Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

Prostate Cancer and Erectile Dysfunction – blog

  Jan 17, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

Prostate cancer is a malignancy that affects men’s prostate glands. This gland produces a fluid that helps in the nourishment and transportation of sperm. The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body.

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men worldwide, with over a million new cases diagnosed each year. Men over the age of 50 are typically affected, and the risk rises with age. Yet it can also impact young guys. 

There are many treatments available for prostate cancer such as surgery, radiotherapy, cryotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), and hormone therapy.  There are different kinds of radiotherapy as well, for example, external beam radiotherapy, permanent seed brachytherapy, and high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Radiation from outside the body is focused on the prostate during external beam radiotherapy. In permanent seed brachytherapy, tiny radioactive seeds are placed into the prostate and left it there permanently, and in high dose rate brachytherapy thin tubes are put inside the prostate and through these tubes, a source of radiation is passed inside the prostate. But in this case, after delivering radiation in order to kill the cancer cells, these tubes are removed. In cryotherapy, however, extreme cold is used to destroy cancer cells. And in HIFU high frequency ultrasound wave is used to destroy cancer cells. All these prostate cancer treatments can cause ED due to nerve damage and reduction in blood flow to the penis. Surgery is also a very common treatment option for men with prostate cancer. The prostate gland is removed during prostate cancer surgery. This can have a significant impact on a man’s sexual health, leading to erectile dysfunction (ED).

In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between prostate cancer and ED, the causes of ED after prostate surgery, and the treatment options available for managing ED in men who have received prostate cancer treatment.

Prostate Cancer and ED – The Connection

Prostate cancer can have a significant impact on a man’s sexual health. The fluid that is part of semen is produced by the prostate gland. The gland also plays a role in the regulation of erections. When the prostate gland is removed during surgery, the nerve and blood vessels that are responsible for erections can be damaged. This may result in ED, which is the inability to obtain or sustain an erection strong enough to engage in sexual activity.

Studies have shown that ED is a common side effect of prostate cancer surgery. In fact, up to 60% of men who undergo surgery for prostate cancer experience some degree of ED in the first year after the surgery. This can be a distressing and challenging experience for many men, and it can have a significant impact on their quality of life.

Causes of ED After Prostate Surgery

First, we need to know what causes Erectile Dysfunction in a man after prostate surgery. These causes include:

Nerve Damage: The nerves that control erections run alongside the prostate gland. During surgery, these nerves can be damaged, leading to a loss of function. The degree of nerve damage will depend on the type of surgery and the surgeon’s experience.

Blood Flow: The prostate gland is also responsible for regulating blood flow to the penis. During surgery, the blood vessels that supply the penis can be damaged, leading to a decrease in blood flow and difficulty achieving an erection.

Psychological Factors: ED after prostate surgery can also be caused by psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, and stress. These factors can have a significant impact on a man’s sexual function and desire.

Treatment Options for ED After Prostate Surgery

ED caused by prostate cancer surgery can be treated if an appropriate treatment plan is taken. There are several treatment options available for beating Erectile Dysfunction after prostate surgery. These include:

Oral Medications: Oral medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are the most common Erectile Dysfunction treatment options. These drugs function by boosting blood flow to the penis, which may enhance erections. They are typically taken about an hour before sexual activity and can last for up to four hours.

Penile Injections: Another treatment option for ED caused by prostate cancer surgery, is penile injections. These injections contain a medication that helps to relax the blood vessels in the penis, increasing blood flow and leading to an erection. These injections are administered directly into the penis and can be self-administered at home. Injections frequently produce positive results. They function rapidly since the substance is delivered directly to the site of need and provides an erection that appears natural. Even if the patient has little to no libido, injections should still be effective; nevertheless, they function best when the patient is stimulated and interested in sexual activity.

Penile Implants: For men who do not respond to oral medications or injections, a penile implant may be an option. This involves surgically inserting a device into the penis that allows the man to achieve an erection. Penile implants are typically reserved for men who have severe ED that is not responsive to other treatments. The majority of the time, they are risk-free, but about three men out of every 100 who have implants get an infection, necessitating the removal of the implant. In order to avoid this issue, the patient will receive antibiotics following surgery. The inflated implant typically lasts for at least 12 years. Yet, it may need to be changed after five years in up to five men out of every 100. It’s less likely that the semi-rigid implant will need to be changed.

Vacuum pumps for Erectile Dysfunction: A vacuum erection device is a non-invasive treatment option for ED. It involves placing a plastic cylinder over the penis and creating a vacuum, which draws blood into the penis, causing an erection. Thereafter, a ring is placed at the base of the penis to maintain the erection. Patients can utilize vacuum pumps in conjunction with other treatments because they are so safe to use. This treatment may cause the penis to feel a little bit colder than usual, and the patient may not be able to ejaculate if he is wearing a constriction ring. Some males can experience some bruising or numbness, as well as pain or discomfort. But overall, it’s a fairly secure treatment plan.

Psychotherapy: ED after prostate surgery can also be caused by psychological factors. In this case, psychotherapy can be an effective treatment option. A therapist can work with the man to address any underlying anxiety, depression, or stress that may be contributing to ED.

Lifestyle Changes: Certain lifestyle changes can also help to improve ED after prostate surgery. They include maintaining a healthy weight, consuming a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and abstaining from smoking and binge drinking.

Shockwave therapy: Shockwave therapy for ED employs low-intensity shockwaves to promote the growth of new blood vessels in the penis. To deliver the shockwaves to the penis, a special device is placed on the skin. The development of new blood vessels is thought to be aided by the increase in blood flow and stimulation of growth factors brought on by the shockwaves. Shockwave therapy can be used to treat ED in men who have undergone prostate surgery. 

EMTT therapy: When combined with other technologies, the non-invasive Extracorporeal Magnetotransduction Therapy (EMTT), which was developed primarily to treat musculoskeletal (MSK) pain and other disorders, has been demonstrated to considerably improve men’s sexual health difficulties.

It’s important to note that not all men who undergo surgery for prostate cancer will experience ED. The risk of developing ED depends on several factors, including age, overall health, and the extent of the surgery.

Prevention of ED After Prostate Surgery

While it may not be possible to completely prevent ED after prostate surgery, there are steps that men can take to reduce their risk. These include:

  • Talking to their doctor about the risk of ED and the treatment options available
  • Engaging in regular sexual activity before surgery
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Managing any underlying psychological issues
  • Participating in a penile rehabilitation program after surgery

Penile rehabilitation programs involve a series of exercises and treatments designed to promote blood flow to the penis and maintain sexual function after surgery. These programs typically involve a combination of medication, vacuum erection devices, and penile injections.


ED after prostate surgery is a common side effect that can have a significant impact on a man’s quality of life. While it may not be possible to completely prevent ED, there are several treatment options available to manage the condition. These include oral medications, penile injections, penile implants, vacuum erection devices, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes.

It’s important for men to talk to their doctor about the risk of ED before undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. By taking steps to reduce their risk and participating in a penile rehabilitation program after surgery, men can increase their chances of maintaining sexual function and quality of life.

One could visit Mansmatters if he’s suffering from ED after undergoing prostate surgery. Using modern technologies such as shockwave therapy, EMTT therapy, Nano Vi Exo, and Tesla Chair, Mansmatters has treated thousands of men suffering from ED or other sexual issues.