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Can men have an active sex life after prostate cancer treatment without having to take Viagra or other pills?

Video: Continuing to Have an Active Sex Life

Dear Doctor, I am still going through follow-up treatment for prostate cancer, having gone through 41 radiation treatments, which ended in February 2011. I am 63 years old, but still feel quite young and would have like to have an active sex life...
Wilmurt from St. Thomas asks:
"I am still going through follow-up treatment for prostate cancer, having gone through 41 radiation treatments. I am 63 years old, but still feel quite young and would have like to have an active sex life at home. How can I receive assistance in ensuring that this is done without having to take Viagra or other pills which have so many side effects?"
View transcript

Larry Bans: There are other options for erectile dysfunction beyond pills or pharmacologic medications. One could use a vacuum erection device, and one could use injectable therapy. The other option would be a penile implant or a penile prosthesis. The vacuum pump is a simple device which is safe to use for most people. It is usually covered by insurance and can be purchased without a prescription, and injectable therapy needs to be maintained and monitored by a physician or someone who does injectable therapy. There’s slight risk to injectable therapy, where you actually take a needle with a syringe and you inject vasoactive drugs into the penis itself, and the risk are priapism (a prolonged erection), or scarring or fibrosis. So most people I would recommend that they start with the vacuum erection device. If that’s not acceptable or satisfactory, the possibility of moving on to injections or an implant, a penile prosthesis, should be considered.

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