Sex after prostate cancer can be deeply satisfying, but it may be different than it was before.
If your loved one didn’t have any erection problems before treatment, he was probably able to become aroused without any touching or direct stimulation. That may change after treatment (scroll all the way towards the bottom for many helpful articles).
Sexual recovery often takes time. Despite what doctors may tell you, it can take up to 4 years for men to see the most improvement in sexual function after prostate cancer surgery.
Try not to get discouraged or give up altogether. We can tell you from experience that it helps to keep trying, even if you don't experience the results that you want right away.
The ability to have penetrable sex after prostate cancer treatment depends on:
Following a nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy, recovery from impotence generally happens slowly over time. A man will have dry orgasms (some call it dry sex) because the prostate and seminal vesicles have been removed.
Following radiation therapy, if impotence is a problem, it typically develops over time.
It may encourage you to know that a man does not need an erection to have an orgasm.
Experts say that you should not stop having sex after prostate cancer treatment, even if your man is not be able to get or maintain a “stuffable erection” (a lousy term, we know) for sexual intercourse.
It may help to approach sex after prostate cancer treatment:
Studies show that it may take several years for men to see the most improvement in sexual function after prostate cancer surgery.
Try not to get discouraged if you don’t see the results you want right away. There are many ways to satisfy your partner other than intercourse.
Your man will probably need a drug or device to be able to have sex after surgery for prostate cancer. You may need to experiment a bit and if one option does not work, ask your doctor about trying another.
There are several different erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs that many men find effective. They are not all the same and you may need to try more than one drug before you find one that works best for you. Read more.
While some men may be initially squeamish about using needles, self-injected drugs may be helpful if ED drugs are not working the way you want them to. Read more.
If your man is totally against needles, he can still get a similar medication by using urethral pellets. Read more.
Another less invasive option are vacuum pump devices. They require a little education and some practice. Read more.
Some men who want a permanent option and miss spontaneity may look to penile implants, which are surgically inserted. Read more.
Considering natural remedies? Beware before you buy and learn which ones have been clinically proven to work. Read more.
If you have tried everything without any success, there is still one more option to consider: a strap-on penile prosthesis. Read more.
Updated 4/15Return to homepage
Always consult a medical professional.
American Cancer Society. Ways of dealing with sexual problems. http://www.cancer.org. Accessed September 1, 2008.
American Cancer Society. Effects of cancer treatment on male sexuality. http://www.cancer.org. Accessed September 1, 2009.
Rubin Wainrib B, Haber S. Men, Women, and Prostate Cancer. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.;2000.
Walsh PC. Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer. New York, NY: Time Warner Book Group; 2001.