Impact on Male Sexuality

In this article, let's discuss Bladder Cancer’s (BC) impact on male sexuality. After writing many articles about female sexuality and possible solutions to various issues, it's time to discuss the men. If I had to guess, you probably have a good grasp on some of the sexual issues men can have that are related to BC. If not, we’ll look at them and hopefully give you some new information you didn't know about. I actually stumbled across a presentation that discussed topics I never thought about. 1 We’re going to talk about erections. Let's jump right into it!

Nerves and blood flow

Dr. Akanksha Mehta from Emory University says it can take up to 2 years to recover after BC surgery. Most men who are waiting for the nerves to recover have probably moved on to another form of treatment by then, she says. Dr. Daniela Wittmann, from the University of Michigan, adds to the conversation by saying it's important to remain sexually active “because [of] the importance of blood flow and not allowing the penis to atrophy…” Yes, the penis can atrophy from the lack of use and blood flow! Dr. Mehta recommends attempting to get 2 or 3 erections per week. Why? First, the flow of blood into the penis helps to maintain the tissue of the penis, and it also helps to maintain the overall length of the penis, which can shrink after pelvic surgery. Using a penis pump can really help maintain penis health.

Partial erections

For those men who have noticed their erections coming back or partial erections, Dr. Mehta believes that is very good news because the nerves are starting to recover or have healed as much as they are going to heal. She says it's a good time for the men to look into erectile aids like Viagra, penis pumps or injections.

To take a step a back, she recommends using erection aids for “penile rehabilitation” soon after surgery, but not for sex. Dr. Mehta really believes in the importance of blood flow into the penis to keep it healthy so, you’ll hopefully have erections in the future. As for sex after surgery…of course, it depends on the severity of the surgery and the healing time. One of the worst things you could do is to attempt sexual activity before you’re healed and end up hurting yourself.

The importance of masturbation

This may seem like a rather odd thing to bring up but, if you think about it, it makes sense. First, it feels good, but Dr. Wittman says its an important first step to returning to sexual activity with your lover. She says it's a good way to tell yourself, “Yes, I am able to do this, this is still pleasurable.” Besides the important blood flow, you can practice in private and see how your body is healing. Is there any pain? How’s the erection? Plus, you’ll get the mental boost of knowing you can have sex again.

To conclude this article, Dr. Wittman also brought up an interesting topic regarding one's religion and cultural background. She mentions that in some religious backgrounds, masturbation is considered a sin or harmful. She suggests looking at masturbation as a type of ‘body maintenance,’ as a way to increase blood flow and heal…not as a form of pleasure. For some men, this is an important issue, so the idea of 'body maintenance' may help them with this, and at the same time, help them to heal so they can be sexually active again with their lover. Thank you for reading.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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