Can Anything Be Done For Erectile Dysfunction Caused By Prostate Cancer Treatment
Yes, there are things you can try if you have erectile dysfunction after your prostate cancer treatment. You should keep in mind that the following things will affect your ability to have an erection after your prostate cancer treatment:
- How good your erections were before your treatment
- Other medical conditions you have like high blood pressure or diabetes
- Some types of medicines you may take such as medicines for high blood pressure or antidepressants
- Things you do in your life such as drinking or smoking
- Your age
- The type of prostate cancer treatment you had
It is important that you and your partner speak with your doctor or healthcare team about what you can do. Your doctor or healthcare team will speak with you about what might work best for you if you have erectile dysfunction. It is important that you speak with them since some treatments for erectile dysfunction can affect other medical problems you may have.
Types of treatment for erectile dysfunction include:
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What Is The Importance Of Preserved Erectile Function
In considering the impact of the various treatment approaches for prostate cancer on their quality of life, many patients place paramount importance on the possibility of retaining natural erectile function. This matter is frequently important to young men who by age status are more likely to have intact erectile function than older men however, for all men having normal preoperative erectile function irrespective of age, preservation of this function is understandably important postoperatively.
How Prostatitis And Other Prostate Problems Can Ruin Your Sex Life
4 min Read Time
You hear a lot about sex when it goes right you hear practically nothing about sex when it goes wrong.
For men struggling with prostatitis a condition where the prostate becomes inflamed or irritated or other prostate problems, the implications for your sex life can be startling.
How Common Is Prostatitis?It’s the most common urinary tract condition for men under 50. 2 million US men visit healthcare providers about prostatitis every year.
The prostate gland helps sperm travel during ejaculation and is part of the male reproductive system, explains the National Library of Medicine .
Common prostate problems, according to the National Institute on Aging, include:
- Acute bacterial prostatitis: Starts with a bacterial infection in the prostate
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis: A recurring infection
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia: Enlarged prostate but not cancerous
- Prostate cancer
When something goes wrong with the prostate, it can wreck your sex life. For example, chronic symptoms of prostatitis can lead to sexual dysfunction, including painful ejaculation or even a drop in libido, says the National Cancer Institute.
Here are other ways prostatitis and other prostate problems can put a cramp in your sex life and what treatment options are available.
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How To Manage Erectile Dysfunction During And After Prostate Cancer Treatment
The ultimate goal of both surgery and radiation therapy for prostate cancer is to remove as much of the cancer as possible while maintaining a patients desired quality of life.
Remember: your ideal treatment plan should be unique to your situation. Thats why its so important to get a second opinion and consult with an expert team of medical professionals including urology, radiation oncology, and other specialists.
If youre looking for a doctor and want to discuss your options for treatment as well as possible side effects you can expect, feel free to use our free doctor finder tool below:
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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Prostate Cancer Definition Symptoms And Complications
What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is a small gland in the male reproductive system that produces seminal fluid. The prostate is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
Cancer beginning in the prostate occurs when abnormal cells begin to grow out of control in the prostate tissue, often first detected as an unusual lump in the tissue. The tumors beginning in these organs can spread to lymph nodes, tissues and other organs in the lower abdomen as the cancer progresses.
After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among people assigned male at birth and one of the leading causes of cancer death among men in the United States. This is largely because many prostate cancers are detected late, when treatment is most difficult. With early detection, prostate cancer is very curable.
The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. Regular screenings are vitally important. Screening also increases the likelihood of catching prostate cancer in its earlier stages, when it is easier to treat.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
- Frequent urination
- Trouble starting the flow of urine
- Trouble emptying the bladder completely
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesnt go away
Common complications for prostate cancer include urinary incontinence, metastasis and conditions involving the function of the penis, such as erectile dysfunction .
Other Diagnostic Tests And Procedures
Other diagnostic tests , such as uroflowmetry and cystourethroscopy, have been used in patients with LUTS. However, their reliability varies considerably, making it difficult to base a diagnosis solely on the results of these techniques. However, they can be used in conjunction with digital rectal examination to estimate prostate volume, although prostate size does not have a significant bearing on the degree of obstruction or symptoms. Postvoid residual volume also has a high degree of intrinsic variability, which limits the value of this test.
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Lifestyle And Diet Root Causes Of Bph And Ed
The root cause of erectile dysfunction, whether it comes as a result of BPH or not, is almost always a blood circulation issue.
To achieve a satisfactory erection, a man must have relatively decent blood circulation throughout his body. The penis becomes erect through a series of neurological and physical processes.
The neurological process occurs in the brain when the man becomes sexually aroused. It initiates physical, sexual arousal, which then triggers the process of inflating the penis with blood to achieve a sufficient erection.
However, if arteries are clogged with plaque deposits, they certainly cannot deliver adequate blood flow to the penis for an erection. Thus, the erection is either weak, subsides quickly, or is non-existent. The most common circulatory issues that cause ED include but are not limited to the following conditions:
- High Blood Pressure
- Excessive alcohol use
- Cardiac Insufficiency.
Any effort to improve symptoms of either BPH or ED must address the circulation issue if there is to be any degree of improvement. Note that BPH is not included on the list above because it usually occurs in a combination of one or more of the other listed items.
Contrary to popular belief, erectile dysfunction is not a benign condition. An erection is wholly dependent on good blood circulation. The penis requires unimpeded blood circulation to produce an erection for sexual activity.
How Enlarged Prostate Impacts Sexual Function
An enlarged prostate is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia . Its an issue where your prostate, while not cancerous, is enlarged giving you the typical urination symptoms.
- Dribble after your done
- Feeling of not getting it all out
Any of these has the ability to reduce confidence when it comes to sexual performance. However, most of the problems would be fear and psychological worry about potential pain which are very real issues.
There are a number of potential remedies for reducing and improving BPH. Sexual activity is one of the many home remedies for an enlarged gland.
However, if remedies dont work, prostate reduction surgery is an option. And here is where potential erectile issues show up. The surgery leaves scar tissue . In certain scenarios this tissue causes increased difficulty in getting an erection.
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Enlarged Prostate And Erectile Dysfunction
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. The prostate gland continues to grow throughout a manâs life, so, commonly when men get into older age, they may start experiencing urinary issues due to this enlargement. The enlargement of the prostate itself is unlikely to cause ED problems, but some of the medications or therapies used to treat it may lead to erectile disruptions.
âCertain medications like alpha-blockers or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are commonly used to treat BPH, and they may have the side effect of erectile dysfunction in users.
If you are using these medications for your BPH and developed ED after starting your treatment, you may be able to speak with your doctor about other treatment options that have less risk of ED.
If oral medications fail to help with your BPH symptoms, a doctor may perform a surgical resection of the prostate to help with your BPH. Sometimes this procedure can lead to ED in a small percentage of men.
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Enlarged Prostate And Ejaculation
It is unlikely that BPH on its own will cause problems with ejaculation. However, some of the treatments used for managing the symptoms of BPH can cause ejaculatory dysfunction. Many of the common BPH treatments, such as finasteride and dutasteride, can trigger issues with ejaculation, including a total inability to ejaculate or retrograde ejaculation, where the ejaculate goes into the bladder rather than out of the penis.
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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.
Enlarged Prostate Tied To Sexual Dysfunction
Urinary Tract Symptoms May Be Associated With Erectile Dysfunction
The study shows that urinary tract problems caused by an enlarged prostate, such as getting up many times during the night to urinate, may be associated with erectile dysfunction and other problems relating to sex in older men. They say these two extremely frequent conditions may share a common cause.
Researchers say lower urinary tract symptoms become more common as men age and their prostates enlarge . Meanwhile, problems with erectile dysfunction also become more prevalent in older men, affecting more than 100 million men worldwide over age 65.
But researchers say few studies have looked at whether the two issues are related or simply a by-product of age.
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Why Is Rehabilitation Important
Whether you are single, or in a relationship, you should have the opportunity to discuss penile rehabilitation with your doctor or specialist nurse. Self pleasuring is important for many people and this can play a part in rehabilitation. This might help to give you confidence and to become aware of the changes that your treatment might have caused.
It might still be worth talking to your doctor even if you are not sexually active, or dont plan to be. This is because penile rehabilitation has benefits in terms of keeping the penis healthy.
Ideally, rehabilitation should start soon after your prostate cancer treatment, or in some situations before treatment. For example, you should start rehabilitation within 3 to 6 months of starting hormone therapy or radiotherapy. Or within the first 3 months of surgery to remove the prostate gland.
How Does The Treatment For Bph Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Alpha-blockers including alfuzosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin and silodosin relax smooth muscles, especially in the bladder neck and prostate which can improve urine flow. However, while they can be helpful in relieving BPH symptoms, in some patients they may also cause unwanted side effects such as impotence , dry orgasm , and a decrease in the production of seminal fluids.
5-alpha reductase inhibitors
Research has shown that men who take these drugs for an enlarged prostate could be at higher risk for sexual problems, especially erectile dysfunction , low libido, and trouble ejaculating.
5-alpha-reductase inhibitors represent a type of drug that is used to treat both BPH and androgenic alopecia . Two examples of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors are dutasteride and finasteride. These drugs are considered safe and effective for these two conditions, but they could have sexual side effects.
In a study published in 2016 by the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Chinese researchers analysed seventeen studies on 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and sexual function. The study included almost 17,500 men with an average age of 60 years. About 55% of men were treated with 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors while the rest received placebo.
Another study performed by the researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine showed that ED associated with long term use of finasteride for the treatment of BPH appears to worsen.
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Can An Enlarged Prostate Cause Ed
While an enlarged prostate does not cause ED, some BPH treatments may affect the ability to keep an erection, so its important to talk to your doctor to understand possible BPH treatment side effects.
Certain BPH medications may cause decreased sex drive and ED as a side effect.4 For instance, studies have shown a connection between certain anti-testosterone drugs and ED.5 If BPH symptoms continue even after medication therapy, your doctor may suggest a surgical treatment to remove the extra prostate tissue causing your BPH. However, surgical treatment also comes with side effects. A common surgical treatment, transurethral resection of the prostate , has also been shown to cause ED in a small percentage of men.5
You and your doctor may discuss a minimally invasive BPH treatment option, Rezm Water Vapor Therapy. Rezm Therapy treats the cause of BPH by using the natural energy stored in water vapor to remove the extra prostate tissue that is causing urinary issues while preserving sexual function. A five-year clinical study showed that men who had treatment with Rezm Therapy for their BPH did not suffer any procedure-related ED.6 It also showed that the quality of life improved for those men who had Rezm Therapy.6 Learn more about how Rezm Therapy works.
Luts And Sexual Function
LUTS associated with BPH are often accompanied by sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory problems. Interest in sexual intercourse declines with severity of LUTS. Men with more severe LUTS have significantly lower libido, greater difficulty maintaining an erection, and lower levels of sexual satisfaction than men with less severe LUTS. OLeary showed that, in men with LUTS, the severity of urinary symptoms appears to exert the greatest influence on the degree of sexual dysfunction. Burger and colleagues found evidence of a correlation between sexual desire, erectile reliability, and sexual satisfaction and the degree of baseline symptoms. According to the U.S. National Health and Social Life Survey, both premature ejaculation difficulties and ED are associated with LUTS. Frankel and colleagues reported that men with storage-related complications from LUTS, particularly incontinence, had approximately twice the probability of experiencing sexual dysfunction, especially impotence, as men without such complications. It is unclear whether the sexual dysfunction that occurs with LUTS is due to sleep disturbance, anxiety, or a physiologic effect. The impact of ED the emotional distress that often accompanies it must be differentiated from LUTS, highlighting the need for several different diagnostic tools when evaluating a patient.
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