Erectile dysfunction – every man’s nightmare

They say only 30-50% of men fully recover their erectile function and it could take 2 years.  I have one friend who is back to normal after one year.  Another who isn’t after more than 2 years. How long will it take and how do you speed it up?

It’s all a bit of guess work from what I can gather.  The research is certainly not conclusive. The specialists give you no certain approach.

I’m on drugs (Cialis every second day) and Viagra once a week.  Why? These drugs work within the tissues of the penis helping the sexual chemical response and thus erection. None yet for me – not that I am expecting any yet – it’s early days.

Vacuum pump: This keeps blood in the right tissues of the penis, though doesn’t create an erection.  But I need to keep these tissues functioning – so they tell me.  It’s “use it or lose it.” I use it most days. (No photos of this!)

Penile injections – well – not yet.

My men’s health doctor (politely referred to as the “Dick Doctor”) tells me that there are 3 sets of nerves that create the sexual experience. They are all part of the cavernosal nerve system which comes from the lower spine (see diagram courtesy of Amicus Visual Solutions). They are the:

  • Somatic nerve: which as far as I can gather controls sensory feelin11170_03A-425x450gs, such as touch – though I’m a bit unclear about it.
  • Parasympathetic nerve: this is the one that was wrapped around the prostate and has been damaged or traumatized.  It’s the one that creates the erection. My surgeon tells me that there was little damage to it but it will still take time to recover.  How much? Time will tell.
  • Sympathetic nerve: this one creates the orgasm. So orgasm without erection is possible. I’ve experienced this in the past, but not sure how to make it happen now.

There is really little literature or advice on how to get these nerves functioning.  You’d think you would be encouraged to work on the 2 that haven’t been damaged, but how.

Then there are all the alternative approaches available here in Bali.  More on them later.

Incontinence

The locals are feeling the cold today – it’s 22 degrees Celsius! Beautiful Ubud.

Wearing man-pads is no fun – though the women don’t give us much sympathy. I’m expecting the incontinence to be over by 2 months – is that reasonable? I know some people take much longer. I have good and bad days.  Some days I don’t need a pad til 5pm; others I leak all day. Nights can also be good or bad, though I try to go pad free at night. I’m doing my pelvic floor exercises 3-5 times per day: rapid fire, tight and hold. About to start adding the plank, curl-ups and squats. Also started yoga again yesterday – needed the pad. What else can one do to speed up the recovery process?

First Blog – My post-prostate surgery recovery begins

I live in Bali – in Ubud – its beautiful and interesting. That didn’t stop me getting prostate cancer. A small but aggressive (Gleason 9) cancer that had to be removed and was removed exactly one month ago in Perth. Now I’m back in Ubud and suffering the 2 main side-effects – incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Ubud is the home of all sorts of alternative (some wacko) treatments.  I’m skeptical about most of them.  But as well as the better known treatments (drugs, pumps, needles) I’m pretty much prepared to try anything – I’m certainly in the right place for it.  This blog is to let you know what works for me (and what doesn’t work); and to get feedback and ideas from other people on the prostate recovery journey.