Prostate cancer and sexless marriage (1)

Prostate cancer and a sexless marriage – Can it be avoided?

Prostate cancer and a sexless marriage – Can it be avoided? When men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, their primary concern is often the impact it will have on their intimate relationship with their spouse. The disease can lead to several challenges such as excessive tiredness from treatments, urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction. These challenges can make it difficult to maintain intimacy and may lead to a fear of a sexless marriage. Men may wonder if it is possible to avoid this outcome.

Prostate cancer and a sexless marriage: impact on intimacy 

Prostate cancer diagnosis can undoubtedly affect a man’s sex life. But there’s no need to worry, as there are many effective ways to enhance your relationship with your spouse and many ideas to bring back intimacy and satisfaction in the bedroom.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the specific ways prostate cancer may halt an active sex life:

  • Excessive tiredness

Fatigue is a common problem experienced by men with prostate cancer. This can be caused by different factors. One of them is the disease itself. The body tries to fight off cancer, which can make a man feel more tired than usual. Moreover, if cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland, it can lead to excessive tiredness.

Prostate cancer can have a significant psychological impact on men, leading to a range of emotions and symptoms. Many men with this disease experience intense worry and fear about their future, with concerns about the effectiveness of treatments and the potential for relapse. Depression is also a common experience for men with prostate cancer, which can further lead to feelings of apathy and lethargy. These symptoms can have a significant impact on a man’s quality of life, including his sexual activity, as low libido is a common symptom of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer treatments are another cause contributing to feeling low energy. One such treatment that is a primary cause of tiredness is men who receive hormonal treatment for lowering testosterone levels. Testosterone is known for driving prostate cancer progression.  In order to prevent that from happening, men with prostate cancer may be given androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to reduce testosterone. However, testosterone is what helps men have a strong desire for sex and helps achieve erections. But, men who are on ADT, their sex drive tanks and their production of red blood cells is lowered which can lead to anemia, another factor for low energy. 

  • Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a fairly common and the main side effect of any urinary issues after a prostatectomy. Men, who use a skilled surgeon, about 10-15% will have urinary incontinence which includes frequent leakage or urination or uncontrolled urinary output. 

Having this condition is embarrassing for men and sexually, can impact their ability to reach an orgasm or even have any desire for intimacy. 

  • Erectile dysfunction

One of the most common and distressing side effects of prostate cancer treatment for many men is erectile dysfunction. This is because the nerves and blood vessels that are essential for healthy sexual function can be damaged or removed during treatment. As a result, almost all men who undergo prostate cancer treatment will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction.

The duration of erectile dysfunction can vary depending on the type of treatment received and the individual’s overall health. For some men, it may last only a few weeks or months, while others may experience it for a longer period. However, the good news is that most men will see an improvement in their erectile function within a year after treatment.

Coping strategies for prioritizing sex and intimacy with your partner

Dealing with prostate cancer and maintaining sexual satisfaction requires effort and planning. Just because there are nuances that have tapped the brakes on regular sexual activity, does not mean that you should put this part of your life on the back burner for another day or time. Sex is an important part of your relationship with your spouse. 

To effectively carve out prioritization for making intimacy happen, here are strategies for protecting this part of your life:

  • Be open with communication

Make time for regular conversations with your partner. Take a walk or turn off the TV and talk about what’s on both of your minds. Listen to one another, repeat back what has been said, and validate one another’s thoughts and ideas. 

  • Be attentive to one another’s needs

Ask what they need from you, what feels good or right, and be sure to enjoy the moment by relaxing without undue pressure or expectations. 

  • Compliment one another frequently

Give positive feedback, choosing good things to say about your partner, make one another feel loved.

  • Have fun experimenting

After prostate cancer treatments, physically, things change. This is where some creativity and a sense of humor, can help ease any awkwardness or ambivalence. If it helps, try out new sexual positions or role-playing to spark new life in improving intimacy.

  • Get out of the house 

Avoid feeling sorry for yourself or getting stuck in a rut mentally and emotionally. Yes, side effects of prostate cancer treatments can throw a wrench into your sex life. However, planning date nights or taking a weekend getaway, can often do the trick igniting intimacy helping to spice things up in the bedroom. 


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 






Dr. David Samadi | Robotic Prostate Surgeon

About is a resource created by Dr. David Samadi in order to raise awareness and get more men to receive prostate cancer treatment. The information is strictly general and you should always discuss with your doctor issues concerning your health.


Be sure to subscribe to the latest news regarding prostate cancer by filling the form below.

ARE YOUAT RISK for prostate cancer?

Accessibility Menu