Will prostate cancer treatment affect
my ability to orgasm and ejaculate?
If you have had a radical prostatectomy you
will not be able to ejaculate after surgery. This
is because the prostate gland and seminal
vesicles, which store and transport semen, are
removed during the operation. Instead you may
experience what is sometimes called a ‘dry
ejaculation’ where you feel the sensations of
orgasm but do not release any semen from the
tip of the penis. This may feel different to the
orgasms you were used to. Occasionally, some
men will find that a small amount of liquid
comes out from the tip of the penis during
orgasm, which may be fluid from glands lining
the urethra.
If you have had radiotherapy or brachytherapy
you may notice that you produce less semen
after your treatment is completed. You should
still be able to have an orgasm but you may
find that it feels different to before treatment.
Some men have also found that they have
less intense orgasms when they are having
hormone therapy.
Read our Treatment fact sheets for information
on the side effects of each treatment.
Will prostate cancer treatment affect
the appearance of my penis?
Some studies have shown that around five
out of ten men (50 per cent) will find that their
penis is shorter after treatment with radical
prostatectomy. This happens because of
changes to the tissue inside the penis. Men
may be less likely to experience these changes
if the surgeon has tried to save the nerves
that control erections during surgery (nerve
sparing surgery). Some studies have shown
that encouraging blood flow to the penis after
surgery may help you get erections and prevent
your penis becoming smaller. In particular
using a vacuum pump might be helpful.
In some cases other types of prostate cancer
treatment such as radiotherapy and hormone
therapy may also cause changes to the size of
your penis. There is not as much research into
this but it may be less common than changes in size after surgery.