Loss of Sexual Desire After Treatment

Hi everyone.

After having radiation and hormone therapy in 2010 due to the return of the cancer virtually all my interest in sex disappeared and has not returned. I also have not had an orgasm since my surgery in 2008.

I have talked to four different Drs, two urologists and two oncologists, and no one came up with a real solution to these two issues.. One said it was all in my mind, one said it would take some form of surgery and therapy to correct the problems and the other two really did not deal with the issues.

When the group was in the old format some of the members mentioned that they had little or no interest in sex after treatment.

My question to those of you who lost the desire for sex and did not regain it, would you be willing to say what your Dr told you about the loss of desire and what to do about it?

One other question if you are willing to discuss it. What, if anything, did your Dr tell you about loss of orgasm?

Thanks for any info.

11 Replies

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  • Libido is a multi-faceted phenomenon. The psychological component is a big part of it, but so are adequate amounts of testosterone, DHT and estradiol. Dopamine is important too. Perhaps talk to an endocrinologist about it. There are some dopaminergic medicines, like cabergoline and apomorphine, that have been tried, but not with very much success.

    I assume you are able to have erections.

  • I have not been able to have erections since the radiation and Lupron. I was able have intercourse with my husband occasionally after the surgery with a lot of his patience and had some success with ED meds but then the cancer returned and that all ended.

    Testosterone did not help at all. Was on a it for a while after the Lupron and it brought my levels up to a normal level but it made no difference.

    Not sure what the other meds are that you mentioned.The four Drs I have discussed this with have not mentioned the other hormones(?) you referred to and have not mentioned seeing an endocrinologist either. Will ask next appt.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply

  • Fortunatey I did not have this issue. But my surgery was in 2000 and all I remember is something abount "bundles" The doctor told me that if he did not disturb these that I should be able to get an erection. After surgery he said that the bundles were still in tact. Now, keep in mind that was 17 years ago and now it is harder to get an erection but I'm sure age must have something to do with that. I hope you get the results and information you need.

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply. I was 60 when I had the surgery in 2008 and erections were starting to become a problem at that time. After the surgery they became much more of a problem but the Dr said that would change in time but the cancer returned 9 months later and I was on Lupron which changed everything.

    Not sure just what info I am looking for here, think it is more to hear from others who have the same issue I do. It seems to make such a difference knowing there are others out there who are going thru the same thing.

  • I agree, I agree, richndavid. It helps to know that one is not alone in experiencing piercing moments of anxiety and fear. I suspect that the treatments in my future will include ADT. I thank you for your honest post.

  • This is why I like this group. It reminds me that I'm not alone. My surgery was in 2011 and life has not been the same for me since. To make matters worse, I am single and afraid to date to fear of having to the bridge of my sexual limitations. I sometimes on rare occasions can get a semi erection. Never a stiff erection like before. I watch porn trying to experience a close to normal orgasm. That has never happened since my surgery. Oragasms are mild at best if at all. ED medications like viagra give me no results. The situation has made me somewhat depressed. I have not spoken to a urologist. Perhaps I should. I have just been suffering in silence not talking about it with anyone. Recently started psychotherapy to deal with my depression. Glad to have this site to know there are others like me out there!

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply. It does make a difference knowing you are not alone in going thru the consequences of the treatment.

    Like you I suffer from depression due to the lack of sexual interest and how it affects my marriage but thankfully my husband is very understanding and supportive though it was a difficult transition to that point in the beginning.

    There are so many anger issues of why me and all that but then I try to look at the guys who are diagnosed at much younger ages and what they have to go thru and try to remind myself that it could have been so much worse.

    It really does help to talk to someone about it. I am having a problem finding a professional in my area who is willing to talk about gay sexual issues. I live in a lesser populated area.

    I watch porn too hoping it can help in come way which it really does not do a whole lot of good. Plus I have read many times to use it or lose it, hoping someday something will change. At this point that seems increasingly unlikely.

  • my doc that did the surgery, never told me much about the problem about ED but later found out, so I changed doctor, now I like this one. But there is not much talk about ED from anywhere.

  • My Drs did not prepare me for what was to happen after surgery and treatment. And as you did I changed Drs. Still do not have answers as to how to resolve the lack of interest or no orgasm but my own research into the issues indicates that there is no solution to the lack of orgasm at this time. Not sure why the Drs just do not say that.

    Did try the vacuum pump and that did not help much. The present Dr did suggest using an injection but with the way I feel about needles there is no way I could get an erection after sticking myself with a needle, even if I could manage somehow to stick myself with the needle.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply

  • richndavid, thank you for sharing your experiences. I had surgery on June 13, 2016. Cancer contained, but one area in the margin. I was a gleason 7, 4 positive cores, 4+3, 4+3, 3+4, 3+4. The surgery was nerve sparing and I had done good with recovery. Erections not back to normal, but making headway, 70-80% at times. However, my second follow up my PSA a had risen to 0.22. I started Eligard Feb. 1 and will start radiation around the 1st of April. I am 56 years old and my age is why I chose surgery and now hormone therapy and radiation. I really did not want to have the surgery, but everyone said I was stupid not to. And after taking that step I feel I could not stop with treatment. However, my worry is exactly what you describe. I really feel I went into surgery knowing all the risks. But that info did not really come from the doctor, who has been good, but they still tend to quickly pass over things. I was lucky to have been put in contract with a friend of a friend who pulled not punches of what to expect. Also one my best friends had had conventional surgery about 5 1/2 years earlier. However, he passed away 5 days after my surgery from an unrelated cancer. But neither of them had the hormone and radiation treatments. So while I felt I had good info on what to expect with surgery, I am now in uncharted territory.

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply to my posting.

    Sorry to hear about your friend and especially sorry to hear that your PSA started to rise so soon after your surgery.

    Not sure what Eligard is.

    You were lucky to have someone to let you know what to expect from your treatment. I am not sure that it would have made any difference on decisions made about treatments had the Drs been more honest on what the side effects might be but at least the decisions would have been more informed decisions.

    Good luck on your treatments.

    A suggestion about what your refer to as "uncharted territory". The American Cancer Society has support groups for prostate cancer survivors and there are many other groups online and otherwise like this one that might be able to answer your questions and make it so that this process you are about to go thru does not feel so much like "uncharted territory" to you.

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