Prostate cancer and your sex life

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Entornointeligente.com / ONE OUT of seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, making it the most common cancer in men. Treatments like surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy remove or destroy the cancer. However, all of these treatments can have sexual side effects. This can include trouble getting an erection, having an orgasm, and fathering children.

Prostate cancer may dampen your sex drive. Knowing that you have cancer and going through treatment can both cause you to feel too anxious to have sex.

Hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer can also affect one’s libido. This treatment slows prostate cancer growth by lowering testosterone levels in your body. You need testosterone to have a healthy sex drive. It can also affect your self-esteem and sex drive by making you gain weight or causing your breast tissue to enlarge. If your hormone levels are low, your doctor may be able to prescribe testosterone replacement therapy to bring them back up to normal. This depends on your overall cancer treatment plan.

Some men notice that their penis is slightly smaller after prostate cancer treatment. In a 2013 study, about three per cent of participants reported that they had a reduced penis size after radical prostatectomy or radiation plus hormone therapy. The men said their smaller penis affected their relationships and their satisfaction with life.

For men who do experience this, the change in size is generally half an inch or less. This decrease in size may be due to tissues shrinking in the penis. These tissues may shrink because of nerve and blood vessel damage.

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