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02/12/2012 08:40 AM

Libido - anyone having issues post surgery?(page 2)

Posts: 202

When I posted my question, I was well aware that the state of my mind has allot to do with my libido. Websters defines it as ": instinctual psychic energy that in psychoanalytic theory is derived from primitive biological urges (as for sexual pleasure or self-preservation) and that is expressed in conscious activity" Since I know some of you are in supportive relationships, I wondered how the other side was fairing. To use the metaphor/pun, the needle on the barometer showing us sexual arousal was damaged during treatment, but as I have read in some of your posts that has not killed the intimacy you experience with your wife/partner, it has just complicated it.

Elkhunter asked what happened to to the visual stimulation? I have tried to look at porn as means of being aroused, but nothing happens both physically and psychologically, is it that the feedback loop of physical sensations is not there? Not having an intimate situation, I have used porn with the pump and even PED5 meds found I got a better erection, so there something still to be said about head/mind part.

Before surgery, I did my homework and my doctor was also very clear about what he called wining the Trifecta and quality of life issues. Number one was curing the big C, number 2 was UI, and number 3 was ED; he told me the statistics as have been listed in other posts that winning the trifecta as in horse races was a long shot but that there were options. I came into surgery with premature ejaculation and stamina problems, which I too know have psychological component. What I get is that like everything in life, attitude will play a major role in my recovery/rehabilitation. As Henry Ford said, whether I think I can or I think I can't, I am right. So I agree with Kapm, the silk boxers are a great place to start... may the Mojo be with you all.

Post edited by: paperplane, at: 02/12/2012 08:49 AM

Post edited by: paperplane, at: 02/12/2012 08:50 AM


02/15/2012 02:31 PM
Posts: 125

Paperplane - I had the robotic surgery 30 months ago and did not have any problems with leg hair. I commented to my cousin which had the open surgery 12 years ago, and he said he lost his lower leg hair after surgery, and has still not had it grow back.

In regards to libido, I have found that mine is stronger thatn before the surgery, however, I am only able to achieve erections every two or three times of trying. Not sure why it is so hit and miss, but do make the best of it when everything works.

05/06/2012 09:34 AM
Posts: 7
New Member

I'm close to making the RS decision over Cyber Knife. For me my sex drive was always better when I was relatively stress free. I was always satisfied with one shot and never a guy who would go 3 or 4 times. I guess luckily my wife is the same way. Since my diagnosis it's been like " what sex - I want to live." As for the hair on my legs, I'm 60 now and starting losing that hair at about 53. I just try to tan them in the summer and don't look in the winter.

05/06/2012 09:53 AM
RickRed40Posts: 865


Had surgery never heard of the "leg hair" issue. Believe me that would be the least of your problems.

Some men go through surgery, regain urinary control and erectile functioning within a month.

Then you have guys like me:

1. Went through 15 diapers a day for 3 months.

2. Painful bladder spasms (well controlled with medication)

3. ED lasting more than a year

4 Still wearing a pad 1 year later

5. Leaking urine during all phases of sex 1 year later

One thing you will lose with surgery and it's 100% certain you will. That's the experience of ejaculation. Orgasms are dry, no fluid.

I'm surprised this isn't talked about more, I don't know about most men, but I miss that.

These are important things to consider as you think about surgery as your treatment option.

As far as libido goes, mine went down once I was dx with cancer. So far down it dropped to the lowest levels in my life. It hasn't returned, but I can't blame the surgery since this was a pre surgery event. I don't know what the scientific literature says about this, but if you google the topic you'll find many men complaining about this. I tend to think there is a strong psychological element to this since levels of testosterone actually increase once the prostate is removed. So from a hormone standpoint you'd expect a man's sex drive to increase after surgery.

I think issues with leaking urine and unreliable erections tend to cause men to shy away from the experience. It takes a lot conversations and a loving and supportive partner to re-establish a sex life after surgery.

Post edited by: RickRed40, at: 05/06/2012 09:54 AM

05/07/2012 06:56 AM
Posts: 699


I have had the pleasure to speak with several women who have had treatment for breast cancer. It seems to be a common thread that they speak of "learning" how to have sexual relations after treatment. Their bodies have undergone radical changes. This seems to really impact their "self image"

I can see how this is similar to what many men experience. Looking down at your penis and seeing that it is smaller, or bent in a particular direction.

Like you said, a "strong psychological" factor rears its ugly little head.

I think this is a time when we really find out that sex is so, so so much

more that "tab A in slot B". As we age we find we are not the willing and able teenagers we once were. The physical act can become more difficult, and we are reluctant to learn about the emotional act. Our "self image" that we used to carry in our briefs or boxers is now carried in a diaper.

The up side to this is that there are alternatives, if you are willing to learn and try. It will never be what it used to be. Sometimes it is close, other times it a 180 degree turn. It is just another part of our treatment. We have to make another choice. Just like our PCa we can't wish this problem away. We have all read that PCa is a "game changer."

Welcome to the new game with new rules.

05/07/2012 07:17 AM
RickRed40Posts: 865


New rules can be very good! I think it would be very useful to have all men with prostate cancer answer the following questions:

1. Were you adequately prepared prior to surgery for the changes surgery would bring to your sex life?

2. What issues were not discussed?

3. Did anyone tell you the probability of facing a severe depression when you lose urinary control and erectile functioning is near 100% and that you'll need help and support to get through those phases?

05/07/2012 09:29 AM
Posts: 699


I would add,

Have treatments for worst possible case scenarios been discussed?

( ED IC )


05/08/2012 05:58 AM
Posts: 23

I think that the issues that Rick has asked all men to answer should be set out on the table the very first time you talk to a doctor about pc. I think it's the doctor's that should have these answers ready to inform us. I too was not informed enough about depression, leakage and ED. As a matter of fact, the doctor just said that there is less than 5% of men that have problems after the surgery with ED or leakage let alone depression. I was never told that I will never be able to ejaculate again and being only 57 and having a real good sex life with my wife, I was very depressed about all this issues. I will say that I have finally stopped leaking and if I do the injections, I will get hard and I have learned to use the injections with much less pain than when I first started using the injections. I still hope that one day I won't need the injections anymore but right now, with out them, I can't get hard enough to have sex. And then, I was never told that that my penis would shrink about an inch. I may not have the smallest penis but I really can't afford nor would I want to lose any length of my penis and than have it bent or turned sideways. I really think that the doctors should tell you all these things and not candy coat them. Put it all on the line and let us make a better decision as to what we want to do. I think if I knew all these things up front I may not have been so depressed. Knowing is everything so my advise to anyone would be to get on a support group like this and read about other people's issues before you go into this very hard, depressing life change. It sure has changed my life in every way. I pray that you have a good success in your recovery and I pray that you will find the peace in God that only He can give.

05/08/2012 06:21 AM
hollywoodmarkPosts: 867

Yes, Richie, I think that urologists really need to start being more honest about the challenges of ED post-treatment. Perhaps they're afraid men will postpone, or opt against, treatment if they know.

The urology department where I had my surgery and get my follow-up care has recently added a psychologist--presumably to help deal with some of these issues. It's a good idea, but it doesn't let the urologists off the hook. They must be more forthright about these problems and work harder to help us solve them.

05/08/2012 06:42 AM
RickRed40Posts: 865


Very well said. I had my surgery at UCSF. I'm aware there are lots of support groups available, but I live 90 miles away from UCSF and I would have to miss a days work to attend anything there.

No one mentioned the possibility of becoming severely depressed and it only takes one issue to bring on depression, so that even if you gain urinary control back quickly but it takes 18-24 months for erections to return, that alone causes depression, add on leaking or loss of urinary control and the overwhelming majority of men will face depression after surgery.

This is so common it should in my opinion be something that states on the consent for surgery and discussed at length prior to surgery. This lack of info is the very reason I will be publishing a book dealing with these issues.


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