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Coping With Impotence From Prostate Cancer Treatment

The emotional impact impotence can have on a man can be devastating. Commonly men feel anger, frustration, sadness, or a lack of confidence. However, over the last few years many advances have been made to treat impotence.

Prostate cancer treatments may place you at risk for temporary or permanent impotence. As of now there is no way to determine who could be affected or for how long prior to treatment. Even in the best conditions, 10% of patients may be impotent afterwards. If you were potent prior to prostate cancer treatment than your chances of remaining potent afterwards outweigh those who were impotent.

Under normal circumstances when you start to get an erection blood will flow into the chambers of the penis. While aroused, the body does not allow blood to flow out of the penis. However after you receive prostate cancer treatment this process may no longer function appropriately. When damage has been done to the veins or nerve pathways to the penis, you are not able to experience an erection. Impotence is the inability to obtain and maintain an erection satisfactory for intercourse. This occurs more frequently in patients who have undergone prostate surgery, radiation, therapy, and cryotherapy. Hormone therapy that does not cause impotence may change sexual desire by eliminating testosterone, a hormone that controls male sexuality.

There is an enormous difference between what people sexually need and their capacity to be satisfied. Often men with impotence will avoid sexual contact, causing their partner to feel rejected or inadequate. When couples realize that intimacy can be central to a relationship, sex no longer plays such an essential role. Intimacy can be cognitive or intellectual where two people exchange thoughts, share ideas, and enjoy similarities and differences between their opinions. It can be experiential when couples are mutually involved in activities. It becomes emotional when two people share their feelings and empathize with each other. Also intimacy can be sexual when two people engage in any form of sensual expression, including but not limited to massages, cuddling, or being stroked, fondled, caressed, and kissed on various parts of the body. Some couples seek treatment together, while some men choose to tackle it alone. However if you decide to handle treatment alone please know how important it is that couples maintain communication and provide each other the support they need.

Much can be done to aid men who have some degree of impotence. Your sexuality does not have to be limited to an erection. For example the libido, ejaculation, and orgasm are parts of the process that are invaluable and may be overlooked. Not being able to have an erection does not mean you can’t enjoy sex and experience orgasm. Nor do you need sexual intercourse in order to have love. For some patients, building an intimate connection with their partners is far more gratifying. Nonetheless if you wish to experience an erection there are treatment options available, including drugs for impotence, penile injections, vacuum erection devices, penile implants, urethral suppositories, and sex therapy. Be sure to investigate all treatments for impotence and talk to your doctor to decide which one will benefit you the most. Keeping a positive attitude will help you on the road to recovery.

** WARNING: You should not take impotency treatments if your doctor has not diagnosed you as impotent because treatments may be dangerous to your health. **


Mechanics of Erection
Oral Drugs for Impotence
Penile Implants for Impotence
Vacuum Erection Devices for Impotence
Penile Injections
Urethral Suppositories for Impotence
Sex Therapy


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