A prostatectomy can save your life if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, but it can come with E.D. as a side effect. This article can help shed some light on your options after a prostatectomy to continue having a healthy and happy sex life.
April 12, 2023
Dr. Vipul Khanpara, MD
Chief Medical Officer & Medical Contributor for Rugiet Health
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If you had a prostatectomy and you are now having trouble getting or staying hard, you are not alone. Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect of the procedure. A prostatectomy is a surgery that partially or entirely removes the prostate gland to treat localized prostate cancer. Understandably, it will take some time and intention to heal from a major change to your body. Just know, this does NOT have to mean the end of your sex life.
While there are undesirable side effects of a prostatectomy — erectile dysfunction among others— the procedure can save lives. It is still one of the safest ways of treating diseases affecting the prostate. Through treatment plans and some patience, there are ways to get partially or fully back to normal.
How Do Prostatectomies Cause E.D.?
Put simply, during surgery, there is a lot of tugging and pulling going on around some sensitive nerves. And while the rest of your body (and mind) might feel ready to have sex again, your nerves may not be quite there yet. Have patience with yourself and know that with time, they can re-heal. Many men have reported returning to normal performance within one to two years.
During a nerve-sparing prostatectomy, there may be some “mechanically induced nerve stretching that may occur during prostate retraction, thermal damage to nerve tissue caused by electro cautery (essentially, tissue soldering) during surgical dissection, injury to nerve tissue amid attempts to control surgical bleeding, and local inflammatory effects associated with surgical trauma” (HopkinsMedicine).
In English, the nerves and blood vessels that allow the penis to become erect (neurovascular bundles), which run on either side of the prostate, become damaged during the procedure.
While less common, it is also possible that you may experience what is referred to as a ‘dry orgasm.’ In other words, you no longer produce semen. This tends to occur in men who receive a radical prostatectomy, which removes a part of or the entire prostate, the organ that produces semen. This is a permanent change, but most men report simply adjusting to this new kind of orgasm. You can still become erect, ejaculate, and fully enjoy sex with this side effect.
Although you may not bounce back to 100% functionality, there are options to help you out with that aspect.
How Can I Treat E.D. After A Prostatectomy?
After a prostatectomy, there are a myriad of holistic and pharmaceutical interventions that can help get you back to a thriving and healthy sex life.
Here are your main options:
While traditionally sildenafil or tadalafil pills have been the first stop for treatment, they might not always be the last. If they do everything you need them to do, then keep doing what works. If not, then you have more options before going straight to injections.
If pills don’t do the job, Rugiet Ready is a non-invasive next step. Although, you can choose to bypass the pills in the first place and go straight to Rugiet Ready.
“I am recovering from prostate cancer- 2.5 years ago. It's been a struggle. But I am 90% back. It was worth it when considering the depression, I was dealing with. No longer. And the [Rugiet Ready] results last for 2 days. Far better than just Viagra or Cialis.” -Terry S., 64
Penile injections are a way to treat severe E.D. It requires injecting yourself before intercourse or sexual activity. This is an effective treatment when oral pharmaceutical intervention isn’t working. If you need this level of intervention after trying Rugiet Ready and discussing it with your Rugiet doctor or urologist, you should go forward with it.
There are some cases where severe E.D. is not responding to the treatment options listed above. This is usually the point where people opt for a surgical penile implant.
Every day, the experts at Rugiet Health talk to people who experience E.D.because of a prostatectomy. We are proud to say we hear many success stories from these members who say Rugiet Ready is their preferred treatment for E.D.
In combination with pharmaceutical treatment, many doctors will recommend making healthy lifestyle changes. We fully believe pharmaceutical treatments work best when taken in conjunction with holistic changes to your lifestyle, whether that is through increased exercise, healthier diets, or fully accepting E.D. and its impact on your life.
The journey to full recovery after a prostatectomy requires resilience —which we know you have. As with all surgeries, it is essential to take care of your overall health to prevent further complications, so make sure to discuss all concerns with your doctor before beginning any kind of treatment.
There is a long list of medications that cause sexual dysfunction as an unwanted side effect. Find out which ones might be causing your symptoms so that you can talk with your medical provider about available solutions.