After prostate cancer diagnosis, the fear of losing the ability to be physically intimate with ones partner is both common and understandable. Treatments of the disease can leave a man with ‘erectile dysfunction’ either permanently or temporarily and many men may not know how to maintain intimacy in a relationship without this physical aspect.
Intimacy is connecting emotionally:
Relationships are full of many challenges and obstacles that need to be faced together and prostate cancer is no different.
Communication is important, the patient has to express clearly to his partner/wife how this is affecting him and work through it together. He should communicate openly and honestly as they always have about sex and intimacy. He should say frankly what he wants and how he feels. This will help his wife and she can help him get through this difficult time. He should not sacrifice the relationship while fighting prostate cancer.
As the saying goes “if cancer does not kill you it will make you stronger”. When a man is faced with prostate cancer his only hope for a helpful and productive life is to choose the path of communication and rely on his wife and be completely honest with her.
Talking over the most difficult questions with your wife/partner makes the relationship stronger. Together they would be able to get through all difficult issues and try and realize that the emotional intimacy is what is important after post surgery.
Let the patient discuss with his wife about the changes in his physical sexual functioning and how he may be comfortable dealing with it as a couple.
The patient can go on medication or some exercise to heal back his erectile function. If it does not heal learn to live with it.
After Prostate Cancer: Making physical changes:
An important point is that for a couple to remain physically and emotionally fulfilled intercourse is not important or to be intimate with your partner. For a woman emotional intimacy is very important that makes it easier for the man to adjust to their relationship and make it less stressful.
There are many ways to be intimate without having intercourse. It is really an individual/couple issue that can be worked out very well with good communication.
If impotency is temporary, both partners can learn new ways to be intimate while their sex life is on the hold.