After prostate cancer radiation, I can't get an erection or experience orgasm

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After laser beam radiation theraphy for prostate cancer, I have developed/been diagnosed with:

1. a severe case of post-radiation proctitis

2. undergone 2 argon plasma coagulation surgical procedures to stop rectal bleeding since my lower colon was adversely affected by the radiation

3. broken 2 teeth as a result of excessive dry mouth

4. been diagnosed Sjorgren's Syndrome which is being treated with oral medication

5. experienced an intense acceleration of the pain associated with my peripheral neuropathy (not associatd with diabetis; I am not diabetic)

6. begun to have intense sweatinging episodes in which I am drenched in sweat from head to toe as if I had jumped into a swimming pool. The episodes are unannounced and have happened as often as twice a day. The family doctor has made a referral to a specilist with an tentative diagnosis of male menopause.

As aggravating as all these negative side effects, I am most concerned with/confused about/frustrated with my inability to have a sexual erection and enjoy any form of sexual gratification or orgasm. It is not uncommon for me to wake up with a painful full bladder erection, but I can't experience a sexual erection. I occasionally have a twinge of sexual activity in my penis/testicles, but it is unrelated to any sexual stimulus.

Am I destined to remain sexually neutered or is there any treatment that shows any promise of improving sexual pleasure?

I am interested in how other men have been treated. I have very simple insurance through the Affordable Care Act (for which I am eternally grateful because without it I would most likely be deasimply cannd) and cannot afford any treatment not covered by insurance. If I had money, cost would not be a barrier; but since I have no money (lost everything I had in the October, 2008 crash and the Great Recession that followed), I simply can't afford anything not covered 100% by insurance.

Any suggestion or leads that I can follow up on for treatment?

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi John

    I too have Post Radiation proctitis, diagnosed 18 months after Radio Therapy. Bleeding not too bad, so Doctors say 'wait and see'.

    Are you on Hormone Treatment ? This will effect your Libido, and will remain till about 18 months after stopping Hormone Treatment. The Hormone treatment will also give you the excessive sweating - similar to females during menopause.

    UK site prostatecanceruk very informative.

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    • Posted

      No hormone treatment which is why the escessive sweating is such a concern. My therpist (a perk of the cancer treatment program at the hospital at which I underwent radiation) advised me to make an appointment with my general practitioner, which I did yesterday, but the earliest he can see me is 10 days.

      So I continue to sweat excessively. Woke up at 12:30 a.m. drenched. Have been up ever since. Sleepless night. Am irritable, which is not a part of my makeup. Grumpy at myself for being grumpy when I'm around other people. Experiencing uncharacteristic emotional fluctuations that the therapist believes is linked to male menopause; almost all the symptoms a female experiences during her menopause. My male menopause brought on by loss of 90% of prostate and hormones out of control, sorta like when I was 13-15, but without any of the pleasure boys expeience during puberty.  

      I can live with all these negateive side effects. What I am having most difficulty with is living feeling like I have been neutered. No sexual response to any of the usual stimuli for the past 45 years. (I am 61.)

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    • Posted

      The sweating and lack of libido, and perhaps the impotence and difficulty reaching orgasm, are likely the result of lack of testosterone. Testosterone is NOT produced in the prostate, so these symptoms are not likely related to your prostate radiation therapy.

      More likely, they are related to drugs you are taking. Lack of ability to ejaculate is a common symptom of drugs taken to reduce the size of your prostate. Also, you probably are taking drugs that reduce your testosterone production. Recent research shows that is not necessary except for high risk cancers. In short, you need to see a good endocrinologist, and a good oncologist, and tell them about these problems. A GP, or a urologist will not likely have a clue. Have hope. It looks like it may be possible to resolve your issues.

      Neal

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    • Posted

      Neal:

      This is the most intelligent response I've ever received. Thank you very much. I have a good oncologist but never raised any of these issues to him. I wasn't sure how to go about it. Thanks to you, I can see a way to raise these issues. I'll see what the oncologist has to say about what he may be able to do and get a referral to an endocrinologist.

      You rock and roll.

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    • Posted

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I had another idea for you to check out. The kind of sweating you wrote about can also be caused by an infection. While I still think it's more likely caused in your case by medications killing your testosterone level, it would probably be prudent to be checked for infection. A simple blood test for your white blood cell count could be run by any physician, and would easily answer that question. Hang in there. You're going to get through this.

      Neal

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the reference to anoher site. I want as much information as possible before I make a decision.

    You rock 'n roll.

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    • Posted

      Hi .First of all I'm very sorry to hear about your trials and health problems. Due to issues I've had for that past year or so..I did much Internet research

      Testosterone replacement therapy does not actually correct sever ED issues related to prostate cancer procedure

      per what I've read on credible medical sites.However penile implants have a very high satisfaction rate for those in your situation. .when medication and penis injections do not work.you just have to do your research ..pick someone who does this surgery on a regular basis.If you are in UK...GERMANY has a huge selection of Dr's who specialize in this.The states also . penile implants have progressed light years beyond where they were 30 years ago.in my case my issue is probably a long lasting infection or illness.However if in a situation resembling yours I would seriously consider it.per Dr's recommendation many insurance plans can cover it.Again...I am very sorry for your predicament and sincerely wish you the best.!

      ..

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  • Posted

    I agree with Michelle about your erection difficulty. Inflatable penile implants are absolutely wonderful. I know, because I have one. I can make love better now than I ever could before, and I am73. They consist of a pump in your scrotum, a reservoir for saline in your abdomen, and one balloon type implant on each side of your penis. When you pump this rig up, your penis stays erect like it did when you were 15, and it stays up like that until you squeeze the magic button in your scrotum. You can make love all night if you and your partner want to, and your heart doesn't give out

    I had mine done in NYC. For my money, he is the best and most experienced person doing this surgery in the country. Look him up on the Web, and you can see videos of him actually doing the surgery. If you do that, remember that you will be knocked out during the surgery, and don't panic. Let me know if you have any questions. Also search for blogs on "penile implant info".

    Neal

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