Sexual fulfillment following prostate cancer
Changes to sexual functioning caused by prostate cancer can be challenging. However, with the support of healthcare providers, you can access solutions to help you live a fulfilling life following a prostate cancer diagnosis.
In Australia, one in five men risk developing prostate cancer by 85 years old. Common sexual function changes after treatment include erectile dysfunction, penile shortening, change to sensation and change to libido.
Did you know?
- When the prostate is removed, you cannot ejaculate. However, you can still orgasm- even without an erection. While there are many complex factors affecting sexual recovery after treatment, the ability to experience touch, pleasure and orgasm is still in your control. The best mindset to adopt during a sexual function change is one of teamwork and persistence, to find what now works for you and your partner.
- If you underwent an arm injury, you would do rehabilitation exercises to keep the muscles healthy; the same applies to your erection. One of the most challenging but common side effects of prostate cancer treatment is the lack of spontaneous erections.
- Remember this principle: ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it’. If erectile function is important to you, then treat the penis muscles like any other part of the body in recovery. There are exercises and strategies beyond pills and injections to keep your muscles healthy and create erections.
- You have the right to quality education and strategies to help with your sexual functioning and sex life. The World Health Organisation has made it mandatory that every country improve its sexual health education and information.
If you are undergoing sexuality challenges caused by prostate cancer, please talk to your healthcare provider about your options.
About the author:
Victoria Cullen is a sexual function specialist and researcher who specialises in helping people regain control and confidence after prostate cancer treatment. She is available for Skype and in-person consultations at Cancer Specialists in Richmond, Melbourne.
For more details and to sign up to her newsletter, visit: http://www.victoriacullen.com/
To read more health articles from Independence Australia, please click here