Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sex vs Prostate Surgery

                                                Sex Vs Prostate Surgery

On my website, whereisyourprostate.com I asked men what's the worst life change brought about by surgery. While my sample is still small, I believe I'll have the same results when a thousand men respond. The majority of men list erectile dysfunction as the worst life change.

It will take determination and persistence to treat ED during the 18-24 months it will take for the nerve bundles to heal. Unfortunately many men are so embarrassed by this problem, so they refuse to seek medical help. Other men become so depressed regarding their inability to have an erection, they withdraw, both physically and emotionally from their spouse.  

For those of us determined to resume sexual intercourse after surgery despite erectile dysfunction, we will land in one of two groups. The first group of men will respond to ED medication. The second group consists of men who will not respond to any ED medication.

I landed in the second group of men. My experiences with penile injections are detailed in my soon to be released book, I Left My Prostate In San Francisco-Where’s Yours?
After penile injections mysteriously stopped working, I switched back a second time to ED medication hoping to find one that would work.

Finding the correct medication was a long, difficult and painful challenge. There are side effects to each medication that can make sex very unappealing, undesirable, and something to avoid.  For example, one brand gave me such a painful migraine headache, that I swore I'd give up sex forever before  I'd ever take that medication a second time. Another medication gave me such severe back pain that I couldn't walk the next day without using a cane. This was another unacceptable side effect. A third medication caused nighttime stuffiness that made it difficult to breathe at night. Antihistamines were of little or no help. Each time I'd take this medication I knew I'd be up more than once during the night struggling to breathe.  If that wasn't bad enough, success was not guaranteed.  Sometimes I'd achieve a usable erection, other times I wouldn't. There was no way to know in advance, whether the medication would work, or fail.

My confidence in the bedroom plummeted to zero. The association between sex and pleasure dissolved. The only thing I knew for certain after taking ED meds was I'd be up multiple times during the night struggling to breathe.  Rather than anticipate sexual experiences with pleasure, I wanted to avoid them like the plague.

Physically, I shut down. I purposely avoided all forms of physical affection. Holding hands, hugging, kissing, all were things of the past. I didn't want any reminders that I lost my ability to become aroused. I felt as if I'd become a eunuch. I'd lost both my desire and ability to experience sexual intercourse. I became deeply withdrawn and depressed. This had an awful effect on my sense of manhood, my self-esteem and my marriage.

Most men believe like I did, that the battle was primarily against prostate cancer. I had no idea another and just as challenging a battle was on the horizon. Finding a satisfactory and mutually enjoyable post surgical sex life was more difficult and took longer than the battle against prostate cancer.

For men and couples struggling to find a way to enjoy post surgical sex, know the path your on is difficult. Embarrassing, as this is to talk about, it’s important to find other men and couples further along the journey. I found on-line support groups vitally helpful. So much so, that I began one for men coping with post surgical issues. It’s located at:
http://whereishisprostate.freeforums.org/index.php

It's new, but up and running. You can be one of the first to join me in discussing these and other post surgical issues.