Erectile Dysfunction

How Can a Prostatectomy Impact Erectile Dysfunction?

Key Takeaways

For those that are experiencing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, it can be a frustrating, even scary experience. Why is it happening? How do you control it? Is it normal?

We want to start this page by reassuring you that erectile dysfunction is completely normal. In fact, almost half of men will experience the condition at some point in their lives, so you’re definitely not alone.

For many men, there are concerns that erectile dysfunction could be a sign of other conditions, like prostate cancer. And while erectile dysfunction is not a sign of prostate cancer, it’s important to understand how a prostatectomy impacts ED symptoms.

To help you make sense of how ED could look after prostate surgery, the Felix Team has gathered the answers to a few common questions.

Does a Prostatectomy Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Yes, a prostatectomy can cause erectile dysfunction, but it’s not guaranteed to.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing whether this will occur until after the prostate is removed, and erectile dysfunction presents.

Why Does Prostate Surgery (Prostatectomy) Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

While the prostate itself isn’t directly related to erectile dysfunction, the nerves that are responsible for causing erections run alongside the prostate.

This means, in some cases, they may be damaged or removed entirely during a prostatectomy. When this occurs, it causes erectile dysfunction.

If you’d like to discuss the symptoms of erectile dysfunction to watch for, talk to a healthcare practitioner at Felix. They’ll be able to answer any other questions that you might have about what to expect, and the ED treatments that are available to you.

When Can Erectile Dysfunction Occur After Treatment?

Immediately. Or, at least, as soon as you heal well enough to attempt sexual activities again.

You can start to experience ED after prostate surgery right away, because if the nerves that cause erections will either have been damaged or removed, they won’t be able to function properly - or at all.

How Long Does Erectile Dysfunction Last After a Prostatectomy?

It can be permanent, depending on the level of damage done to the nerves that cause erections. Nerve damage is difficult to predict the outcome of; especially in the early days post-surgery, when the rest of the area will still be healing as well.

If the nerves were removed entirely as part of the prostatectomy, the condition will be permanent. However, there’s still hope that you can have a normal, happy sex life.

Talk to your healthcare practitioner at Felix. They can help put your mind at ease, because erectile dysfunction affects almost 50% of men at some point in their lives. 

You’re not alone, and there are treatments available that can still help you take back control of your health.

What is the Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction After a Prostatectomy?

Even if you are experiencing ED after prostate surgery, there are still a number of different treatments that you can try to help get and maintain erections again.

Some of these treatments include:

  • ED Medications (i.e. PDE5 inhibitors)
  • Intracavernosal injections 
  • Intraurethral suppositories 
  • Vacuum devices 
  • Penile implants

There are also some non-pharmaceutical approaches that your practitioner might suggest you try, like pelvic floor physiotherapy, or counseling to address any underlying mental health conditions that could be worsening your ED symptoms.

With all of these options available to you, there’s no reason to feel like your ability to be physically intimate has to end. Felix has a team of passionate practitioners, who are committed to providing convenient, judgment-free ED treatments for every Canadian that needs it.

All you have to do to get started is complete a short assessment. Then your practitioner will be able to discuss any treatment options available to you, based on your health and medical history.

Together, we want to help you get back to enjoying life on your terms.

Medically reviewed by


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