Sex Talk After Testicular Cancer Treatment

When a man find out he has testicular cancer, after coming to grips with it, he will likely have quite a few questions about sex and how the cancer will affect that area of his life. This is quite a normal reaction! Will my sex drive decrease? Can I still get an erection? Will I still get orgasms? Can I still ejaculate? These are all popular questions testicular patients have when it comes to sex during and after the diagnosis.

The worry of these men is that after surgery to remove a testicle or even other forms of treatment their ability to have sex will be compromised, even becoming impotent or sterile. The fact is, men who have lost a testicle due to cancer or some other means still has a health one left and that means being able to have an erection and the ability to produce sperm. The removal of a testicle does mean an enforced down time and men should wait a few weeks for recuperation time to be effective.

There is a more involved surgical procedure for testicular cancer called RPLND or retro peritoneal lymph node dissection and while it normally does not affect sexual function like orgasms or erection, it can have some repercussions on ejaculation and fertility. In the not too distant past, the surgery involved incisions near the nerve center that controls ejaculation. This meant that sometimes the ejaculate did not end up where it needed to be but rather in the bladder. Luckily, the surgical procedure has been refined and for the most part, those nerves are spared.

A small chance still exists however for the ejaculation process to be affected. For some men, the action still feels the same, only there is no ejaculate. For other men though, they notice a difference in their sex life. Of course, fertility is always at the forefront too. Men who get the RPLND procedure need to ensure their surgeon handling it is well versed and experienced.

With radiation therapy for testicular cancer, most men do not see any changes whatsoever in their sexual ability. What this therapy does change though is sperm count. Men who still wish to father children may find their sperm counts plummeting. Most patients do recover from this sperm count drop with no ill effects but others do have problems. For this reason, some doctors may advise men to bank their sperm just in case.

In terms of chemotherapy treatment for testicular cancer, sexual ability is not normally affected. However, the side effects of chemo can hinder the desire to have sex. Each man is different and doctors can help in the treatment of the side effects. The drug cocktails in chemotherapy do hamper sperm count and production. There is a greater chance that men could become sterile with this treatment plan and again, sperm banking is suggested should men still wish to father children.

Doctors do advise men to use condoms during sex, even when with a monogamous partner. The reason for this is because the chemotherapy drugs can pass through the ejaculate to a sexual partner. Not much is known on how much the partner is affected by these drugs so it is best to avoid the possibility all together with condoms.

The bottom line is each man who has testicular cancer and has been treated or is going through treatment will act differently in their sex life. One man may have no ill effects and have a good sex drive while another may need to have some type of hormonal therapy in order to reestablish that desire for sex. The key is to communicate effectively with the doctor as they are the best resource for suggesting various methods to maintain a healthy sex life after testicular cancer treatment.

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