Prostate And Ed Problems: Does Prostate Cancer Cause Impotence
Prostate cancer is a serious health problem that kills around 25,000 men a year in the United States alone. Although this disease can be deadly, prostate cancer generally doesnt affect male sexual function, but the treatments can. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate and is the leading cause of incontinence and prostatitis impotence in men over the age of 50.
Some treatments for prostate cancer and other prostate and ED problems have sexual side effects. The prostate itself doesnt work to help men achieve erections. It simply produces an alkaline fluid that comprises over 50% of the seminal volume.
How Prostate Cancer Treatments Affect Erectile Function?
Prostate problems and impotence affect mens ability to sustain a satisfactory erection. Erectile dysfunction often occurs as a result of nerve damage and poor blood flow to the penis. There are bundles of penile nerves that help create engorgement of the penis, causing satisfactory erections.
Nearly all men will experience some erectile dysfunction for the first few months after prostate cancer treatment. The severity varies on factors like contributing disorders, surgeons skill, and whether radiation therapy was used.
In some cases, penile nerves are damaged during radical prostatectomy. As a result, it can severely affect sexual function and may lead to erectile dysfunction and impotence.
Here are several treatments that can result in prostate and ED problems:
The Link Between Bladder And Prostate Problems
Unfortunately, prostate issues are very common among men, and the number of those affected increase with each year. Along with prostate issues often comes Urinary Incontinence just another unfortunate symptom in an already devastating prostate condition. To better understand why men with prostate issues experience bladder problems, we need to understand the anatomy of the male body.
Risk Of Erection Problems After Robotic Prostatectomy Depends On:
- age the older the patient the more likely he is to experience erectile dysfunction after surgery. This is likely related to an underlying increased risk of vascular disease that occurs as people age. Vascular disease may be subtle enough not to manifest itself in other ways.
- diabetesmen with diabetes are at higher risk for erectile dysfunction. The stress of surgery to remove the prostate may tip the balance over and lead to the earlier manifestation of the underlying problems that predispose to ED.
- hypertension erectile dysfunction is a known problem in men with high blood pressure. High blood pressure affects small blood vessels that carry blood to the penis. All men with high blood pressure are at risk of developing erection problems. Prostate cancer treatment tends to accentuate the problem by affecting the nerves in addition to already affected blood vessels.
- Coronary Artery Disease heart disease affects blood vessels to the penis the same way the heart vessels are affected.
- the baseline quality of erections
- the use of PDE-5 inhibitors
- type of surgical procedure
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How May Erectile Dysfunction Affect My Sex Life
Most men find that their sex life is different after prostate cancer treatment. Some men question their manliness when they cannot have an erection or find that they are not interested in sex. This can happen even if you are not currently in an intimate relationship. You may find this upsetting. Even if one of the medications or erection aids is helpful, having sex using these things may take some getting used to. It may not feel entirely natural. You can talk with your doctor or healthcare team about these feelings. Counseling may also help.
If you have an intimate partner, it is important for you to talk to your partner about how you are feeling. There is an old saying that a problem shared is a problem halved. Not everyone wants a sexual relationship. Dont try to guess or assume what your partner wants. Have an open and honest discussion with your partner.
This may seem unnecessary in long-term relationships as people tend to assume they know all there is to know about their partner but this is not always the case. With time, you and your partner may be able to find satisfying ways to have a sex life even though you have erectile dysfunction. Your partner will also have concerns about your sex life as well as concerns about your health. Talking about your feelings is very important during this time.
What Happens After Urethral Sling Surgery
Patients usually recover from this surgery quickly. It’s best to limit demanding activities for approximately six weeks after surgery to avoid having the sling loosen before healing is complete.
After surgery, there may be swelling that makes it difficult to urinate. You’ll have a catheter coming out of the urethra for two to three days. After this, the catheter is removed and just about everyone is able to void on their own. In rare cases, the catheter may have to be reinserted for a few days or up to a week if you cannot urinate.
After the swelling goes down, youll gradually be able to urinate on your own and empty your bladder. However, your normal urination pattern may not return for a few weeks.
The majority of men who’ve had this procedure have been cured of their urinary incontinence and no longer use pads. The others usually improve to the point where they don’t use as many pads as they were before.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/31/2020.
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How Is Incontinence Treated
Your health care team can usually manage incontinence. The right treatment for you depends on what type you have, what caused it, how severe it is, and how long you have had it. You might need more than 1 treatment at a time.
Bladder training. Bladder training is a way to treat incontinence without medication. Health care providers may start with bladder training before trying other treatment options. Bladder training, sometimes called bladder retraining, can include these steps:
Learning to wait to urinate, even after you have the urge to go
Going to the bathroom at specific times
Controlling how much and when you drink and eat
Biofeedback, which uses a small device to learn to control the muscles that hold urine
Physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist can help you control your bladder. During physical therapy, you may do Kegel exercises to help strengthen the muscles that hold in urine. Electrical stimulation can also be used to strengthen muscles.
Medication. Medication that can help control your bladder includes:
Medical devices. There are medical devices that can help with bladder problems. One example is a pessary, which is worn in the vagina to support the bladder.
Estrogen cream. A vaginal cream with a low dose of estrogen can help with damage caused by menopause.
Surgery. In some cases, surgery may be needed. During surgery, a sling is placed around the bladder and urethra to keep them closed. Urine flows through the urethra after leaving the bladder.
A Primer On Prostate Cancer
Even though prostate cancer is one of the most diagnosed cancers in America, on average men have only a three percent risk of actually dying from the disease. Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate gland, the gland that produces the fluid that makes up semen. Tumors are often slow-growing and highly treatable. However, patients sometimes experience no symptoms until the cancer has spread. Thus, early detection by your doctor is important. Treatments for prostate cancer include: chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
Its important for you to get your prostate checked. The American Urological Association recommends you discuss the benefits and limitations of these tests with your doctor:
A digital rectal exam once a year after age 40, or earlier if you are having symptoms. Although some men consider this test embarrassing, it is a quick, simple procedure that could save your life.A PSA blood test once a year for men over 50 or earlier for men in high risk groups, such as African-Americans or those with a family history of prostate problems.
If you have a positive DRE or PSA, your doctor may order a biopsy to determine if cancer is involved.
Why Does It Happen
- At the point where the bladder and urethra join, there is a ring of muscles known as the bladder neck sphincter, which opens and closes like a camera shutter. The bladder neck sphincter is closed most of the time to prevent urine leaking out, but when it gets a signal from the brain, it opens to allow urine to be passed.
- If the bladder neck sphincter is damaged during prostate cancer surgery, this can lead to urinary incontinence.
- Another sphincter is part of another set of muscles below the prostate called the pelvic floor. These muscles are also involved in bladder control.
Most men regain their bladder control over time and are fully recovered within 6 to 12 months. It is important to get professional advice to help cope bladder weakness during this time.
Risk Factors For Bowel Incontinence
Muscles and nerves of the rectum and anus must work together to hold stool, signal when its full, and release the stool. There are many reasons why this may not happen. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Chronic constipation
- Constipation due to overflow that can occur when stool becomes backed up and unformed stool leaks around the blockage
- Diarrhea as a result of Irritable Bowel Syndrome , Irritable Bowel Disease , diet, drugs, etc.
- Neurological disability or nerve disorders
- Cognitive impairment
- Colo-rectal injury and surgery
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How Is Urinary Incontinence After Prostate Surgery Treated
If you find youre having issues with mild to moderate leakage after surgery, your healthcare provider might suggest starting with noninvasive therapies like medications or physical therapy exercises for the pelvic floor muscles. These treatments may also cut down on the number of times that you have to get up each night to pee.
These methods can sometimes help men who have mild to moderate leakage. Men who have persistent leakage or a more severe problem may need surgery if they do not want to continue to use pads.
Prostate Cancer And Incontinence
Incontinence the inability to control urine flow is a common side effect of all therapies directed at the prostate gland. Most patients do eventually regain complete urinary control. Exercises to strengthen the sphincter and surrounding pelvic muscles can help you regain urinary control. These are called Kegel exercises. A training program called biofeedback helps reinforce the proper performance of Kegel exercises. Medications may also help relieve incontinence. A male sling is a surgical option, as is an artificial urinary sphincter which can be surgically inserted in cases of severe incontinence. Ask your doctor about these options.
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Urinary Problems Experienced By Patients With Prostate Cancer
Patients who suffer from prostate cancer often experience urinary problems either due to the condition or to the treatment itself. The term urinary dysfunction encompasses both urinary incontinence, which can range from some leaking to complete loss of bladder control, and irritative voiding symptoms, including increased urinary frequency, increased urinary urgency, and pain upon urination. Obstruction of the bladder by an enlarged prostate is the typical reason for these symptoms initially however, after therapy, these symptoms are typically caused by damage to the nerves and muscles that control urinary control, explain the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that transports urine from the bladder through the penis. If the prostate pressures the urethra, patients may experience these urinary problems, such as trouble getting started , incomplete emptying, or a weak urine stream. In addition, surgery may damage the nerves or the bladder outlet muscle, the sphincter. According to the foundation, incontinence is the primary urinary side effect of a prostatectomy surgery to remove the prostate, while about 25% of the patients reported frequent leakage or no control and the need to use absorbent pads at six months after treatment. Radiation therapy is also known to increase urinary frequency and urgency.
Cancer Free But Incontinent
Side Effects of Treatment
Prostate cancer is not the cause of SUI, but the treatment of prostate cancer may lead to bladder leakage. A radical prostatectomy and radiation , which are common prostate cancer treatments, may damage the urinary sphincter and cause stress urinary incontinence.13 As a result, your symptoms may range from light leakage to a complete inability to control the flow of urine.
Living with Leakage
Bladder leakage may cause you to agonize over a possible accident or worry about smelling bad. Instead of giving up the activities you love, explore your options. Pads or absorbent underwear can help you manage your incontinence. A urine collection bag or penile clamp can help prevent accidental leakage. The male sling and artificial urinary sphincter are intended as permanent treatment options.
Finding the Right Solution
The truth is you may not like to wear any type of leakage protection. Pads may make you feel self-conscious. Incontinence can be emotionally and physically challenging. Even if your bladder leakage isnt severe, you may still find it aggravating. If that is the case, its time to talk to a stress urinary incontinence specialist about medical procedures that can help resolve your bladder leakage.
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Management Of Bowel Dysfunction
Short of treating individual symptoms as needed, there are few, if any, treatment options for bowel dysfunction following radiation therapy. Laser therapy can stop rectal bleeding caused by radiation. Anti-diarrheal agents can help with loose bowel movements. Increasing fiber intake through whole grains, fruits and vegetables, or fiber supplements can also help.Avoiding foods that might irritate the gastrointestinal tract is important, but complete elimination of fibrous, bulky foods can lead to constipation and straining, which in turn can exacerbate rectal bleeding.
Life After Prostate Cancer Treatment
Adjusting to life after prostate cancer treatment can take time. For some men, the emotional impact of what they have been through may not hit them until they have finished treatment. For others, working through the physical side effects is their immediate focus.
Although prostate cancer treatment can be lifesaving, it can also take a toll on the body. This can result in a disruption to normal urinary, bowel and sexual function.
Whether you have surgery, radiation or hormone therapy, you are likely to have side effects.
Its important to talk with your health care provider about these side effects before you start treatment, so you can learn about the range of options to treat them, says Anne Calvaresi, DNP, CRNP, RNFA, Urology Nurse Practitioner at the Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
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The Scrotum And Prostate Cancer
The scrotum is an external structure of skin and muscles that contains the testicles. The scrotum is an extension of the abdomen and is located in between the anal sphincter and the penis. The sperm that are produced in the testicles are sensitive to changes in temperature, so the muscles of the scrotum according contract to raise or the scrotal sac in the interest of maintaining a normal temperature. In prostate cancer hormone therapy, the testicles are removed during a procedure called the orchiectomy, also called medical castration, where a small incision is made in the scrotum. The testicles are eased out through this incision.
What Is Prostate Cancer Who Does It Affect
Prostate cancer also enlarges the prostate, due to a growing cancerous tumor within the prostate. According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting 1 in 7 men. In 2015, approximately 220,800 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. The average age of men diagnosed are 65 or older, and it is rage before age 40. The majority of men are diagnosed at age 66. Apparently the risk of prostate cancer in younger men has increased nearly 6-fold in the past 20 years.
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What Causes Incontinence After Prostate Surgery
Urinary incontinence is a potential side effect of prostate removal surgery. The prostate is located just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. Removing it, or using radiation to treat it, can sometimes cause damage to the nerves and muscles of the bladder, urethra, and or sphincter, which controls the passage of urine from the bladder. This can result in urinary incontinence.
Once Prostate Cancer Has Spread To Other Areas Of The Body It May Still Respond To Treatment And May Be Controlled But It’s Unlikely To Be Cured
But they have found some risk factors and are trying to learn just how these factors might cause prostate cells to become cancer cells. These are changes to your genetic material that happen at any time after your conception. On a basic level, prostate cancer is caused by changes in the dna of a normal prostate cell. Both prostate cancer and its treatment can cause urinary incontinence. Though uncommon, prostate cancer can be seen in men even in their 30. Six out of ten cases are diagnosed in men over 65, but less than 1% in men under 50. Researchers do not know exactly what causes prostate cancer. But inherited genetic mutations are only believed to cause 5% to 10% of cases of prostate cancer. Genetic screening is available for families who seem to share these cancers. Jun 04, 2021 · prostate cancer that spreads to the bones can cause pain and broken bones. The other type of genetic mutations are acquired mutations. Once prostate cancer has spread to other areas of the body, it may still respond to treatment and may be controlled, but it’s unlikely to be cured. Prostate cancer affects mainly older men.
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