Managing Radiation Therapy Side Effects
What Men Can Do
About Changes in Sexuality and Fertility
“I talked with my doctor about the sexual problems I was having. I’m glad I did. My doctor told me some things that had worked for other men.”
Questions from men getting radiation therapy:
Is it okay to have sex during my treatment?
Talk with your doctor to learn if it is okay for you to have sex. It depends on your type of treatment. Most men can have sex during their treatment.
I don’t feel like having sex anymore. What’s wrong?
Be easy on yourself. You are going through a lot. You may be worried or tired from your treatment. Most likely you will feel better once treatment ends. For now, talk with your partner and find other ways to stay close to each other.
Questions from men getting radiation therapy to the pelvis:
Will I still be able to have sex after treatment?
Some men are able to have sex without any problems. For other men, radiation therapy can cause problems with getting and keeping an erection. Sexual changes happen very slowly over a period of six months to one year after radiation therapy. Talk with your doctor or nurse to learn what you should expect. turn page over
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health
Managing Radiation Therapy Side Effects: What Men Can Do About Changes in Sexuality and Fe rtility
Questions to ask your doctor or nurse:
1. What problems should I call you about? 2. How long will these problems last? 3. What medicine or treatments could help me with these problems? 4. What are all my options now if I would like to have children in the future?
Will I be able to have children in the future?
Before treatment starts, talk with your doctor about your plans for a family. Let your doctor know if you would like to have children after treatment. Your doctor can help you learn about what you can do now to plan for your family’s future. He or she can talk with you about sperm banking. Or your doctor can refer you to a fertility specialist.
American Cancer Society
Toll-free: Online: 1-800-227-2345 (1-800-ACS-2345) www.cancer.org
Free Services To Learn More
National Cancer Institute Cancer Information Service
Phone: 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER) TTY: 1-800-332-8615 Online: www.cancer.gov Chat Online: www.cancer.gov/help
Toll-free: Online: 1-888-994-4673 (1-888-994-HOPE) www.fertilehope.org
NIH Publication No. 07-6107 Printed April 2007