Prostate cancer treatment can lead to erectile dysfunction. ED is a potential complication. In fact, sexual dysfunction after radical prostatectomy affects 25-75% of men.27
The nerves that control an erection lie very close to the prostate, and may be injured during prostate cancer treatment. Prostate cancer treatments can affect your ability to get an erection on a temporary or permanent basis. If normal sexual function does not return, treatment options are available to enable sex after prostate cancer.
The return to normal sexual function after prostate cancer treatment depends on your sex life before surgery, a supportive partner, the stage of your cancer, and the prostatectomy surgery itself. Many men begin to see a return to normal erections within 3 to 6 months of prostate cancer treatment.43 Other men find that their erections do not return. Should ED persist, as a prostatectomy side effect, there are treatment options for every man.
Men who are taking oral medications for ED before prostate cancer do not have to vary their medication during prostate cancer treatment. If ED persists, the penile implant may be an option. The implant is concealed inside the body. It offers support for an erection whenever and wherever desired.
Many patients find support from these organizations helpful during recovery after prostate cancer treatment. They may even have a chapter in your area.
For men facing prostate cancer, the first worry is about dying. The second worry is whether the treatment will kill their sex life.
What does recovery mean to you? Some men define it as return to confident sex.15 It is common for men to start with oral medications before or after surgery. However, Viagra™ was effective in ONLY 30-60% of men after radical prostatectomy.27 Other treatment options include penile implants, vacuum devices, injections and suppositories. Some treatments may be more effective than others for you. For men with long-term ED, penile rehab may help.16
Finding ED solutions can be a life-changing event for many men and their partners. In one study of 200 patients and 120 partners, both men and their partners found the AMS penile implant to be satisfying. 92% of patients and 96% of their partners reported sexual activity to be excellent or satisfactory with the AMS three piece inflatable.10 Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.