Will prostate cancer treatment hinder my sex drive?

Will prostate cancer treatment hinder my sex drive?

by Yenny (SU)

A prostate cancer diagnosis is a life-changing experience. It takes great mental and emotional strength to face your diagnosis head-on and undergo treatment for the disease. If you’re lucky, your prostate cancer is diagnosed in the early stages of the disease. Treatment may involve surgery and radiation therapy, depending on the stage of the condition. 

A common concern of men undergoing prostate cancer treatment is whether the procedures and treatments can impact their sex drive. In fact, prostate cancer treatments can have side effects that affect sex drive and performance.

Negative Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment

Men who undergo prostate cancer treatment may experience any of the following: 

●      Low libido

●      Erectile dysfunction

●      A change in penis size

●      Dry orgasm

●      Low sperm count

●      Urinary incontinence

The aim of prostate cancer treatment depends on the staging of the disease and the life expectancy of the patient. For patients recommended active surveillance and watchful waiting, they receive no treatment. However, with active surveillance and watchful waiting, the thought of the cancer growing can result in men being unable to relax and having no desire for sex.

Prostate cancer treatments, such as a radical prostatectomy, which involves the removal of the prostate, as well as radiation therapy, may damage nerves that can contribute to sexual problems. Sexual performance issues can also put a damper on sex drive. Whereas hormone therapy for prostate cancer, which aims to reduce testosterone production, can also cause low libido. Testosterone gives you your sex drive. 

Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel: when prostate cancer goes into remission, a man’s sex drive will usually return.

Talk To Your Doctor 

What’s a man to do if he begins to experience negative side effects of treatment? It’s important to know that doctors, when planning your treatment, will consider the side effects of each. Do not hesitate to ask for a solution to the negative side effects of treatment.

Should you experience overwhelming side effects from one treatment, the doctor is usually willing to make changes (big or small) to improve symptoms. For instance, if you suffer from low libido due to hormone therapy, your doctor may place you on intermittent hormone therapy. It is usually safe to go on and off hormone therapy. After achieving remission, treatment for low testosterone levels may be safe for use.

Low sex drive and erectile dysfunction from surgery and radiation therapy as a result of some degree of damage to the nerves may be treated using erectile dysfunction drugs, penile injections, or implants.

Treating prostate cancer is absolutely critical for your health and well-being. If cancer treatment causes long-term effects on your intimacy, a urologist can help you find relief. 

Urologist in Phoenix, Arizona 

Your sex drive is likely important to your quality of life. Dr. Desiderio Avila of Ironwood Urology understands this too well, which is why his treatments are highly personalized according to the patient’s needs. Dr. Avila is focused on treating men’s health conditions and will not just plan and coordinate your treatment for prostate cancer, but will also help you manage the side effects of treatment. Talking to Dr. Avila, you will see that he truly cares about how his patients are responding to treatment. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment with Dr. Avila, call our clinic at (480) 961-2323 or use our online request form.