Man thinking about intimacy with his partner and doctor holding a needle

Lupron & Sexual Side Effects

Last updated: April 2023

For a few months now, I’ve been reading your comments on the Facebook page. There has been considerable interest in the sexual side effects of medications and treatments and the issues they’ve caused for many people.

The one name that seems to appear over and over again is Lupron. This prescribed treatment for prostate cancer (PC) may be good at what it does. However, it can have a serious impact on the quality of life for some.

What are the side effects of Lupron?

Some of the most common potential side effects include:1

So, let's take a look at Lupron. What does it do, and are there any possible solutions to the sexual side effects?

What is Lupron?

Lupron is used to treat advanced prostate cancer and given via injection. Simply, it tells the body to stop creating sex hormones. In men, Lupron decreases the level of testosterone to "starve" prostate cancer. (But with that said, testosterone levels can actually rise in the first few weeks of receiving Lupron.)1

Quality of life on hormone therapy

Here, I would like to make two quick points. First, I’d like to mention the general quality of life for those who are taking Lupron. If you are not having any side effects and your treatment is working, that is excellent news.

If you are suffering from side effects of Lupron, how is your overall quality of life? While the medication is doing its job, is it making your life miserable? From what I have read about Lupron from some people on this site, something may feel off. Yes, this medication is saving their lives, but at what cost?

Second, with any medicine, you should ask your doctor to explain the side effects. Most drugs come with the fold-out sheet, written in a small font that is hard to read and comprehend, that explains all the side effects. Ask your doctor about the major side effects and what the drug will do to various aspects of your life (for example, your sex life). This way, you can make an informed decision and ask about other available treatments.

Removing a piece of your sexuality can have major mental and physical repercussions, including an effect on your relationships. From reading the comments here, too many times a lover has not wanted to stay with “a man who cannot perform” sexually. Treating cancer is one thing; losing a marriage/relationship is another.

Talk to your doctor

If your doctor says they are going to prescribe Lupron as your treatment, ask them questions. Also, ask how long you will have to be on it. I believe an educated patient is a happier patient. While I am not telling you to second-guess their treatment decision, it is fair to ask for an alternative or other option.

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