Alternative medicine (4)
- Alternative cancer treatments: 11 options to consider
- Pet therapy: Man's best friend as healer
- see all in Alternative medicine
- Paraneoplastic syndromes of the nervous system
Coping and support (8)
- Cancer survivors: Care for your body after treatment
- Cancer survivors: Managing your emotions after cancer treatment
- Cancer survivors: Reconnecting with loved ones after treatment
- see all in Coping and support
- Cancer prevention: 7 tips to reduce your risk
Tests and diagnosis (8)
- Cancer survival rate: What it means for your prognosis
- Cancer blood tests: Lab tests used in cancer diagnosis
- Needle biopsy
- see all in Tests and diagnosis
Treatments and drugs (26)
- Cancer treatment decisions: 5 steps to help you decide
- Low blood cell counts: Side effect of cancer treatment
- Cancer treatment myths: Any truth to these common beliefs?
- see all in Treatments and drugs
Cancer treatment for men: Possible sexual side effects
Find out if you're at risk of sexual side effects after cancer treatment and which cancer treatments can cause these side effects.By Mayo Clinic staff
Treatment for certain cancers can affect your sexuality, causing a range of signs and symptoms that can make sex with your partner more difficult. But that doesn't mean you can't have a healthy sex life after cancer treatment. Knowing more about your cancer treatment and how it may affect sexual function can help you find a solution if problems develop.
Pelvic cancers: More likely to cause sexual dysfunction than do other cancers
Men with cancer in their pelvic area are more likely than are men with other cancers to report difficulty resuming sex after cancer treatment. Sexual side effects are most common after treatment for:
- Bladder cancer
- Colon cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
Older men are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction after cancer treatment. That's because most older men, including those who haven't had cancer, will experience difficulty with sex at some time. So older men who've had cancer treatment may experience sexual side effects related to aging, rather than treatment. Or they may find that cancer treatment accelerates the sexual side effects associated with normal aging.
Erectile dysfunction: Most common sexual side effect of cancer treatment for men
A number of sexual side effects can occur as a result of cancer treatment, including:
- Inability to achieve or maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Difficulty climaxing
- Orgasm without discharge of semen (dry orgasm)
- Weaker, less satisfying orgasms
- Loss of interest in sex
- Pain during sex
- Less energy for sexual activity
- Feeling less attractive
Not every man with cancer will experience sexual side effects. Your doctor can discuss the level of risk you may encounter for your specific type of cancer and treatment.
Cancer can cause sexual side effects if the cancer involves sexual organs. Sexual difficulties can also result from side effects of cancer and its treatment, such as fatigue, pain or anxiety about your treatment. In addition, depressed feelings about having cancer could cause a loss of libido. Sometimes emotional factors may have sexual side effects in addition to the physical changes you undergo during treatment.Next page
(1 of 2)
- Sexuality and reproductive issues (PDQ) patient version. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/sexuality/patient. Accessed April 7, 2011.
- Male sexual dysfunction. Lance Armstrong Foundation. http://www.livestrong.org/Get-Help/Learn-About-Cancer/Cancer-Support-Topics/Physical-Effects-of-Cancer/Male-Sexual-Dysfunction. Accessed April 7, 2011.
- Sexuality for the man with cancer. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/PhysicalSideEffects/SexualSideEffectsinMen/SexualityfortheMan/index. Accessed April 7, 2011.