It has been proven that cancer treatments can play a major role in your sexuality. To some, these treatments might change their body image which, in return, would affect how they feel about themselves sexually.
However, since every individual has diverse sexual needs, it is difficult to tell how cancer can affect your sex life and sexuality. To shade more light on this topic, here is a list of cancer treatments that can cause variation in the recipients’ sex life.
Pelvic Cancer Treatment:
Men suffering from pelvic cancer find it difficult to resume their sex life after their treatment. Moreover, older men who have been subjected to pelvic cancer treatment experience more side effects compared to their younger counterparts. Nevertheless, doctors argue that dysfunction in older men is not necessarily caused by cancer treatment, but it could be triggered by old age.
Here are some of the side effects caused by pelvic cancer treatments:
- Erection dysfunction
- Climax problems
- Dry orgasm – orgasm without the release of semen
- Deteriorated sex urge
- Feeling pain during sex
- Self-esteem issues, for example, feeling less sexually attractive
Now, having known the side effects that come with cancer treatments, let us delve into some of the common cancer treatments that may trigger them:
Firstly, it is important to know that blood flowing to your penis is controlled by pelvic nerves. So, if you are having surgery around the pelvic region, the surgeon in charge will be careful not to damage these nerves. This is because a damaged pelvic nerve could result in erection problems.
There are several surgical procedures that are done around the pelvic areas, for example:
- Bladder surgery
- Rectal and colon surgery
- Prostate surgery
- Penis and Lymph nodes surgery
Medical research shows that radiotherapy performed on male-pelvic-cancer patients can lead to erection problems; radiation damages the pelvic nerves blocks the blood flow to the penis and suppresses the levels of testosterone in your body.
- Hormone therapy
There are some instances when pelvic cancer spreads to the prostate and the doctors decide to lower the levels of testosterone hormones through orchiectomy, which is the process of removing testicles or still put you under medication. This therapy could cause low libido, erection dysfunction, and lack of orgasms.
Males who undergo chemotherapy during their cancer treatments may experience side effects such as reduced sexual urge and low libido during their medication period. However, these effects subside after the patient is through with the treatment.
A couple of these side effects of cancer treatment may disappear in a few weeks or so, but some may take more than a year while others may be permanent. The best thing to do, as a cancer patient, is to find out what is impeding your sexual life. This may be achieved through seeking medical advice from your doctor, sharing your experience with other cancer patients, or talking to your sexual partner.