Yes, prostate cancer can inadvertently affect a couple’s intimacy.
Upon realization of a prostate cancer diagnosis, things between couples can immediately change; however, if both individuals are committed to figuring things out while working on a few adjustments, the condition will not only prove your love and loyalty to each other but also strengthen your relationship in the long run.
Set Clear Expectations
Without having any knowledge whatsoever about prostate cancer, it’s going to be difficult to handle the situation. Understanding that prostate cancer treatment will yield physical, mental, and emotional side effects, will prepare both couples about what to expect during and after the medical procedure.
Asking your doctor upfront about what the signs and symptoms are and how to efficiently manage them is crucial in dealing with the condition. Make sure that during diagnosis revelation, your partner is with you so that he or she is fully aware of what’s happening and what’s supposed to happen. Having your significant other around while you swallow hard the reality of having the condition is beneficial to you and your relationship.
What are the things that are usually divulged during consultations?
- Maintaining or getting an erection will be effected within the first few months after a series of treatments. Unfortunately, there are instances wherein this sort of problem goes on for an extended
- Therapies like chemotherapy, hormone and radiation therapy, medications, and surgery can yield side effects like lowered libido, lethargy, weight gain, and urinary incontinence.
Though these issues are upsetting, there are ways to manage them. For those who have experienced erectile dysfunction, they can get their libido and erection back with the help of injections, medications, and even surgery like penile implants.
“Treatment will probably also involve helping both partners to not tie all of their sexual satisfaction to the presence and firmness of the erection,” writes Ari Tuckman, PsyD, CST.
By being proactive about your overall well-being, you are boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence which then establishes a more intimate relationship with your partner.
Focus On The Pros
A cancer diagnosis would certainly put your life asunder. It is easy for a person to wallow in the negatives and wait until death comes. However, you have to remember that you are not alone in this journey and there are a lot of ways to confront the condition and come out victorious. You have to focus on the pros and the things that matter in your life.
“Becoming interested in life, its choices, even and in spite of its challenges, are helpful for a positive outlook, and an interesting life,” writes Claire Grainger-Valvano, LCSW, OSW-C.
If there’s trouble in paradise due to prostate cancer, seeing a therapist is always a smart choice. Unfortunately, a lot of men who have this condition would find it difficult to take a leap and seek professional help. However, couples have to realize that mental and emotional health is as important as physical health; therefore, asking the advice of an oncology therapist can be highly beneficial for your relationship to thrive despite the illness.
On the other hand, if the dilemma is with your sexual vitality, like having issues with orgasms, erections, and even incontinence, airing it out with your primary physician is recommended.
A person who has prostate cancer will need all the help he can get; nobody can go through this condition alone. It is vital that the ember of love, affection, and intimacy is continuously burning despite the situation. Remember, though cancer can somehow affect the quality of intimacy your relationship has, there are a lot of treatments that are currently available that can make a huge difference in a couple’s quality of life.
“My ultimate hope is to see individual behavioral health treatment become a standard of cancer care, not something an individual or family has to seek out and pay for independently,” says Jana Bolduan Lomax, PsyD.