Regaining Your Libido
Erectile dysfunction, along with incontinence, are two of the most common side effects of a prostatectomy. It is also the problem most feared by men as they contemplate life following surgery, particularly by younger men. And while older guys, with waning hormonal, sexual, and erectile function, may be less concerned, they are still keen to retain as much as possible of what is a big part of how they see themselves.
Regaining libido is part of sexual rehabilitation
While incontinence more or less resolves itself, impotence is the issue that requires you to exercise your brain as much as your body to reclaim your skills in bed. This is where regaining libido, also known as sex drive or sexual desire, is a necessary part of your sexual rehabilitation.
Surgery doesn’t affect libido directly, rather, the resulting physical trauma stymies your sexual recovery process. Libido, therefore, is a mind game, and often a very complex one. Impotence is such an expected outcome of a prostatectomy, that many men are scared to undertake the mental rehabilitation necessary to regain their libido.
Libido is more than just taking a pill
Although drugs such as Cialis and Viagra are commonly prescribed, many men think that by just popping a pill they will get an erection. And, while nerve damage from the operation makes it harder to regain sexual normalcy, you’ll need to work on regaining your libido if you are going to regain your sex life.
Even if your nerves were spared in the operation, they were likely traumatized by the surgery. Note that nerve damage is slow to recover, and healing may be at different rates in different men. In any case, if you had a pretty good libido in the past, and an active sex life, you have a better chance of reclaiming sexual desire.
Adjusting to your new normal
While you might have previously become erect with only the mildest of sexual fantasies, your “new normal” requires a different mindset to overcome impotence. Don’t be hard on yourself; if an erotic mindset requires new mental imagery, or indeed pornography different from what you may have been used to in the past, then so be it.
In other words, experiment, forget your inhibitions and find a level of sexual excitement that achieves results for you. If you are prepared to learn self-treatment, penile injection medications are another option, especially for those not successful in attaining sexual stimulation. Erections lasting 30 to 60 minutes occur in around ten minutes.
Find what works best for you
You will likely also find manual stimulation, by yourself or your partner, essential to achieve an erection that will work for intercourse. If at first sex is not possible, bring yourself to a climax and experience the new “dry” orgasm. If you are going solo, you will need to regain your masturbation techniques and use them often because in this case practice makes perfect. And combine them with mental or electronic media stimulation, plus the drugs, to help restore your sexual function. Some men have this process down pat months out from surgery, but others find that it can take a couple of years, so be patient.
Have you experienced side effects from androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)?