to see whatâs typical:

After surgery for prostate cancer, men might experience:
  • uncontrollable leaking

  • stress incontinence

  • temporary leaking after your catheter is removed

  • blood in your urine

After radiation therapy, you can experience:

  • needing to urinate suddenly

  • needing to urinate more often

  • going to the washroom several times at night

  • pain when you urinate

More on radiation therapy and urinary problemsâ

Hormone therapy alone does not cause urinary problems. But often, men will have hormone therapy in combination with another treatment , which can cause urinary problems. Speak to your care team if you are experiencing urinary problems.

Chemotherapy treatment itself is not a common cause of urinary problems. Please speak to your doctor or care team if you are experiencing urinary symptoms.

If you’re experiencing urinary problems, speak to your doctor or care team. Men on active surveillance can still get worsening urinary problems because the normal part of the prostate can still grow â called âbenign prostatic hyperplasiaâ. Talk to your urologist to see if there are medications or treatments to help you urinate more easily.

After HIFU, some men experience leakage, although this is rare .

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