Let’s talk about Sex (and Prostate Cancer)
Let’s talk about sex! Aside from pleasure, sex has important health benefits. It can help decrease blood pressure, improve sleep, and reduce stress levels1. Sex can also help maintain closeness and intimacy in a relationship2. Sometimes prostate cancer treatments can have side effects, such as erectile dysfunction, that affect the ability for couples to have sex. If the ability to have sex is an important part of your quality-of-life post-treatment, then it’s important to think about which treatment options can preserve your erectile function.
The prostate is encapsulated by nerves that help maintain urinary and reproductive function. When trying to treat the prostate from the outside-in using traditional treatment options, it’s very difficult to avoid these nerves. Damage to these nerves can lead to side effects that affect the urinary and reproductive systems and can cause urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, “radiation therapy for prostate cancer can affect the rectum causing bowel problems”3. Prostatectomy, surgery to remove part or the entire prostate, “can affect the nerves that are connected to the bladder and penis, which can affect urinary and sexual function.”3.
Wanting to be cancer-free should not come at the cost of your quality of life. The TULSA Procedure aims to provide the patient with effective prostate tissue ablation while minimizing the harmful effects on sexual function associated with standard prostate interventions. Since the TULSA Procedure ablates the prostate from the inside-out (from inside the urethra heating outwards to the edge of the prostate) the physician has the ability to avoid direct contact with important nerve bundles that are responsible for erectile function, thereby helping to preserve men’s functional abilities.
According to a recent single center retrospective analysis of 52 prostate cancer patients, 98% of men reported preservation of erections sufficient for penetration, and 98% of men reported preservation of continence and were pad-free after a median 16 months follow-up (maximum 36 months)4.
Furthermore, according to the data from the TULSA-PRO Ablation Clinical Trial (TACT), the TULSA-PRO system has a low rate of erectile dysfunction. Approximately 24% of men had moderate erectile dysfunction, 0% of men had sever erectile dysfunction and after 24 months, 83% of men maintained erections sufficient for penetration5.
The ability to preserve your sex life is a factor that commonly influences which prostate cancer treatment a patient selects. If you would like to know if you qualify for the TULSA Procedure, click here to find a TULSA-PRO center near you and speak with a TULSA-PRO expert!
- Robinson, Kara. “10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex.” WebMD, 24 October 2013. https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/sex-and-health.
- Canadian Cancer Society. “Sex, Intimacy and Cancer”. Canadian Cancer Society, May 2019. https://cdn.cancer.ca/-/media/files/cancer-information/resources/publications/sex-intimacy-and-cancer/32061-sex-intimacy-and-cancer-en.pdf?rev=e36d3776edf7410a9b96360625d22a4e&hash=D1CEDBF5973D6B0ABCF40508BA92A00F&_ga=2.20261240.1126014712.1631037179-432997849.1628171300
- Canadian Cancer Society. “The Prostate”. Canadian Cancer Society, 2014. https://cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-types/prostate/what-is-prostate-cancer/the-prostate
- Lumiani, et al. “Single center retrospective analysis of fifty-two prostate cancer patients with customized MR-guided transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA)” Urologic Oncology (2021). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1078143921001733?via%3Dihub
- Klotz, et al. “Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation of Prostate Cancer.” The Journal of Urology (2020). https://www.auajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1097/JU.0000000000001362