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Does Prostate Cancer Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Getting Treatment And Support

Management of erectile dysfunction following prostate cancer treatment – Dr Gregory Malone

Speak to your GP or doctor or nurse at the hospital.

Your GP, hospital doctor or nurse can prescribe treatment for erection problems for free on the NHS, whether it’s for sex or masturbation. There may be a limit on how much treatment they can prescribe, but there is no age limit.

Talking about sex

It can be difficult talking about sex, but talking to your doctor, nurse or other health professional will mean you can get treatment and support. It can also help you feel more positive and more in control.

You can ask about sexual problems at any stage – before, during or after your prostate cancer treatment. Talking about it before your treatment will mean you know what to expect and can help you to prepare to start treatments for sexual problems soon afterwards.

Your team should ask you about your erections and sex life during your treatment for prostate cancer. But if they don’t then you may need to bring it up yourself.

Not everyone is used to talking about sex. You might need to bring it up more than once, or with a different person in your team. You can also ask to be referred to an expert in sexual problems or an ED clinic – they will be used to talking about sexual problems.

Our sexual support service

Nerve Damage From Chemotherapy

Some chemo drugs like cisplatin, vincristine, paclitaxel, bortezomib, and thalidomide can damage parts of the nervous system, usually the small nerves of the hands and feet. These drugs have not been found to directly injure the nerve bundles that allow erection. But some people have concerns because the drugs are known to affect nerve tissue, and there are many nerves involved in sexual function.

Differences Between Hcp Opinions

Importantly, we found considerable differences between HCP opinions regarding lead roles in the initiation, monitoring and follow-up of ED management such confusion could easily lead to inadequate management and contradictory advice, as was evident from the mens survey results. These findings may reflect financial considerations and, in the case of nurses, whether or not they have a prescribing role. The increased role of primary care in the follow-up of patients with prostate cancer requires unified management guidelines and support from Clinical Commissioning Groups regarding GP prescribing of relevant treatments with local guidelines and shared care protocols. While urologists and specialist ED clinics were most commonly identified as being responsible for prescribing ED treatment, this management route inevitably leads to delays, due to the need for specialist referral and limited access to specialist ED clinics.

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Swollen Prostate Treatments That May Lead To Erectile Dysfunction

Managing a swollen prostate may require medication, or sometimes surgery to get it under control.

These treatments can be effective in getting the prostate to an acceptable state, but may sometimes do so at the expense of causing serious side-effects, notable of which is erectile dysfunction.

Drugs to manage benign prostatic hyperplasia like alpha blockers such as tamsulosin and terazosin, and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride and dutasteride have side effects that include erectile dysfunction.

In treating prostate cancer, procedures like a radical prostatectomy may lead to injuries of the cavernous nerve and blood cells.

This can cause ED. Hormonal therapy in the form of androgen-deprivation is also known to cause erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual desire.

Radiation therapy to treat cancer can also lead to nerve damage, which may lead to ED. There are however some promising approaches to reduce the risks of erectile dysfunction following this treatment.

In instances where ED occurs following treatment for a swollen gland, measures like the use of PDE5 inhibitors, intracavernosal injections, and combination therapy may be able to treat sexual dysfunction.

As always, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to ensure you get the best and safest advice on what approaches to consider for your specific condition.

What Causes Prostate Enlargement

Janet Farrar Worthington

Multiple factors cause prostate enlargement. Documented causes include specific medications, some of which are commonly used for prostate problems, as well dietary issues, disease processes, and hormonal imbalances.

Nutritional and dietary issues are known to be common causes of BPH. A diet heavily laden with animal fat is one of the most significant causes. Foods known to have high levels of animal fat include red meat and dairy products.

Aside from BPH, a diet high in animal fats is also known for causing cardiac problems and diabetes. Increasing epidemiological evidence suggests that these foods significantly increase the risk of developing BPH.

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How Effective Are Oral Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

  • Following surgery, up to 70% of men who have had nerves spared on both sides of the prostate will regain erections with the use of one or more oral drugs for erectile dysfunction. Results are less favorable for men who have had a single nerve spared or no nerves spared.
  • Following radiation therapy, overall, 50% to 60% of men regain erections with medication. However, current data are rather limited, especially for patients treated with radioactive seed implants.
  • Hormone therapy. Men treated with hormone therapy do not respond well to any erectile dysfunction treatments, but data are limited.

Prostate Cancer And Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, is the inability to develop or sustain an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse.

Though prostate cancer is not a cause of erectile dysfunction, treatments for the disease can cause the problem. Among them:

Different treatments can lead to impotence sooner than others.

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Enlarged Prostate And Sex Drive

Although we cant say for certain that an enlarged prostate will cause erectile dysfunction or problems ejaculating, there is plenty of evidence that the condition can and does impact the sex lives of those who experience it. BPH can affect your sex drive , because you might feel generally stressed or anxious about your symptoms.

If you feel that your prostate is impacting your sex life, you should talk to your doctor.

Why Does Prostate Surgery Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction from Prostate Cancer Treatment | Prostate Cancer Staging Guide

Erectile dysfunction refers to a condition that occurs when a man cant achieve an erection or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Many factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction including problems with the nervous system, blood vessels and hormones.

There are two small clusters of nerves which control erections that are located on both sides of the prostate. These nerves may become injured during the operation. Your surgeon may also purposefully remove these nerves if thereâs a chance that the cancer has invaded them. If these set of nerves are removed, then you wont be able to become erect without being assisted by medical devices.

There is also a type of prostate surgery called nerve sparing prostatectomy, where both bundle of nerves around the prostate are avoided. However, not everyone is suitable for this surgery, and eligibility also depends on the size and location of the cancer.

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Why Can Prostate Issues Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Why are prostate conditions commonly also associated with ED? Learn more about the connection between these two conditions.

Prostate concerns commonly occur in men as they age, and the first symptoms may be difficulty urinating, or more frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

But, is there a correlation between prostate problems and developing erectile dysfunction?

Both of these conditions increase in frequency as men get older, so it is difficult to know if one is definitely correlated with the other, but there may be a few things going on when you have prostate problems that can lead to issues in the bedroom as well.

Below, we will cover just how issues with the prostate gland including benign prostatic hyperplasia , and prostate cancer may have impacts on erectile function.

Are There New Strategies In The Near Future That May Be Helpful In Improving Erection Recovery After Surgery

Neuromodulatory therapy, represents an exciting, rapidly developing approach to revitalize intact nerves and promote nerve growth. Therapeutic prospects include neurotrophins, neuroimmunophilin ligands, neuronal cell death inhibitors, nerve guides, tissue engineering/stem cell therapy, electrical stimulation, and even gene therapy.

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Other Prostate Cancer Treatments And Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the most common side effect of any prostate cancer treatment. Whether or not you develop erectile dysfunction following treatment is largely the product of the treatment you choose, the doctor who performs your treatment, and their experience. Thats why its important to carefully research and decide treatments and oncologists before proceeding with any treatment option.

Strengths And Limitations Of This Study

Jonathan W. Simons, MD
  • This is the first UK study to survey the perceptions and experiences of men with erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatment and therefore adds considerable knowledge to the field.

  • Also surveying primary and secondary healthcare professionals on the same topics revealed additional unique challenges in management coordination for these men.

  • Limitations of this study include those inherent to surveys, particularly those dependent on retrospective recall of medical treatments and services offered or received.

  • The survey sample contained a higher proportion of younger patients than the prostate cancer population as a whole, and compliance with erectile dysfunction treatment was not explored.

  • The surveys were conducted before the availability of generic/over-the counter sildenafil and generic tadalafil.

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Assessing Your Cardiovascular Health

Your GP may assess your cardiovascular health. Narrowed blood vessels are a common cause of erectile dysfunction and linked with cardiovascular disease .

Your GP may:

As well as helping to improve your erectile dysfunction, these changes can also improve your general health and may help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease .

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Erectile Dysfunction And The Prostate: What’s The Relationship


Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team Published on March 21, 2022

Did you know that 49.4% of Canadian men between ages 40 and 88 experience ED? In the United States, 52% of men experience some form of erectile dysfunction as well. Complete ED usually increases from 5% to 15% in men between the ages of 40 and 70.

Erectile dysfunction and prostate problems are common for men, especially as they get older. While the cause of ED can be physical or psychological, one factor that is often overlooked is the role of the prostate.

We’re going to explore the relationship between ED and the prostate. We’ll also take a look at what men can do to improve their sexual health. Keep reading to find out more.

In this article, we’re going to cover the following:

  • Does and How Are Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Problems Connected?
  • The Kinds of Prostate Problems That Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction
  • Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Prostate Problems
  • Can You Take Erectile Dysfunction Medications if You Are Taking Prostate Problems Medications?
  • Does Prostate Disease Medication Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
  • How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Prostate Diseases?
  • Improving Symptoms and Prevention
  • FAQs About Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Diseases

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Prostate Cancer Radiation And Erectile Dysfunction

Radiation is one of the preferred methods of treating prostate cancer. Because it is non-invasive and highly precise, radiation spares surrounding tissues better than many other treatments.

However, erectile dysfunction is still the most common side effect of prostate cancer radiation. A patients erectile dysfunction following radiation depends on a number of factors, including the amount of time following the treatment and the specific radiation treatment implemented.

Choosing Sero For Your Prostate Cancer Treatment

Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction | Prostate Cancer Staging Guide

The potential of erectile dysfunction is only one of many factors youll likely consider when deciding on a prostate cancer treatment. The cancer care teams at SERO are here to help.

Our 30+ board-certified radiation oncologists have combined decades of experience in treating prostate and other cancers. Our expertise allows us to identify the best treatment for your cancer and apply it with precision, our compassionate care teams will help you navigate any side effects and symptoms that may arise.

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Access To Treatments And Specialist Services

The finding in this study that many GPs did not prescribe treatments for ED is a matter for concern. Surprisingly, 44% of urologists did not have access to all ED treatments, despite the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance. NHS prescribing of PDE5is is often limited to once-weekly use, which may not adequately support mens needs or specialist sexual rehabilitation programme aims. Stinting on effective treatments such as PDE5is can be a false economy, potentially resulting in treatment failure and the need for expensive secondary referrals. It is hoped that the recent availability of reduced cost generic sildenafil and tadalafil, and the lifting of restrictions on its daily use, will allow more men with ED to receive early treatment.

Different Radiation Treatments And Ed

In addition to the timeline, another important factor in determining the likelihood of erectile dysfunction is the type of radiation treatment the patient undergoes. As more advanced treatments are developedsuch as brachytherapy , intensity-modulated radiotherapy , and 3-D conformal radiotherapyrates of ED decrease.

For example, only 25 to 50% of men who undergo brachytherapy experience long-term erectile dysfunction. Those who undergo traditional external beam radiation, on the other hand, experience ED at a rate of some 50%.

The experience of the radiation oncologist can also influence the likelihood of long-term erectile dysfunction in patients. More experienced radiation oncologists are able to deliver more precise radiation and spare surrounding tissues, protecting delicate blood vessels and nerves and preserving erectile function.

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Sexual Side Effects Of Treatment

Nearly all of the major treatment options for prostate cancer carry a risk of developing sexual side effects. In some of these cases, these side effects may be temporary, especially for those utilizing hormone therapy, while others may be potentially permanent, such as after surgery. If you havent started treatment yet, you can talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding sexual side effects. If possible, they may be able to help tailor your treatment plan to your specific worries and goals. For example, if you are a younger man who would still like to have children, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy over external radiation that could permanently damage your sperm. What your options are and the side effects you are at risk for are dependent on your personal history and the extent of your cancer.

How Long Does Ed Last After A Prostatectomy

Prostate cancer symptoms: Patient CURED after Proton beam therapy ...

Erectile dysfunction affects almost all men within the first months of a prostatectomy. Most, though, will experience significant improvement within a year or so. However, for some men, it may take up to two years to fully recover and have regular erections.

The risk of ED after a prostatectomy increases with age. Men younger than 50 are most likely to avoid ED or recover more quickly.

When possible, the surgeon will perform a nerve-sparing prostatectomy to spare the nerves that pass close to the prostate. Men who receive nerve-sparing surgery may still experience ED after surgery, but theyre more likely to recover erectile function within two years.

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Sex When You’re Single

If you are starting a new relationship, sexual problems and other side effects like urinary or bowel problems could be a worry. Some men worry that having problems with erections will affect their chances of having a new relationship. Fear of rejection is natural, and everyone has their own worries, whether or not they’ve had cancer. If you’re single, you may want time to come to terms with any changes prostate cancer has caused before you start having sex or dating.

Try talking over your worries with someone you feel comfortable with, such as a friend. Counselling or sex therapy may also help if you would prefer to talk to someone you don’t know.

What Causes Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Its a little hard to say for sure what causes BPH.

What we do know for a fact is that men go through two main stages of prostate growth in their lives first at puberty, where the prostate doubles in size, and then growth begins around the age of 25 and continues during most of a mans life.

BPH is known to surface in this second stage, and mostly affects men above the age of forty. Autopsy data has found evidence of the condition in about 90 percent of men above the age of eighty.

The growth of the prostate in this second stage may be linked to androgens in the body. Men produce testosterone throughout their lives. They also produce estrogen the female hormone but only in small amounts.

When testosterone levels drop as they inevitably do with age a higher proportion of estrogen may remain.

This increase in the ratio of Estrogen or its receptors to testosterone may directly and indirectly affect the growth of prostate cells.

Another possible cause is DHT or dihydrotestosterone. This male hormone is a bit of a villain. It is a major cause of alopecia in men, but is however useful for the development and maintenance of the prostate.

Unfortunately, this role can be dangerous for the adult prostate, as DHT can cause excessive growth.

BPH may also result when there is an imbalance between the production and death of prostate cells. When the imbalance is in favor of cell proliferation, it can lead to BPH.

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