Sex after prostate cancer treatment
Preparing for your first time

Having sex after prostate cancer treatment can be challenging for a variety of reasons (especially your first time), both physical and psychological.

If your loved one has had surgery for prostate cancer, and impotence is a problem, sexual recovery generally occurs slowly over time.  It can even take several years.

Here are some tips that we hope will help:

  • Try not to have any expectations for the first year.
  • It may help to think of your man’s sexual recovery as a process that is ongoing.
  • Just let nature take its course, without pressuring your loved one with questions like: “Is anything happening yet?"
  • Don't view your attempts as successes or a failures. You will just set yourself up for disappointment.

Using erectile dysfunction drugs

  • If your loved one is taking a drug for erectile dysfunction, or using a self-injected drug, allow enough time for the drug to take effect and reach its peak.
  • Your man may want to stand or kneel upright (as opposed to laying down), as these positions may help increase blood flow to the penis.
  • If one drug doesn’t seem to help, ask your loved one’s doctor about trying another.

Try new things

  • If sexual intercourse is not possible, use your imagination and experiment with other ways to pleasure each other.
  • You can also consider incorporating sexual aids into your lovemaking (such as a vibrator or a dildo), which may help enhance your mutual pleasure.
  • Remember that a man does not need an erection to experience an orgasm.
  • It may help to talk about what’s working — and what isn’t — both during and after your lovemaking sessions.

Try to be patient

Some men may continue to have problems getting or maintaining a “stuffable erection” for sexual intercourse following treatment for prostate cancer.

While it may be frustrating, or even disheartening at times, experts suggest that you keep trying to have sex after prostate cancer treatment.

If things still don’t improve, discuss what other options are available with your loved one’s doctor.

Fortunately, there are many drugs for erectile dysfunction, as well as devices such as vacuum pumps, that you may be able to try. 

Updated 4/13

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