A Candid Look At Sex After Prostate Cancer
Does prostate cancer mean the end of my sex life? How will sex after prostate cancer be different? Mount Sinai Medical Center's robotic prostate surgeon, Dr. David Samadi, answers these questions every day. "The truth," he says, "is that prostate cancer treatment changes sex, but it does not end it."
Restoring an enjoyable sex life after prostate cancer is, in part, dependant on prostate cancer treatment choice. "My goal is to remove prostate cancer with the most precise surgery possible: SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) robotic prostatectomy," says Dr. Samadi.
"When men and their partners know what to expect, they can accelerate recovery, experiment, and work together," says Dr. Samadi, who encourages patients to resume sexual activity as soon as they're up for it – or sooner. Some changes are temporary and some are permanent, but all can be overcome.
Sex, Prostate Cancer, and Erectile Dysfunction (ED): What to Expect After Prostate Surgery
Impotence and ED – erection issues after surgery are temporary for most men. Don't hesitate to take advantage of oral medication such as Viagra and Cialis.
Orgasm without erection – you can experience pleasurable orgasm without an erection. During recovery, sexual pleasure is not dependant on sexual penetration.
No more ejaculation – no prostate gland or seminal vesicles means no ejaculation. Your orgasm may feel different, but it will still be pleasurable.
Leaking urine during sex – it might happen, it might not. If it does, it will likely be minor and temporary and will not harm you or your partner.
Changes in mood and libido – the psychological and physical impact of surgery can leave you tired and irritable; sex may be the last thing on your mind. Work toward intimacy, whether sex is involved or not, and desire will return.
Performance anxiety – self-esteem can take a hit during prostate cancer recovery. Talk to your partner and explore your intimacy together. Instead of worrying about what your partner will think, turn the focus on their pleasure.
With commitment to recovery and post-surgery follow-up, Dr. Samadi's patients can reasonably expect the complete return of erectile function in 12-24 months after surgery. Read more about how SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) surgery preserves sexual function better than other prostate cancer treatment methods.
Dr. David Samadi is Vice Chairman, Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. To date, he has performed more than 4,000 successful robotic prostatectomy procedures.
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