sexual life after prostatectomy

Sexual Life After Prostate Removal

One of the most feared side effects of therapy for prostate cancer is the impact on sexual health. According to National Cancer Institute in US, about 219.000 men have been diagnosed prostate cancer every year and almost a half of those men had prostate removal. A year after removal, 97% patients were able to get penetration. But, last year, George Washington University and New York University said that less than half of men who had prostate removal feel their sexual life back to normal in a year.

Reading this article men will get a better idea of what to expect and take some of the fear of the unknown away.

The prostate makes the liquid in the ejaculate. This is necessary for the sperm to work and therefore to have children. The "nerves" that go to the penis course very close to the prostate. They are only a few millimeters from the prostate and can be affected by surgery or radiation. These nerves are solely responsible for erections, or the ability of the penis to get hard.

The net effect on sexual life of someone having their prostate removed (prostatectomy) is:
  1. Lose the ability to have an ejaculate, and will be sterile. But, donít worry, you can still have children with your own sperm by artificial means.
  2. Maintain full sensation of the penis. With masturbation or other stimulation, still have the ability to have an orgasm.
  3. Probably lose the ability to get a firm erection after surgery.

Factors that are responsible for the ability to get erections are:
  1. Preoperative function; If they are not that good to start, then they are less likely to come back.
  2. Age- The older the patient, the more they need the nerves working perfectly to have erections.
  3. Other medical problems- Illnesses that affect erections such as diabetes and high blood pressure will not help. Patient who never use stimulate medicine for having sex shows 85% chance to get his sexual life back normal after 18 months removal.
  4. Frequency of intercourse- The more sexually active the person is, the better the recovery rate.
  5. The ability of the surgeon to spare the nerves.
  6. If the cancer is such that the nerve shouldn't be spared, erections are less likely to come back. If the cancer is such that the nerves are able to be spared, then technical factors such as how much tissue is saved, using less cautery in the areas of the nerve bundles, and stretching the nerves less all play a role in recovery.

NOTE: Issues on this site regarding prostate cancer and treatment options, are provided for information only, and are not meant to substitute for the advice of your own physician or other medical professional. does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

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