Prostate cancer is abnormal cell growth that is excessive in the prostate gland. This cancer is one type of cancer in men that often occurs. The effect of prostate cancer is usually most felt when urinating. In addition, your sexual activity can also change as one of the effects of prostate cancer.
If the cancer can be detected as early as possible (when the cancer is still limited to the prostate gland) the treatment success will be higher. However, there are still other things that haunt men about prostate cancer and many of the few men whose sex lives are disrupted. What is the effect of prostate cancer on someone's sex life? Find out the explanation below.
Effects of prostate cancer on male sex drive
Prostate cancer can actually affect male sex. This happens when cancer begins to be treated and men get certain treatment, which might cause extinguishing sex drive.
Generally, hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer can also affect libido or male sexual appetite. In order for the cancer not to grow more malignant, this treatment will also reduce testosterone levels in your body.
In fact, men need testosterone to have a healthy sexual drive. Hormone therapy can also affect body weight, or gain weight or cause male breast tissue to enlarge.
If your hormone level is low, your doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy to return it to normal levels. However, again this depends on your overall cancer treatment plan.
How does prostate cancer treatment affect male sex?
One of the unexpected effects of prostate cancer is that some men feel and see that their penis has a slightly smaller size.
This was also acknowledged in a 2013 study. The study stated that about three percent of prostate cancer patients reported that their penis size had shrunk after doing radical or radiation prostatectomy plus hormone therapy. The patients also complained and stated that their shrinking penis could affect the relationship and sexual satisfaction they did.
If you are concerned about these side effects, ask your doctor about medications for erectile dysfunction, for example like Viagra. This drug will increase blood flow to the penis, so that it can prevent the size of the penis to shrink when erect. They will also help get and maintain your erection during sex.
Talk to your partner about the effects of prostate cancer on sex
Because there is indeed the effect of prostate cancer treatment on your sex life, it's a good idea to discuss or be open to your partner. This is indeed not easy, but you can try with the following tips.
- Try taking your partner when visiting a doctor. Let your partner be part of your consultation conversation with the doctor. Thus, your partner becomes more understanding and open about sexual problems after being convicted of prostate cancer.
- Ask for help from a sex therapist or marriage counselor to deal with sex problems while doing the prostate cancer treatment you are undergoing.
- You can still and recommended to have sex with your partner through other means (without sexual penetration). For example by hugging in bed, giving genitals stimulation by hand (handjob), kissing, and massaging each other.
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