Healthy Living

Is There A Link Between Erectile Dysfunction And Prostate Cancer?

Is There A Link Between Erectile Dysfunction And Prostate Cancer?

Is There A Link Between Erectile Dysfunction And Prostate Cancer?

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer creates a sense of confusion and fear in many men. It is a condition that causes the growth unwanted cells on the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a gland located around the urethra. It is responsible for the production of semen.

When you have prostate cancer, the condition can inhabit the body for a long time without showing any symptoms. However, the condition has been misattributed to a number of other causes. Some have believed that the condition is a curse, sexually transmitted and a bringer of erectile dysfunction.

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If you are worried about prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction, here is what you need to know.

Erectile dysfunction refers to the incapability to have and maintain an erection during intercourse. Prostate cancer has been known to have an association with erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction appears as an unwanted side effect of treatments for prostate cancer. This depends on the type of treatment you are undergoing and your personal level of health.

Does Prostate Cancer Cause Erectile Dysfunction Directly?

Prostate cancer does not directly lead to erectile dysfunction. The treatments involved in dealing with prostate cancer are the main causes of erectile dysfunction. These treatments cause impotence but on different scales, with some causing it earlier than others.

The intensity of the erectile dysfunction is dependent on the type of treatment used.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy involves use of strong beams of energy to destroy cancer cells. Erectile dysfunction resulting from this type of treatment is slow and it normally begins around 6 months after treatment. This is because the energy beams used during treatment can sometimes affect neighboring cells to the prostate.


The type of surgery done to treat prostate cancer is usually dependent on the stage of the cancer.

The extent of the erectile dysfunction, on the other hand, is not only based on the stage of the cancer or the type of surgery but also on the skill of the surgeon.

Surgeries that involve nerve-sparing techniques offer better chances of recovery from erectile dysfunction than those that don’t. Drugs can also be used to improve the odds of recovering from erectile dysfunction. Dry orgasms can also be experienced after a surgery, in which an ejaculation produces very little semen.

Dealing with Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a very traumatizing experience for any man. Since different prostate cancer treatments can cause erectile dysfunction in different ways, it is advisable that you thoroughly consider the treatment options and their side effects before undertaking any treatment.

There are various ways in which men who have erectile dysfunction can deal with the problem:

  • Injecting medicine into the penis before intercourse. These are type of medicines meant to increase blood flow into the penis, hence maintaining an erection.
  • Getting penis implants.
  • Taking oral drugs such as Viagra before sexual intercourse. These are drugs that boost your erectile period during sex.

The Bottom Line

Although prostate cancer treatments can cause erectile dysfunction, the different types of treatments discussed above can help deal with the problem. However, should the problem of erectile dysfunction persist, it is recommended that one visits a doctor as soon as possible for further tests and advice on other treatments.