When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is absolutely normal to wonder what the future holds. Prostate cancer can be a frightening concept. The first objective is to preserve health and longevity. However, experienced urologists also plan care that considers the question “what comes next?”
Men who undergo prostate cancer surgery typically make a full recovery from their disease process. With that in mind, doctors consider how they can cure cancer and also give the patient the best shot at a functional sex life. Fortunately, the development of robotic surgical techniques and other methods of treatment present most patients with a reasonable chance of full restoration of erectile function as their body heals.
Questions that many men have about prostate cancer treatment include:
Will I be able to have sex after cancer treatment?
Will sex be different after cancer treatment?
The answer to each question may differ based on the type of treatment indicated for the existing prostate cancer. Studies suggest that the best chances of regaining full erectile function after prostate surgery come with robotic surgical techniques. Our surgeons are highly skilled in the use of the da Vinci ® system for prostate cancer. The sophisticated technique gives the surgeon absolute control over the surgical field and a steady robotic hand to carefully operate on the body in a minimally-invasive way.
Sex after Prostate Surgery
A urologist treating prostate cancer typically works closely with patients to provide adequate information that will prepare them for sexual intercourse after prostate surgery.
There are several ways in which sex may change after surgery on the prostate gland. Just because something could happen doesn’t mean it will. It is just as important that a man develop healthy expectations and trust in his body as it is for him to know how his sex life may change. Ultimately, the best advice we might give a patient is to stay out of his head and let his body do what it will as it recovers fully. Remember, most men regain a highly satisfactory level of sexual ability within a year after treatment.
What to Expect:
- Erectile dysfunction may be a temporary problem. Viagra or Cialis may be prescribed to correct this problem in the short-term.
- Orgasm is highly likely after prostate surgery and can even occur without an erection. Partners may need to practice various techniques to facilitate pleasurable sex and are encouraged to do so as soon as the patient is physically able. Orgasm may feel different but patients describe them as pleasurable.
- There is no ejaculate after prostatectomy. This is why orgasm may feel slightly different than it did before treatment.
- Urinary leakage may occur during sex (and at other times). This is usually temporary. Urinary incontinence is expected to improve within a year of surgery and may occur more quickly with Kegel pelvic floor exercises.
- Listen, prostate cancer in itself is a doozy. Undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, even with a successful outcome, can lead to quite the roller coaster of emotions. Men who can discuss their feelings about their health and sexual performance with a partner or therapist are less likely to struggle with performance anxiety.