Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the UK - 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Your risk of getting prostate cancer increases with age, but you’re also more likely to get it if you’re black or if your father or brother has had it. Read more about prostate cancer on the Prostate Cancer UK website.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a urological cancer, for example prostate, kidney or bladder cancer, you may have had, or be about to have, treatment. Your treatment may involve surgery to remove the prostate (radical prostatectomy) or radiotherapy to your pelvic area. These treatments may damage blood vessels and tissue in your penis and pelvic area. This can cause ED - difficulty getting and keeping an erection.
If you have, or you’re worried about, erection problems talk to your doctor or specialist nurse at the hospital. You may be referred to an ED clinic. ED is a very common side effect of cancer treatment and health professionals will have experience of supporting people with ED. Talk to them about your own situation and what treatments might be right for you. Remember that it may take a while to find a treatment that works well.
The most common type of treatment for ED is medicine such as Viagra or sildenafil. It’s usually fine to take ED medication at the same time, or after, having cancer treatment. But Viagra and sildenafil may not be suitable if you have other health conditions, such as heart problems.
Remember to always ask a pharmacist or talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions about the medicine you’re taking. Including, how medicine for ED may interact with other medicines you’re taking. Read more about the different treatment options for managing ED.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, or you’re having treatment for cancer, you may be dealing with a lot of different emotions such as shock, sadness, anger and worry. This is normal, and all of these emotions can affect how you think and feel about sex. Feeling this way may reduce your libido (desire for sex) and cause symptoms of ED.
Talking about how you feel or writing down your thoughts can be helpful. Some people find it helps to talk to a professional, such as a psychologist or a counsellor. You might want to try this as well as taking medication for ED. Ask your doctor or nurse to refer you, or refer yourself through the NHS.
Gill Stone MRPharmS
Gill Stone - MRPharmS
Viagra Connect is well known as a treatment for ED. It contains the active ingredient sildenafil citrate.
Sildenafil contains the same active ingredient (sildenafil citrate) as Viagra Connect and works in the same way. This is a non-branded treatment for ED.
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Male pelvic side effects and your sex life | Accessed September 4, 2020.https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/treatment/coping-with-treatment/your-sex-life/side-effects-of-treatment-to-the-male-pelvic-area
Sex and relationships | Prostate Cancer UK | Accessed September 4, 2020.https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/living-with-prostate-cancer/sex-and-relationships
About prostate cancer | Prostate Cancer UK | Accessed September 4, 2020.https://prostatecanceruk.org/prostate-information/about-prostate-cancer
Viagra 100 mg film-coated tablets - Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) - (emc). Accessed September 4, 2020.https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/7978/smpc