Why Using Drugs for Post-Cancer Erectile Dysfunction Is a Good Idea
Cancer treatment can often be quite intrusive, and even the best and safest forms of cancer treatment often cause some collateral damage to the body. For men, having some forms of cancer treatment means that they are highly likely to have erectile problems afterward. Of course, erectile dysfunction is a lot less destructive for the body than cancer, so naturally, the overwhelming majority of men just go for the cancer treatment therapy and accept the consequences. However, having ED might bring some unpleasant disruptions to every man’s life, so it is important to address this problem as soon as possible.
Modern medical science has been able to come up with a number of ways to treat erectile dysfunction, so everyone can find a suitable way for battling erectile problems. Granted, it may be difficult to accept the fact that you now have a problem and confront it, but eventually, both you and your sexual partner are going to benefit from your erectile dysfunction treatments, so it is definitely worth doing.
What Cancer Treatment Options May Cause Erectile Problems?
Treating cancer is no easy task, and doctors often have to combine several types of therapy to reach the best results. Unfortunately, chances of you needing one of the cancer treatment forms which could potentially lead to ED are quite high.
One of the most common reasons for post-cancer erectile problems is surgery. If you need surgery in the pelvic area, your ability to develop and maintain an erection will most likely be damaged. This happens due to the fact that any surgical operation, even if it is conducted very carefully and with minimum intrusion, still damages the nerves. In addition, surgery also damages blood vessels, which results in disrupted blood flow. Since an erection is basically a result of blood inflow into the penis, healthy blood flow is crucial to men’s sex health. Thus, if you are having pelvic surgery, you have to come to terms with the thought that your erectile function will probably be impaired.
However, it is highly likely that you will be able to fully recover from such an impairment if you start “penile rehabilitation” as soon as possible after your surgery. The damage done to the nerves and blood vessels can be repaired, and most men regain the ability to develop and maintain an erection within 2 years after the operation.
One of the cancer treatment options which is often followed by the slow onset of erectile dysfunction is radiation therapy. It might take up to one year for ED symptoms to appear after a radiation treatment course, and at first, they will be barely noticeable. In most men, the erectile problems gradually progress if left unattended. Generally, the older a patient is at the time of the treatment, the likelier it is that he is going to develop ED symptoms. Men who already had erectile problems before radiation therapy tend to observe gradual worsening of the symptoms after receiving treatment.
Radiation therapy is also known to damage the seminal vesicles, as well as the prostate gland, which leads to disrupted production of the liquid that makes up the ejaculate. As a result, men who have had radiation cancer treatment often have “dry ejaculation” (the ejaculate is diminished or even absent). This condition is not harmful or dangerous, and generally, it does not have an impact on a man’s ability to achieve orgasm.
The last of the cancer treatment alternatives which could trigger erectile dysfunction is chemotherapy. Depending on the type of cancer you have, your treatment will involve different medications, and not all of them impact the sexual function. However, some of them may become the reason behind your “bedroom problem.” If you are having hormone therapy, it will most likely leave your erectile function unaffected, but it might disrupt the balance of hormones that control your libido, causing you to lose the desire to be in a sexual relationship. Many patients report that they experience periods of complete lack of interest in sex during their hormone therapy treatment course. If you are experiencing similar changes, ask your medical practitioner about ways to address this problem.
Is There a Viable Erectile Dysfunction Cure for Post-Cancer Patients?
It is important that you discuss your symptoms with your doctor so that he/she can help you set out on the way to recovery. Bear in mind that some healthcare providers are quite reluctant to discuss this aspect of your cancer treatment, so if this is the case with your doctor, ask him/her to refer you to a specialist who will be able to help you.
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Most medical practitioners start off with advising their patients to experiment. Many men find that after a pelvic surgery or radiation treatment they are no longer aroused by things they used to find stimulating before. Both you and your sexual partner are going to have to be patient as you rediscover your sexuality and find new poses, environments, and techniques that get you going.
Apart from experimenting, you can try a number of other things, such as penis pumps, penile injections, penile implants or penile suppositories. All of these methods have their advantages, but they may be uncomfortable (penis pumps), painful (penile injections or implants) and simply inconvenient (penile suppositories). What’s more, some of them are rather expensive, which may be okay if your insurance covers it, but most patients do not have such extensive insurance packages, so the cost of ED treatment matters too.
Fortunately, you don’t have to experiment with painful erectile dysfunction shots and implants to find a solution for your erectile problems. Modern medicine has come up with an effective and convenient way of addressing ED symptoms: erectile dysfunction drugs. They are relatively safe, unobtrusive and highly effective, which probably makes them the best way to treat your post-cancer ED.
It is advisable that you consult your healthcare provider about using ED medicines and get a prescription for them so that you can be sure that these medications are completely safe for you. Generally, cancer patients do not have to use ED drugs with caution, but you might have one of the following conditions which make taking ED medicines dangerous:
- Retinitis pigmentosa (a rare inherited eye condition)
- Cardiovascular diseases (including a recent history of strokes)
- Blood or blood flow disorders
- A physical deformity of the penis (such as ones caused by Peyronie’s disease)
If you have blood pressure issues, you may not be able to use ED drugs due to their ability to lower blood pressure. If you have hypertension, your healthcare provider may have to adjust your dose of medications that regulate blood pressure so that they do not interfere with ED medicines. Men who have retinitis pigmentosa might suffer permanent damage to the eye vision due to the fact that ED drugs direct the blood flow to the penis, leaving other body areas temporarily deprived of the normal blood inflow. As a result, there might not be enough blood to provide normal functioning of the optical nerves, which in men with retinitis pigmentosa is known to harm the vision (up to complete vision loss in one or both eyes).
Unless you have one of the above-mentioned medical conditions, your doctor is likely to find ED medications safe for you and give you a prescription for one of the approved ED drugs, such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra or Staxyn. Most of them have to be taken 30 minutes prior to having sex, but some ED medications can be taken on a daily basis in small dosages to maintain your erectile function.
Overall, ED medicines are one of the best options for post-cancer ED patients because they are easy to obtain and use, painless and generally do not cause any complications. If you find the branded drugs quite pricey, you may turn your attention to the generics market, where you can get a high-quality product which is almost identical to the branded one at a much more attractive price (just make sure to check the reputation of the seller from who you intend to buy your generic ED pharmaceuticals). Combined with an overall healthy lifestyle and support from your partner, ED drugs can make your sex life after cancer treatment just as pleasant as it used to be.