The answer is yes
YES! Absolutely, you can have a healthy sex life post prostate cancer treatments. The statistics of men diagnosed with prostate cancer climbs every year similar to those stats for breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society roughly 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and about 1 in 39 men will actually die from this type of cancer. Behind both lung and colorectal cancer, prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in American men.
It is possible to enjoy sex after prostate cancer treatments
Every week our sexual health doctors counsel patients who have had prostate cancer and have undergone a prostatectomy or radiation of the prostate. They are often asked about having a healthy sex life after prostate cancer. The good news is that yes, a healthy sex life is possible after prostate cancer treatments. When a male is diagnosed with cancer of the prostate there are two pathways to treatment. The first is a partial or complete removal of the prostate also known as a prostatectomy where a doctor makes a surgical incision and removes all or part of the prostate gland. The second pathway to treatment is through radiation. The patient undergoes radiation of the prostate to kill the cancer. Radiation therapy can be achieved by either external beam radiation or by brachytherapy (internal radiation.)
When a patient undergoes external beam radiation the focus is on the prostate gland from outside of the body, patients seek this type of radiation when prostate cancer is in its early stages. The other method for radiation treatment for prostate cancer is Brachytherapy, also called seed implantation or interstitial radiation therapy. This method requires small radioactive pellets be placed directly into the prostate. Each pellet is roughly the size of a grain of rice. Men in the early stages of prostate cancer that is slow growing typically use this form of radiation treatment, however, both Brachytherapy and external radiation treatments can be used simultaneously if the patient has a higher risk of cancer growing on the outside of the prostate.
With radiation treatments come several side effects including erectile dysfunction and a lower than usual sex drive. We’ve had many patients undergo radiation and come to us with the question of “why does erectile dysfunction happen with prostate cancer treatment?” Research suggests that some prostate cancer treatments may affect the nerves, muscles, or blood vessels that let a man obtain an erection while other forms prostate cancer treatment may affect a man’s sex drive or libido.
Our patients have varying reports of erectile dysfunction after prostate radiation therapy. Some have experienced ED for less than a month, while others have suffered from ED much longer. The ability to obtain and sustain an erection after radiation therapy will depend on whether the cancer was close to the nerves that control the erection, whether the individual had erections before surgery and the patient’s age. All of these play a factor in overcoming erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer radiation therapy.
At the Indianapolis Men’s Clinic, our goal is to help men overcome erectile dysfunction so they can have a healthy and regular sex life after prostate cancer radiation treatments. Often-times patients will research various ED treatment pathways including penile pumps and prescription drugs such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. When a patient has gone through prostate cancer these options typically do not work and can result in complications. The complications associated with penile pumps can vary from the pump itself malfunctioning to the actual installation of the pump. Using this type of solution also makes for a very un-natural enjoyment of sexual intercourse. Our team of physicians strive to help men gain back a naturally healthy sex life using FDA approved treatment pathways. Our treatment plans for erectile dysfunction have a 90% success rate compared to options like a penile pump or prescription drugs. We offer safe and effective solutions so men who have had prostate cancer can have a healthy sex life once again.
Our physicians are asked regularly if prostate cancer causes sex problems. Prostate cancer itself typically does not cause problems with sex for most men suffering from this disease. It’s the active treatment for prostate cancer that causes the problems with sex. The damage to the nerves that conduct the flow of blood to the penis to produce an erection is what causes ED after prostate cancer treatments. We invite men who have undergone prostate cancer treatments to meet with our doctors . There can be healthy sex for a man who has undergone radiation treatments for prostate cancer or who has had their prostate removed. We guarantee results or the first visit is free. For a consultation please call our Carmel, Indiana men’s health office at (317) 999-9000. We serve all of Indianapolis, Bloomington, Muncie, Lafayette, Noblesville and surrounding areas.