After receiving treatment for prostate cancer, some couples go through a time when they don’t feel comfortable engaging in sexual activity. In some cases, they try to have sex again, but erectile dysfunction makes it difficult for them to regain an active sex life. This can be a troubling issue for couples.
Jacek Mostwin, MD is an expert at Johns Hopkins working at the Brady Urological Institute. He offers advice to couples struggling with sexual health issues after prostate cancer in a report titled Sexual Intimacy & Prostate Cancer. Some key highlights from his findings are included in this article. Couples can use this information to help regain normal sexual relations.
In general, most men feel sensitive about sexual health issues. If a man frequently has trouble getting an erection, he might view it as a total disaster. As a result, many men with erectile dysfunction avoid sex completely. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanks to advancements in medicine, erectile dysfunction is a treatable condition.
There are a variety of treatment options to consider, including surgery and prescription medications. However, it’s also important for couples to address existing intimacy issues. By themselves, erectile dysfunction treatments can only do so much to restore healthy sexual function. Intimacy is a critical part of a man’s emotional health and sex life.
Many men prefer not to talk about highly personal issues like sex. They also tend to be more aloof when it comes to their feelings. This is particularly true when a man also suffers from erection problems. Men with erectile dysfunction may feel embarrassed, frustrated, guilty, or angry. They worry about disappointing their partners. Many men fear that erectile dysfunction makes them less of a man. If not addressed, these feelings can lead to trouble in a relationship.
When couples have sexual problems, they often lack intimacy. They may have trouble working out conflicts and resolving arguments. Without the deep emotional connection that intimacy provides, couples cannot easily share their feelings. That’s why it’s important to address these issues directly. Couples can work together to find a mutually satisfying solution to their problems. Intimacy is a vital part of a functional and satisfying relationship.
So, what should you do? It’s never easy to admit that you need help. Talking with your partner is the first step. It will take time and effort to make changes. However, working with your partner will make the process easier. Try to be completely honest about how you feel. Take the time to fully communicate your sexual needs and desires so that your partner can understand.
At the same time, it’s important to be compassionate. Talk about the positive aspects of your relationship. Be sure to give your partner plenty of compliments. No one likes to be criticized, especially when it comes to sex. Try not to make your partner feel vulnerable and defensive. If you and your partner continue to have intimacy problems, it may be time to consult a qualified counselor.