Erection problems and treatment
After treatment for prostate cancer you may have difficulty getting or keeping an erection. This is also known as erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence. Many men get problems with their erections and this is more likely to happen as men get older.
Causes of erection problems include one or a combination of the following: treatment for prostate cancer, other health problems, certain medicines and depression or anxiety.
- vacuum pump
- surgical implant
- sex therapy.
Because getting an erection also relies on your thoughts and feelings, tackling any worries or relationship issues as well as having medical treatment for erection problems, often works well.
Keeping a healthy weight, being physically active, stopping smoking and trying pelvic floor muscle exercises may also help improve your erections. Read more about diet and physical activity or pelvic floor muscle exercises.
If you are on hormone therapy then you may have lost your desire for sex, so treatments that only work when you have desire, such as PDE5 inhibitor tablets like sildenafil (Viagra®), are unlikely to work. However injections, pellets, vacuum pumps and surgical implants should be able to give you an erection as you don't need to have sexual desire for them to work.
Read more about treatments for erections problems.
Watch Paul's story: Find out more about trying different treatments for erection problems.
Watch other men's personal stories about sex after prostate cancer.
Read about the end of Pfizer’s monopoly on Viagra and what this means for men with prostate cancer.