Going through a radical prostatectomy can be traumatic both mentally and physically. It may be several months before you’re open to thoughts of sex. When you are ready, a common question many men have is: Can you get an erection after prostate removal? The answer in most situations is yes! Here, we take a look at realistic expectations and options going forward to reclaim the sex life you want.
Whether it’s performed as a nerve-sparing or non-nerve-sparing operation, sources say a radical prostatectomy can cause nerve damage because of the stretching, cutting or heat during surgery. This can make ED after prostate cancer highly likely.
Understanding this, as your body recovers, it can help to reconnect with your partner and explore other ways to spice up your sex life after the experience of prostate cancer.
Keep in mind that sex involves more than just penetration. Sex is also about intimacy, connection, and sharing an experience together. Use this time to explore other ways of having “sex,” including touch, massage, oral sex, or even good old-fashion making out. You’ll delve back into areas you may not have thought of since the early days of your relationship.
Along with keeping the emphasis off sex, it’s also helpful to remember that there are three parts to a male orgasm. The first involves secretion from the testicles, prostate and seminal vesicles, and the second involves ejaculation and contraction of the pelvic floor muscles.
Experts emphasize that there is a third part, involving the brain’s processing of incoming sensory signals from the penis and pelvic area that contribute to the mental experience. Based on this—just like you can have an erection without an orgasm—you can also have an orgasm without an erection.
As you explore other forms of intimacy, take the opportunity to experiment. Sex “as you’ve always done it” may be off the table for a while. Use this time to think about sex in ways you’ve never done it. Take a trip together to an adult store. Try games, role playing, or even adult films.
Finding a tool for recovery.
When nerves surrounding the prostate have been damaged or stretched, it’s important in recovery to start getting oxygen to the region and strengthen the penile tissues. That’s why many men have positive results with vacuum therapy or a penis pump.
With a penis pump, you can provide that oxygenation, and you can practice getting erect by experimenting with the pumping style and vacuum suction, which can help enable sex after radical prostatectomy.
With this device, a penile tube is placed over the penis and secured at the base. Then a pump creates a vacuum suction that mimics the process your body goes through when it is aroused. It draws blood into the penis creating an erection. Once your erection is achieved, a constriction ring or penis ring is placed around the base of the penis, holding the erection in place.
The penis pump is used by many men even if they haven’t undergone prostate cancer treatment or experienced signs of erectile dysfunction. They experiment with a pump because it creates new sensations in their erection, orgasm, and ejaculation. It lets them reach new levels in rigidity and longevity. In addition, a penis pump is a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction, like making lifestyle changes or removing foods men should avoid from your diet.
These are additional benefits of a penis pump:
It can aid in penile recovery. Implementing a rehabilitation process using a penis pump can help reverse the damage caused by prostate removal. The pump increases blood flow and oxygenation, strengthening the penile nerves and tissue and restoring the erectile function.
It can give you an opportunity to practice. Heading straight to sex after radical prostatectomy will probably be ambitious. But with a penis pump, you can not only focus on penile rehabilitation, but also get used to stimulating and maintaining an erection on your own terms, without an audience. You can experiment with different size penis rings and various pumping styles. You can reacquaint yourself with the feel of arousal and engorgement.
It can give you confidence. As you rebuild penile performance, the penis pump also helps you rebuild your confidence. It allows you to practice how to attain an erection, and how to operate the pump when and if you want to use it with your partner. With practice on your own, this can be done with style, and it can add excitement to your regular routine. You may find that your lovemaking skills for sex after prostatectomy are better than they were before the procedure! This makes a penis pump one of the ideal ways to spice up your sex life.
It can be fun for your partner. Couples also like the penis pump because of the penis ring feature. The ring constricts blood in the penis, making the erection last longer. In addition, many penis rings come with additional features that encircle the testicles, or that vibrate or stimulate the clitoris of your partner at the same time.
So, can you get an erection after prostate cancer? The answer is yes! By following our Comprehensive Guide to Sex after Prostate Cancer and by exploring other forms of intimacy, rethinking your orgasm, and getting extra support from a tool like vacuum therapy, you can be on your way to regaining the sex life you love. To learn more, browse our blogs.