Sexual side-effects of metastatic prostate cancer treatment

Mature couple laying in bed

Treatment can affect your sex life in different ways: 

Hormone therapy: Erection problems and lower sex drive, due to having less of the male hormone testosterone.

Radiotherapy: Erection problems, producing less or no semen at orgasm. Uncomfortable ejaculation.

All treatments: Having prostate cancer can affect your desire for sex and your performance in other ways too. You may be stressed, depressed, very tired or less confident because of your cancer diagnosis. You may also have other side-effects from treatment or physical changes to your body that make you feel differently about sex. 

Treatments to help with erection problems (erectile dysfunction)

Not every man wants treatment for erectile problems. Some men accept the changes in their body and don't feel the need to get treatment. For other men, finding a way to treat their erectile dysfunction is very important. There is no right or wrong way to react – just the way that feels right for you.

The treatment options for erectile dysfunction include tablets, pellets that go into the eye of your penis, injections and vacuum pumps. 

We have more information on these and other treatments for sexual side-effects, including erectile dysfunction.

Hints and tips – Sex after metastatic prostate cancer treatment

  • Give yourself time to recover, and don’t rush into sex if you don’t feel ready. 
  • It may help to talk openly to your partner or a counsellor about how you’re feeling. 
  • Talk to your specialist nurse if you’re worried about your sex life or sexual side-effects. You don’t need to feel embarrassed. She will be happy to talk to you and give you advice.

Will treatment affect my fertility?

Most treatments for prostate cancer are likely to cause infertility. This means you will be unable to father a child in the future. If it is important to you, talk to your doctor about this side-effect before your treatment. If you are having sex and you are fertile, you should use a reliable method of contraception during and for some time after treatment.

For more information

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