Sexual wellbeing and intimacy after prostate cancer treatment

Prostate cancer and treatment may cause changes to your sexual health and wellbeing. Many people wonder if it will be possible to have sexual pleasure and intimacy after these changes.

Sex after prostate cancer treatment

Some common questions are:

  • Will I have erectile dysfunction?

  • Will I be able to orgasm?

  • What will my partner think about me?

  • What if I don’t have a partner?

All of these thoughts are normal, and the good news is that having prostate cancer and treatment doesn’t mean the end of your sex life. Some individuals (and couples) will have temporary problems that recover over time. Others will be able to find sexual satisfaction with the help of different approaches and support from their partners. This will take patience and persistence, but it’s worth the effort.

It's important to know that not all individuals and couples choose to engage in sexual activity after prostate cancer and treatment. It's up to you (and your partner) to choose the ways in which you enjoy pleasure and share intimacy.

Sexual
wellbeing

You may notice a change in your sexual wellbeing and sense of sexuality after having prostate cancer and treatment. Sexual wellbeing and sexuality are important parts of who you are. It’s one of the ways you can express yourself as an individual or in a relationship. It’s not just about the physical; it’s about your thoughts, feelings and beliefs as well. Recognising these changes can help you to move forward in your sexual health and healing.

Explore and experiment

After prostate cancer treatment, exploring new ways of having sexual pleasure and intimacy will help you to overcome sexual changes. If you have a partner, plan time to talk and listen to each other about any changes in your sex life.

It’s important to acknowledge that sexuality has changed for the both of you. This may not be something you have done before and it can be difficult at first. Some couples find it helpful to write their thoughts in a letter at first, or seek support from a professional (such as a counsellor).

Set realistic expectations
for sex after prostate cancer

Remember, you must keep realistic expectations about your recovery. If you’re overly optimistic, or too much in a hurry, you may feel disappointed. Expect that there may be some disappointments, yet there will also be successes.

We know that this can be a stressful time that brings up many questions. In particular, some individuals question their manhood and sense of self. We’re here to help you understand how to work through it all and still enjoy sexual intimacy and pleasurable moments. Sexual recovery is a journey that takes time.

Additional
Resources

Sex and relationships after prostate cancer diagnosis
Guidance on managing sex and relationships
Relationship support
Find a counsellor or sex therapist in Scotland
Find a counsellor or sex therapist in the UK
Find a specialist to help with sexual problems
Talking to your partner about sex
Support for partners

What's next?

Now that you've read up on Sexual wellbeing and intimacy after prostate cancer treatment, here are some related articles to explore as you continue to build your knowledge and understanding of this topic.
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