Erectile Dysfunction Solution (after prostate cancer treatment): Q&A with Melissa Hadley-Barrett
Melissa Hadley-Barrett: Hi, I’m Melissa Hadley-Barrett, a certified sex therapist and relationship counselor. I’m here to talk about erectile dysfunction, or ED, and how it can be treated after prostate cancer treatment.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s also one of the most treatable. But one of the side effects of prostate cancer treatment can be erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or keep an erection. It can be a side effect of surgery, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy. It can also be a side effect of certain medicines used to treat prostate cancer.
ED can be a very difficult side effect to deal with. It can affect your self-esteem, your relationship, and your quality of life. But there are treatments that can help.
There are three main types of treatments for ED:
- Oral medicines. These are pills that you take by mouth. They include sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis).
- Injections. These are medicines that you inject into the penis. They include alprostadil (Caverject, Edex) and papaverine (Pavabid).
- Implants. These are devices that are surgically placed into the penis. They include inflatable implants (such as the AMS 700 Penile Inflatable Prosthesis) and semi-rigid rods (such as the AMS Ambicor Penile Prosthesis).
Your doctor will likely start with oral medicines. If they don’t work, he or she may move on to injections or implants.
There are also other treatments that can help. These include:
- Vacuum devices. These devices are placed over the penis. They use negative pressure to draw blood into the penis. This can cause an erection.
- Penis pumps. These are devices that are placed over the penis. They use positive pressure to draw blood into the penis. This can cause an erection.
- Muse. This is a medication that you place under the skin of the penis. It causes an erection.
- Testosterone replacement therapy. This is a treatment for men who have low levels of testosterone. It can be given as a shot, a patch, or a gel.
You and your doctor will decide which treatment is best for you. It depends on many factors, such as the type of prostate cancer treatment you have had, your age, your overall health, and your preferences.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for ED. But there are treatments that can help. If you have ED, talk to your doctor about the treatment options.
Melissa Hadley-Barrett, Certified Sex Therapist and Relationship Counselor