All treatments for prostate cancer cause side effects. Urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction are two of the most common side effects. Erectile dysfunction also referred to as impotence is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficiently firm enough to engage in sexual intercourse. The possibility of being rendered impotent is one of the most common and terrifying aspects of prostate cancer surgery and other treatments used to treat prostate cancer. Erectile dysfunction in particular negatively affects men and typically causes them to feel a great sense of loss in addition to experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
Men lose a great part of their self-esteem and are often embarrassed and feel humiliated when they are unable to perform sexually. In addition to having low self-esteem they begin to question their manhood. The feeling of inadequacy due to erectile dysfunction also creates a negative impact on many non-sexual aspects of a man’s life. It can negatively impact their friendships, families and workplace life.
They can stop enjoying hobbies that they regularly engaged in. One man talk about how loved playing drums. He had been playing in a band for fun, but it was also a part-time job. Once he realized that he was impotent he stopped going to rehearsals and showing up for performances. He didn’t talk to any of the other members of the band. Also, he was less effective on his primary job. He also became angry over the least little thing with his wife and children.
He soon sunk deeper and deeper into a severe state of depression. Desperate for help his wife was able to convince him that he needed professional help. He sought the services of an excellent psychologist and was after some time able to resume a normal life. He soon returned to his normal healthy mental state and resumed his band activities.
Erectile dysfunction is a treatable medical condition with various options available such as medications, surgery and non-surgical methods. All of these methods are available to help men suffering with erectile dysfunction and the methods chosen are successful with many of them. However, these treatments also have major side effects. Therefore, men should carefully discuss all treatment options with their physician before making a decision. Two non-surgical methods to treat erectile dysfunction are medications and the vacuum constriction device.
There are popular prescription medications on the market that offer some level of success with erectile dysfunction. Your physician must determine if your medical condition will permit you to take these medications safely. However, these medications do not work for all men. Some men have to take more than the prescribed amount of medication in order to obtain an erection. Even with all of this some men who do achieve an erection cannot hold it long enough to have sexual intercourse. A few of the side effects of prescription medications are:
1. Sudden blindness or vision changes
2. Heart attack or irregular heartbeat
3. Chest pain or shortness of breath
4. Feeling light-headed of fainting
5. Ringing in ears or sudden hearing loss
Men who don’t like the idea of using prescription medications or surgery to obtain an erection can consider a vacuum constriction device also referred to as a vacuum pump. This device consists of a plastic tube that fits over the penis, a pump attached to the tube and a soft elastic support ring. It works by creating a vacuum around the penis which naturally forces blood into the penis thereby creating an erection mechanically. The penis pump comes with a support ring which must be placed around the base of the penis to hold the blood in the area allowing the man to sustain an erection. This is a safe way for many men to deal with erectile dysfunction without the use of drugs or surgery.
Men should be aware that there is a recovery time after prostate cancer treatments before they can begin to have sexual relations. This recovery time will vary depending upon the individual and their overall health condition. Professional health care professionals are helpful in guiding men through this process as well as helping those who suffer with stress, depression or anxiety. As a result, many men are able to successfully cope with their situations.