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How To Treat Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Surgery

How To Treat Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Surgery

Prostate surgery is challenging enough. But to make matters worse, such an operation may impact one’s sex life. The prostate is a vital part of the reproductive system. It’s responsible for producing fluids that carry sperm. 

So when the prostate is affected, this can lead to conditions like erectile dysfunction. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. There are ways to bring back erectile function to your penis. In this post, we’ll talk about some of the prostate erectile dysfunction treatment options available to you.

Common Reasons for Needing Prostate Surgery

First, let’s discuss some of the reasons why someone might need to have prostate surgery. 

The two most common culprits that require surgery are prostate cancer treatment and prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia). 

Cancer.org estimates that there will be about 248,530 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2021. The CDC states that aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men in the US.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, on the other hand, affects about 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60 according to NIH. The Urology Foundation says that it will increase to 90% for men 80 years old and above.

Both conditions might require partial or full removal of the prostate otherwise known as a prostatectomy. There are several reasons why a doctor will recommend prostate surgery:

  1. To treat your condition
  2. To maintain urinary continence
  3. To reduce possible side effects
  4. To get rid of any discomfort you might feel

But just as important, a doctor will have you undergo surgery to regain sexual function. Simply put: Surgery will help with sexual stimulation and bring back erectile function. 

Does Prostate Cancer Cause Sexual Dysfunction?

enlarged prostate erectile dysfunction treatment recovery

Oftentimes, the cause of erectile dysfunction is not prostate cancer itself but the treatments you take to cure it.

Prostate cancer treatments like radical prostatectomy—which is the removal of the entire prostate gland—or radiation therapy as well as hormone therapy can all cause men to develop erectile dysfunction.

Here’s how each treatment can impact your ability to have sexual intercourse:

  • Radical Prostatectomy — When you have radical prostatectomy, you’ll immediately feel the effects of erectile dysfunction. There are two types of radical prostatectomy. One method will spare the nerves while the other one doesn’t. With the former, you’ll likely recover from ED in about a year. The latter procedure might cause permanent ED though there are a few cases where the patient regains erectile function.
  • Radiation Therapy — With radiation therapy, ED will occur a couple of years down the road. It typically happens two to three years after treatment. It should be noted that without ED treatment, it will become permanent.
  • Hormone Therapy — This therapy works a bit differently. ED sets it two to four weeks after the start of the treatment. However, it’s worsened by the accompanying decreased desire to have sex. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent ED as well.

Even if you don’t undergo surgery (radical prostatectomy), other forms of treatments can still lead you to experience erectile dysfunction.

How Long Before You Regain Erections After Prostate Surgery?

There’s no definitive answer about how long erectile dysfunction recovery takes following prostate surgery, as it will depend on your specific case. 

For some men, they could experience erections after several weeks. But there are cases where it takes a lot longer before they could enjoy having sex again. 

Unfortunately, it’s also possible for men to never get an organic erection again. But in these cases, they can take medications or use vacuum erection devices (or similar gadgets).

If you were already showing signs of ED before your prostate surgery, you’ll continue to experience it post-operation.

What Can You Do to Treat Erectile Dysfunction Following Prostate Surgery?

The best thing to do is to consult a doctor after your surgery. 

Doctors can do blood tests, check for high blood pressure, and observe your blood flow. If you’re experiencing penile pain and other symptoms that might affect your sexual desire, they’ll know how to address it.

So if you’re looking to have regular sexual relationships, you should know that there are ways around it. By taking the appropriate steps, it’s still possible to have and maintain an erection after prostate cancer treatment.

As mentioned earlier, prostate cancer patients will be given different treatments by their doctors. A doctor will look at factors like your age, the medicines you’re taking, what prostate treatment you’ve had, and what pre-existing conditions you have on top of prostate cancer like diabetes.

Your doctor will also look at your lifestyle. If you’re a heavy smoker or drinker, for example, then you might be asked to stop.

Contact a Men’s Medical Clinic for Specialized Erectile Dysfunction Treatments After Prostate Surgery

medical clinic consultation specialized ED treatments following prostate surgery

There are many different enlarged prostate or prostate cancer treatment options available today. 

The most common postoperative erectile dysfunction treatments often include oral medications, penile injections, and the use of medical devices. Other possible treatments include HGH therapy and low-testosterone therapy.

It’s important that you consult with a doctor to learn how to manage your unique sexual dysfunction issues such as ED after having prostate surgery. A trained physician can help you prevent—if not treat—ED symptoms.

The medical professionals at Proactive Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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