Sex after prostate cancer treatment
Preparing for your first time

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


Try to be patient and keep your expectations very low

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.

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

Fortunately, there are many drugs for erectile dysfunction as well as devices (such as vacuum pumps) that you can try.  

Here are some tips, which we hope will help:

  • Try to let nature take its course, without pressuring your loved one with questions like: “is anything happening yet?"
  • 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 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.
  • If one drug doesn’t seem to help, ask your loved one’s doctor about trying another.
  • 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.


Keep trying

If you view an attempt as a success or a failure, you may set yourself up for disappointment. It may help to think of your man’s sexual recovery as a process that is ongoing.

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.

Updated 4/13

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