Overview: Men commonly struggle with erectile dysfunction (ED) after prostate surgery. Fortunately, there are several therapies and medication options to help men have stronger erections after surgery. Research consistently demonstrates that Viagra is the best treatment for regaining erectile function after prostate surgery. This article provides an overview of common erectile challenges after prostate surgery and the best therapies to regain full erectile function.
Worried about erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery? What about your ability to climax? Read on to learn how to overcome ED after prostate surgery with effective treatments like Viagra or sildenafil, its generic version.
What Can I Expect After Prostate Surgery?
Prostate surgeries are extremely common in the United States. This makes sense, considering approximately 1 in 7 men will experience prostate cancer in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is deadly if left untreated, so you want to catch it and treat it as early as possible.
One of the most common treatments for prostate cancer is a prostatectomy, which involves partial or entire removal of the prostate. The highest risk associated with prostate surgery is damage to nerves within the male reproductive organs. A “nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy” is commonly performed to reduce risk of irreversible nerve damage.
Your risk of experiencing common problems after prostate surgery will vary, depending on the specific surgery performed.
Common complications after prostate surgery include:
- Dry orgasm (climaxing without expelling semen)
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Formation of cysts containing lymph
- Narrowing of the urethra
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Some of these complications will only last for a short time following surgery. However, some complications, such as dry orgasm and ED, can be lifelong. You should speak with your care team to address your concerns prior to and following prostate surgery.
Can I Still Have Orgasms After Prostate Surgery?
Men who undergo transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) — usually done for a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) rather than cancer — may still be able to ejaculate normally.
But if you have prostate surgery for cancer — typically a radical prostatectomy — you will have both the prostate and the seminal vesicles removed. The prostate and seminal vesicles are responsible for producing seminal fluid expelled during climax, so you will no longer be able to ejaculate.
However, many men can experience orgasms without ejaculating. These are known as dry orgasms and are still pleasurable to most men.
Your care team can help you with any concerns or performance anxiety that arises following prostate surgery.
Am I Guaranteed to Have ED After Prostate Surgery?
Unfortunately, nearly all men who undergo a prostatectomy will experience erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery. Many men will regain their erectile function, but it takes time, often a year or more after prostate surgery, even with medical treatment. Some men develop psychologically induced ED prior to surgery due to the stress of diagnosis and anxiety surrounding performance.
The less your nerves are damaged during prostate surgery, the more likely you are to see improved erectile function within your first year after surgery. For example, men who undergo a nerve-sparing prostatectomy are 40 to 50 percent likely to regain their pre-surgery erectile function. And approximately 60 percent of men will regain their pre-surgery function within two years after surgery.
Erectile function is a complicated process that relies on both physiological and psychological mechanisms to function properly. If you have other chronic conditions, such as diabetes or severe anxiety, you are more likely to experience challenges in regaining your pre-surgery erectile function. Taking proactive measures to improve your erectile function will help you to see better results after surgery.
How is ED After Prostate Surgery Treated?
Treatments for ED after prostate surgery range from simple to intensive. Many of the treatments that aim to treat ED can also help to alleviate related sexual dysfunctions or side effects stemming from prostate surgery.
These treatments include:
- Injection treatments
- Lifestyle changes, such as diet or exercise
- Pelvic floor therapy
- Prescription lifestyle medication, such as Viagra
- Surgical implants
Prescription medications, such as Viagra, are often the first line of treatment for ED after prostate surgery. However, some men cannot take prescription medications or may have experienced greater nerve damage during surgery. If you fall into this category, you would likely benefit from more intensive treatments, such as injection therapies or surgical implants.
All men can benefit from healthy lifestyle changes to improve overall health and sexual function. Men living with chronic conditions that contribute to ED are most commonly prescribed a combination of lifestyle and medical interventions to treat their ED. Your medical provider can help you to determine the best treatment for your condition and your lifestyle.
What is the Best Treatment for ED After Prostate Surgery?
Prescription medication is the most commonly prescribed treatment for ED following prostate surgery. Medications like Viagra and its generic, sildenafil, are often the first treatment recommended because they are highly effective at treating ED. In fact, close to 75 percent of men who undergo treatment for prostate cancer report improved erectile function after taking oral medications for ED.
Research has consistently demonstrated Viagra to be the best treatment option for most men who undergo prostatectomy. Men who need more intensive therapies may also benefit from a combination of treatments, such as Viagra plus a penile pump. These medications and therapies are only available by prescription or under the care of a doctor.
Where Can I Find ED Treatment Today?
Viagra (or sildenafil) requires a prescription, but you don’t have to wait to access treatment. Safe and effective treatment options for ED are available online. You can choose from a variety of prescription lifestyle medications that suit your specific needs with our services at eDrugstore.com.
Once you have found the treatment that is right for you, we will issue a prescription and deliver your medication right to your door. Speak to a medical provider by calling 1-800-467-5146, or browse your treatment options by visiting our erectile dysfunction page today!
Shelby is a public health professional with research and field experience in sexual and reproductive health. She holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).