Sex and a healthy physical relationship are extremely important for a relationship; however, radiation therapy can develop multiple sexual problems. These problems develop as a result of lower abdomen pelvic radiation. Remember that certain cancer treatments can impact your sexuality, generating a variety of indications and symptoms that can make having sex with your partner more difficult. But it just doesn’t wipe out the possibility of a healthy sex life following cancer therapy.Understanding more about your cancer treatment and how it may influence sexual function will assist you in finding a solution if issues arise.
Can Pelvic Cancers Cause Sexual Dysfunction Than Are Other Cancers?
Men with malignancies of the pelvic region are more likely than men with other tumors to have trouble resuming intercourse following therapy. The following are the most prevalent sexual adverse effects after treatment for:
After cancer therapy, older men are more prone to have sexual dysfunction. That’s because older guys, even those who haven’t had cancer, will have sex problems at some point.
As a result, older men who have undergone cancer therapy may develop sexual adverse effects related to aging than treatment. Alternatively, people may discover that cancer therapy hastens the sexual adverse effects of regular aging.
Most Common Sexual And ED Side Effect Of Cancer Treatment
Several sexual side effects can occur as a result of cancer treatment, including:
- Erectile Dysfunction, in other words, inability to maintain or even achieve an erection.
- Difficulty in climaxing
- Dry orgasm or climaxing without semen discharge.
- Weak and unsatisfactory climax
- No bodily inclination for sex
- Plain or blood while ejaculation
Every man with cancer does not experience radiation therapy sexual side effects. Your doctor will talk with you about the level of risk you might face due to your cancer and treatment. If cancer affects the sexual organs, it might induce sexual side effects. Cancers that do not damage the sexual organs can impact your sexuality by altering your body image, making you feel less attractive, or causing exhaustion or sadness, all of which can lead to a decrease in sex interest.
Side effects of cancer and its therapy, such as exhaustion, pain, or anxiety about your treatment, might cause sexual issues. Depressed sentiments about having cancer may also lead to a loss of libido. In addition to the physical changes you go through throughout treatment, emotional variables can sometimes have adverse sexual effects.
How Cancer Treatments Affect Your Sexuality
All cancer treatments, be it surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, and medications, can cause sexual side effects:
Nerves control blood flow to your penis in your pelvic area. Your surgeon must work carefully to avoid injuring nerves if you have a tumor in your pelvic area that needs to be removed. A severed nerve might cause erections to be weaker or impossible to perform.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of procedures, including:
- Colon and rectal surgery: If you are suffering from colon or rectal cancer, you may require surgery called abdominoperineal resection to remove your lower colon and rectum.
- Bladder surgery: A radical cystectomy procedure for bladder cancer involves removing the bladder, prostate, upper urethra, and seminal vesicles.
- Prostate surgery: You may consider radical prostatectomy to remove your prostate and seminal vesicles if you have prostate cancer.
- Penis surgery: Though unsure and rare, penis surgery can remove all or parts of the penis or penectomy. It is an option for people especially suffering from penile cancer. If the penectomy is partial, you might still achieve an erection.
- Pelvic Lymph node removal radiation: Surgery to remove many lymph nodes in the pelvic area (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection) may be used in men with testicular cancer or certain sarcomas.
The question now arises can cancer cause erectile dysfunction? Newer nerve-sparing surgeries are less likely to induce erectile dysfunction, yet whether you’re a candidate depends on the size and location of the malignancy. If the surgeon removes all the malignancy, nerve damage is unavoidable in some cases.
Men who have a nerve-sparing prostatectomy may experience transient erectile problems, but men who are not eligible for the operation may endure persistent erectile dysfunction.
If your nerves are injured during surgery, you may have a dry orgasm, which is an orgasm without ejaculation of sperm. Men’s cancer therapy sexual side effect of cancer treatment for men in which the semen your body generates does not leave your testicles or is pushed into your bladder (retrograde ejaculation).
Some men claim that a dry ejaculation feels the same as a wet one and that their partners don’t notice or care. Other men, on the other hand, report that their dry orgasms are weaker or less enjoyable than their orgasms before surgery.
Furthermore, some procedures may necessitate the insertion of a hole (ostomy) that permits feces or urine to collect in a bag attached to your body. You may feel self-conscious and unsightly while wearing an ostomy bag. Self-esteem can be brought back to normal with the help of ostomy therapists and tailored attire.
Radiation to the pelvis has been linked to erectile dysfunction, while the reason for this is unknown. Radiation can harm neurons in the pelvic area, impede blood supply to the penis, and lower testosterone levels in the body. Radiation’s negative effects appear six to twelve months following therapy.
The number of radiation you receive and how much of your pelvic area is treated determine whether you develop erectile dysfunction as a result of radiation therapy — a higher level of radiation over a larger area of your body is more likely to induce sexual adverse effects.
Erectile dysfunction may be more common in men who smoke or have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes after radiation therapy. These disorders may have already caused arterial damage, which the radiation may exacerbate.
The semen ejaculation might decrease after you undergo radiation therapy. Remember that you might feel a little pain during ejaculation but it will go away. If it is persistent, speak with a doctor.
If your prostate cancer has spread, your doctor may remove your testicles (orchiectomy) or treat you with drugs to lower the hormone testosterone level in your body.
Testosterone is a fuel source for some prostate tumors. Your doctor aims to slow or stop the progression of your cancer by reducing your testosterone levels. Men with big prostate malignancies may be given hormone therapy before surgery to reduce the prostate and make it easier to remove.
Hormone therapy is the most prevalent cause of libido loss; however, it does not affect everyone. Some guys experience a strong desire for sex but are unable to obtain an erection or reach orgasm. Hormone medication seems to produce fewer sexual side effects in younger men. Hormone therapy can also cause you to ejaculate with less semen.
Following chemotherapy, you may have a loss of libido and trouble achieving an erection. Several chemotherapy medicines reduce the amount of testosterone produced by your body. Within a few weeks of finishing treatment, you should be able to resume sexual function.
Chemotherapy can make you tired, make you bleed more, and make you more susceptible to infection. Your doctor may urge you to avoid sexual activity during this period, or you may not feel the desire for sex.
Men’s sexual function has been documented to be hampered by a variety of drugs. Regular use of pain relievers might lead to sexual dysfunction. A huge variety of drugs used to treat cancer’s adverse effects can also have an influence on sexual function. Check with your doctor to examine if any of your medications are causing you to have problems with your sexual function.
A woman undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment is likely to have concerns and questions regarding her libido and sexual behavior. Women with cancer frequently struggle with their body image, have reduced desire for sexual intimacy, and/or have painful penetration during the sexual engagement. Sexuality is a normal and necessary part of life. You should not be afraid to express your emotions or ask concerns about how cancer therapies affect your sexual health. This article tries to answer some of the most often asked questions, although it cannot possibly cover all of them. Discuss your specific circumstances with your health care providers, just as you would with any other problem. Visit University Cancer Centers and book an appointment with cancer experts