The connection between sexuality and the development of certain gynecological cancers are well established. For example, having many partners or unprotected sex increases the risk of a woman for cervical cancer due to HPV infection, which is transmitted during unsafe sex, and cause the development of precancerous cervical lesions. However, no real association between prostate cancer and sexually transmitted disease has been demonstrated yet.
On the contrary, it seems having lots of safe sex reduces the risk of this disease, according to different studies on prostate cancer and sex. But what about the sex life of men who have been already diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer?
Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer and sex drive reduction is a common topic on the internet and doctor’s clinic. Not only the disease but as well as its treatment can dramatically affect the sexuality of the patient by causing erectile dysfunction, pain, lack of pleasure. How to have great sex after prostate cancer surgery?
It is no doubt that prostate cancer causes erectile dysfunction. But many men continue to maintain strong emotional ties and have a satisfying sex life after diagnosis and treatment. If sexual problems occur after treatment, there are different therapeutic procedures to improve or overcome them. In general, common prostate cancer and sex problems include: ejaculation problem, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction.
After radical prostatectomy, most men suffer from dry orgasm, they are unable to ejaculate.
Transurethral resection of the prostate causes retrograde ejaculation, the expulsion of semen enter into the bladder where it mixes with urine, rather than being expelled by the penis during ejaculation and orgasm. This is due to an enlargement or expansion of the sphincter located at the opening of the bladder; the sphincter can no longer close during ejaculation.
Retrograde ejaculation is not painful. It does not damage the bladder, but it can cause male infertility if not treated.
Prostate cancer erectile dysfunction can be the result of the therapy. For instance, men treated with hormone therapy can maintain their ability to have erection and orgasm, but they, nonetheless, havelow sexual desire. It is a side effect of the treatment; therefore, to successfully treat the decreasedlibido the treatment must be stopped or associated an anti erectile dysfunction treatment.
Erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer are two disorders disliked by 100% of men. Patients need to treat the tumor not only to save their live but to also fully enjoy their sex life. Yet, impotence tends to come after the therapy. In some patients erectile dysfunction following prostate cancer treatment cause as much pain as the cancer itself.
The prostate cancer treatment can damage nerves and blood vessels essential to have and maintain a normal erection. Change in hormone levels can also lead to the problem. The causes are broad. In addition to the cancer therapies (surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy…), these factors can also cause erectile dysfunction in prostate cancer patients:
- Aging (impotence increases with age);
- cardiovascular disease;
- high blood pressure;
- neurological disorders;
- kidney failure;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- Injury to the spine;
- alcohol consumption;
- low testosterone, or thyroid hormones;
- certain drugs: antihypertensives, heart medications, sleeping pills, antidepressants;
- affective disorders;
- anxiety related to sexual performance.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment for Prostate Cancer Patients
Today, different types of treatment for erectile dysfunction are available on the market. Some require a prescription from a health professional others do not.
Medications – Drugs may be prescribed to treat disorders of mild to moderate erection problems. These medications improve erection and lead to better blood flow to the penis. They should be taken about an hour before sex, and erection can last up to an hour or more. Always talk to a health professional for contraindications. Some anti erectile dysfunction drugs should not be taken together with certain other medications. Drugs commonly prescribed as ED treatment include Sildenafil(Viagra), Tadalafil(Cialis), and Levitra (Vardenafil).
Nevertheless, not only these medications can cause serious side effects (include heart attack), they may not be effective for some men treated for prostate cancer.
Injections and Suppositories – Erectile dysfunction treatment may also include injections such as alprostadil. This medication works by widening (dilation) blood vessels, thus improving blood flow to the penis. It keeps the blood in the penis and produces an erection. The erection can occur right after injection of the drug and can last up to 90 minutes.
Alprostadil may be taken in the form of:
• small frozen pellet (suppository) inserted into the urethra using a special applicator;
• intracavernosal injection of a medicament, in the side of the penis using a fine needle.
Erectile dysfunction following prostate cancer may also be treated with other injections and suppositories drugs such as phentolamine and papaverine.
Vacuum Pump (Penis Pump) – Men who cannot be treated with these ED treatments above may consider using a vacuum pump. The penis pump has the effect of drawing blood to the penis. It is a hollow tube placed around the penis; the vacuum is then applied. The erection can last for about 30 minutes. Once a man has an erection, he places a rubber band or ring around the base of the penis to trap the blood in the penis in order to maintain erection.
Penile Implants (Penile Prostheses) – penile implant is a device implanted in the penis by a professional surgeon to facilitate erection in men suffering with ED. There are different types of implants:
• SemirigidPenile Implant. In the case of this erectile dysfunction treatment, two flexible rods are implanted in the penis. They are firm enough to allow the man to have normal sex to please his partner. The problem, it causes the patient to have a permanent erection.
• InflatablePenile Implants. An inflatable penile implant may be partially or completely inflatable.There are two hollow rods (cylinders) introduced into the penis. A small container in the form of balloon (tank) filled with liquid is placed in the lower part of the abdomen and a small pump is located either at the head of the penis or scrotum. Pressing the pump, the liquid moves the abdominal balloon to the cylinders in the penis to harden it. The cylinders are deflated after sex and the penis becomes soft.
Natural or Alternative Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
Natural approaches can be considered to treat ED. To start, the patient needs to drink daily fresh home-made juice of organic carrot, yellow melon and asparagus sweetened with raw unfiltered honey, mixed with pine pollen and maca powder, along with Zinc and Copper supplements. A cup of ginger morning and evening (before going to bed) may also be helpful in less severe erectile dysfunction.
Certain supplements such as horny goat, muira puama, damiana, ginkgo, and ginseng can also improve the erection. Search to find a supplement that combines these supplements together. For best result, combine regular exercise with any natural ED treatment you are considering.