Prostate Cancer: sex drive after surgery or other treatments

Posted by john57 @john57, Feb 23, 2020

hello everyone i was wondering if i could ask a group question, i had my prostate removed back in october since then i have had a lupron shot, started pt and began radiation. my question is has anyone had a decrease in sex drive? i find myself thinking about less and less. thanks in advance

@dmadi61

Good morning, I just finished 2 years of Lupron treatments. Without testosterone in your body you will experience not only less sex drive – you will have no sex drive. It is a long road for sure. Talk to your doctor about the other side effects as they arise.

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thank you dmadi61 i,m hanging in there day by day

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@pda

Hi Collen. Radiation or surgery. I'm leaning towards surgery especially if I don't have to have to have the hormone shots. Active surveillance was floated as a possible option but since have two areas with a Gleason 7 score, it wasn't reocmmended

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I had two Gleason 7s out of twelve, with 5 % of the two cores showing cancer. I opted for active surveillance for about six years, with regular PSAs and biopsies every couple of years. PSA never went over 3, and the biopsies didn't change until the last one, when only one core of 5 % was cancerous. However, a second opinion from John Hopkins thought it appeared more like an 8 rather than a seven. That was enough to move me to radiation, which I completed in January, 2019, without apparent complications. So far, everything seems good – all but the sex drive. Before the anti-androgen shot, sexual function was good, but since then, sexual desire has been absent. That was in December of 2018. So, from that point of view, I may as well go into the priesthood. Maybe it's a sign from God, but my lovely wife of 55 years might object – or maybe she wouldn't. We haven't discussed that possibility. But, lately, there have been some twinges that gives us hope of resurrecting our sex lives, such as it might be at 79. I'll keep you posted, or maybe I won't. If you believe that I treat this too lightly, I believe that sex is just one small part of a relationship. Just because that small part is missing for a while, it can enrich other parts of the relationship, like hugging, empathy, sharing, yelling at each other, throwing things, slamming doors, and other things that couples in love do. So, be patient with your body. Avoid focusing on that which is uncontrollable at the moment, and concentrate on what you can control.

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@jrubicon

I had two Gleason 7s out of twelve, with 5 % of the two cores showing cancer. I opted for active surveillance for about six years, with regular PSAs and biopsies every couple of years. PSA never went over 3, and the biopsies didn't change until the last one, when only one core of 5 % was cancerous. However, a second opinion from John Hopkins thought it appeared more like an 8 rather than a seven. That was enough to move me to radiation, which I completed in January, 2019, without apparent complications. So far, everything seems good – all but the sex drive. Before the anti-androgen shot, sexual function was good, but since then, sexual desire has been absent. That was in December of 2018. So, from that point of view, I may as well go into the priesthood. Maybe it's a sign from God, but my lovely wife of 55 years might object – or maybe she wouldn't. We haven't discussed that possibility. But, lately, there have been some twinges that gives us hope of resurrecting our sex lives, such as it might be at 79. I'll keep you posted, or maybe I won't. If you believe that I treat this too lightly, I believe that sex is just one small part of a relationship. Just because that small part is missing for a while, it can enrich other parts of the relationship, like hugging, empathy, sharing, yelling at each other, throwing things, slamming doors, and other things that couples in love do. So, be patient with your body. Avoid focusing on that which is uncontrollable at the moment, and concentrate on what you can control.

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Thank you for your insight JRubicon (Jeep Rubicon?) and congratulations on 55 years a marriage! I finally have a date – 7/28. Focusing on the positive. Excellent health (other than the prostate), great family, great friends, and more! Be safe and be well!!

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@jrubicon

I had two Gleason 7s out of twelve, with 5 % of the two cores showing cancer. I opted for active surveillance for about six years, with regular PSAs and biopsies every couple of years. PSA never went over 3, and the biopsies didn't change until the last one, when only one core of 5 % was cancerous. However, a second opinion from John Hopkins thought it appeared more like an 8 rather than a seven. That was enough to move me to radiation, which I completed in January, 2019, without apparent complications. So far, everything seems good – all but the sex drive. Before the anti-androgen shot, sexual function was good, but since then, sexual desire has been absent. That was in December of 2018. So, from that point of view, I may as well go into the priesthood. Maybe it's a sign from God, but my lovely wife of 55 years might object – or maybe she wouldn't. We haven't discussed that possibility. But, lately, there have been some twinges that gives us hope of resurrecting our sex lives, such as it might be at 79. I'll keep you posted, or maybe I won't. If you believe that I treat this too lightly, I believe that sex is just one small part of a relationship. Just because that small part is missing for a while, it can enrich other parts of the relationship, like hugging, empathy, sharing, yelling at each other, throwing things, slamming doors, and other things that couples in love do. So, be patient with your body. Avoid focusing on that which is uncontrollable at the moment, and concentrate on what you can control.

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hello rubicon and god bless you on 55 yrs of marriage. i had my surgery back in october, i had my whole prostate removed as a 57 year old man i have very little sex drive. which is ok by my wife since she is past menopause. good luck to and stay well

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@pda

Thank you for your insight JRubicon (Jeep Rubicon?) and congratulations on 55 years a marriage! I finally have a date – 7/28. Focusing on the positive. Excellent health (other than the prostate), great family, great friends, and more! Be safe and be well!!

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Thanks pda, and good luck. Stay positive.

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@john57

hello rubicon and god bless you on 55 yrs of marriage. i had my surgery back in october, i had my whole prostate removed as a 57 year old man i have very little sex drive. which is ok by my wife since she is past menopause. good luck to and stay well

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Thanks. And continuing good health.

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Yes, it really has a huge effect on me. I was diagnosed almost a year ago and have been on Lupron for almost the entire time. Also sore muscles as I continue to work out.

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I had my last injection of Lupron on Jan. 30th of this year. I was on it for 2 full years. Libido is totally gone. Had trouble concentrating. Took low dose Paxil that really helped with hot flashes. Watch out for breast growth and sore nipples. Total erectile disfunction. I hope things come back when my testosterone hopefully returns. My next visit to Moffitt Cancer Center is in 2 days. I kept exercising the entire time. It helps. It is hard. Keep yourself active physically and mentally. Remember- It's better than the alternative.

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Glad you're about to abandon lupron. Easily the most powerful drug I have ever experienced — both on the body and the mind. My experience is similar to yours. You're right; it's better than the alternative. However, I have to question the duration of the treatment in some patients. I suspect — and two oncologists have concurred — that some MDs err on the side of a long duration to ensure the cancer is fully eliminated. Unfortunately this is an inexact science for which we pay the consequence. Effectively it is chemical castration. One thing you may wish to explore with your MD is the possibility of a testosterone injection once off lupron to help return your sexual and physical health to normal more quickly. Again, this is a treatment that puts MDs on different sides of the table. Are you helping the patient as described or hurting them by using gasoline (testosterone) to again start the cancer fire? Ultimately you need to make this decision based on the lifestyle you wish to live. Good luck. No easy decisions with cancer as always.

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I'm stage 3 so the cancer is beyond the prostate so options are a little different. PSA very low which is good (.2) Next step looks like Chemo.

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A member sent me this article:
– Mourning the Loss of Sexual Function https://connection.asco.org/blogs/mourning-loss-sexual-function

Anne Katz, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a certified sexuality counselor who works with men with prostate cancer. She is frank and opens conversations about a topic often put off to the side. In this article she asks:
– “Have you mourned what you have lost?”
– “How about you write a letter to your penis?”

What do you think?

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Greetings,

I had successful nerve sparing surgery 7/28/20. Initially, post op incontinence was an issue, especially at night. But I'm happy to report, it's no longer an issue. Do those Kegels!

No change in libido but, ED is an issue but seems to be getting better with time. Using Viagra or Cialis and with help from my girlfriend, I'm able to get what I describe is an 80%er which means I'm getting mostly erect but not sufficient for intercourse. Now using TriMix injectable which has been somewhat frustrating learning the correct dose (50 units, yikes!) and getting the injection properly located. Ended up using a bigger needle. Get it right and it's party time!! :). I also spoke with with a gentleman that had a penile implant to deal with the ED. He is very pleased with the results. I was considering the implant but seems a bit radical and my ED is improving so I've tabled the idea. One of the ironies is that my insurance will cover a penile implant but doesn't cover the TriMix injectable!

Note on shrinkage – loss of length. At first it seemed fairly significant but I'm happy to report that I've regained most of the length lost by using a penis pump. Not a big deal plus using the pump is fun for us.

Last PSA test was undetectable!!

Thank you Mayo and Team Dr. Ferrigni! Thank you mayo for scheduling the regular check ups and physicals! Otherwise I would of not known about the cancer until…..

Cheers and be well!

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