What about my partner?
How do partners experience sex and intimacy after prostate cancer treatment?
Following surgical removal of the prostate gland, men and their partners experience a “new normal”. Firstly, they need to deal with urinary incontinence, which can last from a short period of time to a considerably longer period of time (how long is a piece of string?). Anyone want to see a photo of me in my big undies? (JOKE)
The next major journey of mutual discovery involves sex. Intimacy and sex change after a man undergoes a prostatectomy. Gone are the days of reliable erections on-demand! Also gone is the semen – from now on, any orgasms will be a dry affair.
So far, so straightforward. I have already discussed in several past posts (and in my book) how prostate cancer treatment can affect a man, on all levels. It is not so common, however, to hear from a partner about their experience of a relationship post-treatment.
Last night, Victoria Cullen ran a live webinar featuring my own wife, Fiona. In that webinar, which lasted for only 30 minutes, Victoria gave Fiona the opportunity to talk about the challenges she faced since 2011 when we “lost my prostate, mate”.
Life before prostate cancer treatment
As some of you may know, I married Fiona in 2008. When my final prostate cancer diagnosis was made in January 2011, we were approaching our third wedding anniversary. We had a happy and healthy sex life, which both of us enjoyed a great deal. Now and again, my penis had its wobbles – as men get older, it is common for them to experience difficulty getting an erection and keeping it. Overall, things were quite rosy.
Along came prostate cancer – and then …
Life changed dramatically – for both of us. Rather than repeat Fiona’s story, you may wish to view the webinar on YouTube. Just be aware that the contents are for adults only.
All I will say here is that menopause added another layer of difficulty to our sex life. Don’t be dejected though, because there is definitely a future for sex and intimacy, in spite of all life’s little challenges.