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Orgasm and ejaculation

Some prostate cancer treatments can have an effect on orgasms and ejaculation. Find out more about why this happens.

Hormone therapy or radiotherapy 

Hormone therapy can change the intensity of orgasms. Men who have had hormone therapy or radiotherapy, might produce less semen or no semen (a dry orgasm).

Surgery to remove the prostate

You no longer ejaculate semen if you have had a radical prostatectomy. This is because the prostate gland and 2 glands called the seminal vesicles are removed. The seminal vesicles make the liquid part of the sperm. Your testicles will still make sperm cells but they will be reabsorbed back into your body.

You are still able to have an orgasm, but it will be a dry orgasm. Some men say that a dry orgasm without semen feels normal. But other men find that their orgasm is less intense and pleasurable.  The loss of a visible ejaculation can be significant for some men and their partners. Some men say that it feels different but they have managed to find ways to adjust to this.

If you are used to having anal sex and you are the receiving partner, surgery to remove the prostate gland can change this experience. Some men can find the penis rubbing against the prostate gland pleasurable. So if the prostate gland is no longer there, anal sex might feel different. You could look at different ways of enjoying sex and being intimate. Counselling and sex therapy might help.

Pain during erection or ejaculation

Some men find that erections and ejaculating is painful after surgery, or during and after their course of radiotherapy.

Painful erections following surgery could be due to internal bruising caused by the operation. The tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body (urethra) gets inflamed by the radiotherapy treatment.

This side effect should disappear a few weeks after you finish radiotherapy or as you recover from surgery. Talk to your specialist nurse for specific advice. If masturbation and sex is important to you, it’s important to keep stimulating the penis to keep it healthy. On the other hand, if erections are very painful, you might have avoid ejaculation for a while and try again later.

The penile injections to stimulate an erection can cause painful erections in some men. This pain might lessen with continued treatment.

Information and help

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