Emotional issues

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Relationships and sex after prostate cancer diagnosis

Kazdan
Posted by

Hi my partner (57) has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, we have only been together 3 years and are getting married next year. We are both struggling with erectile dysfunction due to this and it’s seriously affecting our relationship, how do others cope with this?

Kazdan
The BODACH
Posted by

Hi 

Welcome to the online community and to the club that no one wants to join and I am sorry to read of the problems you and partner are having

ED is traditionally seen as an older man’s condition but in reality men of any age can be affected

‘Men today are under rising pressure to “perform”.

‘Worry about living up to male stereotypes, insecurity about their bodies, and wider stresses can all play a part when it comes to sex. Whatever the potential causes, it’s always worth having a conversation with a healthcare professional, be that online or in person.’

Whilst ED can be brought on by prostrate cancer other factors should be looked at to fully explore the route cause of it

Unfortunately our Ask about sex (men's cancers) group is currently closed but that doesn't mean we are unable to help you and point you to other resources.

Our telephone advice line is staffed by a very friendly team who will listen to your problems and make suggestions where help maybe available and you can contact them on 0808 808 0000 every day of the week between 8 am and 8 pm on the same number you are able to speak to our specialist nurses.

Have you spoken to your own GP with regard to the ED you both are experiencing

However the first place to start is a conversation between the both of you and discuss the problem, it's not an easy talk to have but being upfront and open with each could be the start you need but you need to think about when to have the conversation ideally you should try to find a time when you are feeling close and connected It’s not a good idea to talk about problems in bed after they’ve just happened. Make sure you have enough time and won’t be interrupted or distracted. Be patient, you might have to try to have the conversation a few times there is always an excuse to not having the  conversation but I think you both know that the first place to start is talking to each other.

Before you have your one to one chat it might be beneficial for you both independently to sit down and compile a list of everything that concerning you, how you are feeling, any health problems like not sleeping, problems at work, other family problems and the list could go on but it's your list and on the night you have you conversation give each other your list and this could provide the opening for the conversation and understanding each others concerns and, of course, if you decide that counselling is your next step forward your lists will give the counsellor the tools to work with the both of you

I would suggest that you might it beneficial to have a read through this Sex and Relationships, this has been taken from Prostrate Cancer UK's web site and looks at the problems of ED in a very sympathetic way and of course Prostrate Cancer UK have a one-to-one support service where you speak to someone who's been there. They can share their experiences and listen to yours.

Like Macmillans they have an online community which is a good place to deal with prostate cancer together. You can talk about whatever's on your mind. Anyone can ask a question or share an experience.

They also have a team of Specialist Nurses can answer questions and explain your treatment options. You can also email or chat online with their nurses.

It might help you both to get in touch with their local prostate cancer support group

There is a lot of help available to you both but the important thing is that you both realise that you are in this together and you need to talk openly with each other either just the two of you alone with each other or with a counsellor, if you decide to go along the counsellor route you need to ask for it, in some areas it maybe funded by your local CCG (the people who hold your doctors purse strings with all NHS treatment) or privately

I see that you have joined our very friendly Prostate cancer group which has a lot of very knowledgeable people and I would invite you to pop into the group and introduce yourself to the members I am sure that my friend , who looks after the group, will be along shortly to give you his welcome and some more help and advice.

This may also be of interest to you

Recent guidance on erectile dysfunction treatment, produced by Prostate Cancer UK and Macmillan, recommends early intervention and a choice of five treatment options in order to give men the best chance of recovery. These are:

  • an appropriate choice of medication, including a daily low dose of tadalafil (Cialis®)
  • vacuum pumps
  • access to a NHS/HSC erectile dysfunction clinic
  • access to psychosexual clinics
  • counselling

Kazdan I hope the above is of help and interest to you and will give you the incentive to at the very least start conversations between you and your partner which will lead you to seeking the help of others, Remember you are not alone help is available but you will no doubt have to ask for it.

If we can be of anymore help please don't hesitate to contact us in our Prostate cancer group at anytime you feel.the need to speak to others who are possibly experiencing the same as you and will freely share with you.

I hope that the problem can be solved quickly and you can get your relationship back on tract for your wedding next August and you go forward to lead a long and happy life together.

Ian

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