Erectile Dysfunction and Other Sexual Issues
What are your options?
Following radiation therapy, some urinary symptoms are often a problem—so drugs that improve urinary flow may be prescribed and are gradually withdrawn as symptoms improve.
Following surgery, leakage is a common problem. Treatment options include:
- Kegel exercises. It strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.
- Cunningham claps. This V-shaped device is covered with foam and fits over the penis. It can apply pressure to the urethra, preventing leakage.
- Injection of collagen into the urethra, which tightens the passageway, and makes it more difficult for urine to leak through. This is the least invasive procedure but its effects only last for a short time.
- Sling insertion. In this surgical procedure, a sling made from silicone is slipped under the urethra, where it relieves buildup as urine increases.
- Artificial urinary sphincter. This device uses a pressure-sensitive valve to replace the damaged urinary valves and is opened with a mechanical system that is implanted into the pelvis and controlled by a device in the scrotum.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your sexual concerns
These tips can make it easier:
- List your questions and concerns. Ask the most important ones first. This way, if you get nervous, you won’t forget something.
- Let your doctor know about any symptoms or side effects. This information will help your healthcare provider better plan your treatment.
- Keep important health information on you. Things like insurance information and the names and numbers of other members of your healthcare team.
Remember that you’re not the first person with a certain concern or symptom. Your healthcare provider has likely heard it before. So be honest and don’t be embarrassed!