Orgasms after prostate cancer – Will they change?

Orgasms (also called climax) after prostate cancer treatment may feel different.

In one study that followed men after retropubic radical prostatectomy:

  • 37% of men reported that they had a decreased intensity when climaxing after treatment
  • 4% of men experienced more intense climaxes

Other possible changes

  • It may be harder for a man to achieve climax after treatment for prostate cancer
  • Some men say their climaxes are less intense, but seem to last longer
  • Men who have had surgery for prostate cancer may miss the feeling of sperm being ejaculated during climax

Couples may be pleasantly surprised to find that a man can climax without having an erection following treatment for prostate cancer.

Lack of sensation with orgasms

Some men complain about lack of sensation, which may actually be more related to factors such as:

  • Stress
  • Performance anxiety
  • Age

As we age, areas of sexual sensation may change. This does not mean that you have to give up on love making, but you may need to explore (such as with touching exercises) to see if there are other areas on and around the genital area that respond better to physical stimulation.

There are some who claim there is such a thing as a prostate orgasm, which is achieved by stimulating the prostate gland. Of course, this would be impossible if a man has had his prostate gland removed.

Mind over matter?

Although many couples might think otherwise, researchers believe that climaxes are actually controlled by the brain.

This is why a man’s emotions—including fear of not being able to perform—may also play a role in a man’s climax after prostate cancer.

When there’s pain

Some men may experience pain during climax. The medical term for this is dysorgasmia.

This pain appears to happen more commonly after surgery for prostate cancer, but it can also occur after radiation treatment.

If your loved one has pain when he climaxes, it may encourage you to know that this pain is expected to decrease over time.

Doctors believe this pain may have to do with pelvic floor muscle spasms. Fortunately, it tends to be mild and generally doesn’t last very long.  But some men may have more severe pain.

If the pain is too uncomfortable, encourage your man to ask his doctor about prescribing a pain medication.

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Barnas JL, Pierpaoli S, Ladd P, et al. BJU Int. 2005; 95(3):452-3.

Mulhall JP. Saving Your Sex Life. Chicago, IL: Hilton Publishing Company;2008.

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