It can be very depressing for you if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and as a result of your treatment, have to combat impotence as well. You have feelings of inadequacy and feel as if you have lost your manhood.
Prostate cancer treatment has been known to cause impotence. This is because the prostate gland is in close proximity to the nerves that control and enable erection and any nerve damage sustained during surgery or radiotherapy can cause penile dysfunction. You should therefore discuss about the chances of developing impotence with your oncologist before you start your prostate cancer treatment.
Fortunately, many of the impotence cases that are caused by prostate cancer treatments are only temporary. Normal erections do return within 6-12 months. Even so this is a long time to be impotent and many men worry how their inability to have sex will affect their relationships. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer and your chosen form of treatment is known to affect the functioning of the penis, then you must talk to your partner and explain that it is what you want to do. You really should have little to worry about as most partners would prefer you to be alive and impotent than not alive at all.
There are drugs available that can cause an erection and these can be prescribed until normal functioning returns. Talk to your doctor about this and find out if there are any side effects from taking the tablets.
Alternatively you and your partner can find other ways to pleasure each other so that sexual intercourse is no longer the main part of your sex life.
In addition to impotence there is a chance that your prostate cancer will also make you sterile. The prostate gland adds the fluid part to semen and so removal of the gland means that ejaculate is no longer produced. This makes it virtually impossible to impregnate a female as the fluid is needed to carry the sperm. This complication should also be a factor when considering which prostate cancer treatment to choose, especially if you are still young and want children in the future.
Sterility is often only temporary with radiation and chemotherapy treatments for prostate cancer however surgery to remove the entire gland will ultimately result in permanent sterility.
Discussing the various options with your partner will help to put things in perspective. Your prostate cancer affects her as much as you. So you should not remain silent about your suffering. It is crucial that you talk about your prostate cancer treatment as you will need her support during this tough period.