Maintaining an Active Sex Life During and After Prostate Cancer Treatment


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Every type of prostate cancer treatment has the potential to negatively affect sexual function and may impact fertility. But there is good news: A variety of therapies make it possible to have an active and fulfilling sex life during and after prostate cancer treatment, even if it means slightly reimagining what it means to have good sex. If your sex life has been altered by prostate cancer treatments, some unwanted side effects like erectile dysfunction have been known to improve over time, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

How Does Prostate Cancer Affect Sexual Function?

Strictly speaking, prostate cancer itself doesn’t affect sex, and you likely won’t have sexual side effects from prostate cancer, at least in the early stages, according to the American Cancer Society. But you could have some frustrating side effects from the treatments for prostate cancer.

The prostate is surrounded by nerves, muscles, and blood vessels that help produce an erection, but the prostate isn’t required for an erection or orgasm. However, the prostate and seminal vesicles are required for ejaculation and fertility. Some cancer treatments may affect the ability to get an erection and ejaculate.

Sexual Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatments

Prostate Surgery

It’s important to understand that orgasm and ejaculation are different physical reactions, although they often happen at the same time. Because the prostate and seminal vesicles are removed in a prostatectomy, no ejaculation can happen, but an erection and orgasm can happen. Sometimes the climax is called a dry orgasm because there is no semen.

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