Adding to the trauma are the sexual side effects that typically accompany prostatectomies. Erectile dysfunction can make thoughts of having sex after prostate removal a distant dream.
But returning to an active and satisfying sex life is possible, and understanding what your body is going through and what you can expect in terms of arousal and performance can play in a large part in your journey to recovery. The prostate is an important part of reproduction. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation , the prostate helps facilitate fertilization and sperm transit and survival.
The prostate also helps make zinc, citrate, and fructose, which give sperm energy to travel to the egg for reproduction. Trauma in the pelvic area can make ED after prostate cancer common. The various treatments for prostate cancer, including prostatectomy, nerve-sparing prostatectomy, and radiation can also cause ED, and can interfere with erection health.
This is because, according to UCLA Health , many prostate cancer treatments affect the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles surrounding the prostate that are needed to have an erection. The recovery time to regain control of the erection may be a few days, to a few months, to years, depending on the treatment.
Sources indicate your ability to regain control is also based on your age, and the strength of your erections before surgery. This does mean all is lost. There are things you can do to regain your ability to get an erection.
Oral medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra can help relax the muscles of the penis and promote blood flow. While they are effective in many situations, medications may not be advised for men who are taking nitrates. The Prostate Cancer Foundation also describes a medicated pellet that can be used to promote erections. The tiny pellet is inserted at the tip of the penis using a disposable plastic applicator and stimulates blood flow to the penis.
Rehabilitating with a penis pump. Another effective treatment for erectile dysfunction is the use of vacuum therapy. A vacuum therapy device or penis pump consists of an acrylic tube that is placed over the penis. One end of the tube is attached to a pump that creates a vacuum suction, drawing blood into the penis to create an erection. Once the erection is achieved, a tension band is placed around the base of the penis, holding the erection in place. Learn more about how they work here.
The penis pump is an increasingly popular tool because it is natural, and medication-free. There are no medical side effects and no wait time for the medication to kick in. The pump can be used before sex, or can be used on its own in the rehabilitation process to start strengthening the penile tissue. Of those, more than half were able to achieve erections sufficient for vaginal penetration.
Additionally, these studies have found that using vacuum therapy also preserved penile length, which can be comprised after surgery because of loss of blood flow to the area and reduced tissue elasticity.
Purchasing a penis pump. This may lead directly to common questions of where to buy a penis pump and just what to look for. All pumps are not created equal. One should look for one that is: From a quality, respected source. There should be client testimonials, a money-back guarantee, prompt and caring customer service, and a discrete shipping policy Safe. In addition, they have an external safety release and an internal release that automatically activates if the vacuum creates too much pressure.
Pumps come with different features, styles of penis rings, and types of pumps, both manually-operated and battery-operated. Check out the product specifications and reviews and make an informed decision. Another thing to keep in mind regarding sex after prostate cancer is that an erection is not necessary to have an orgasm.
According to experts at Harvard Medical , the orgasm has three parts: The mental experience from the incoming sensory signs from the penis. A full removal of the prostate affects the first two parts of the orgasm as there is no longer any fluid build-up and release. However, the mental component can still be strong and just as intense.
This makes it possible to have an orgasm even with a flaccid penis. Before engaging in sex after prostate removal you can also get reacquainted with yourself on your own time, on your own terms.
Use self-manipulation or experiment with a vacuum therapy device on your own. Focus on blood circulation, strengthening the penile tissues, and engorging the penis and then letting the blood subside.
Going solo takes the pressure off, and it lets you focus on recovery more than performance. Remember to stay positive during this time. You can use the time to reconnect with your partner, plan a trip, or return to good old-fashion making out and cuddling. Going through this experience together can draw you both closer, and make you find new ways to establish and maintain a connection.
You can also pursue other natural ways to enhance your erection and ways to spice up your sex life. Changes in lifestyle — quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and getting regular exercise can all go far in improving your erectile health.
There are also many natural supplements and dietary choices you can incorporate that can strengthen erections. There are also some foods men should avoid. So, can you get an erection after prostate removal?
Sex after prostate cancer and even sex after radical prostatectomy is possible. With patience, understanding, and a little support from modern medication or timeless tools like a vacuum therapy device, you can return to a satisfying and healthy sex life. For more information, browse our blogs.