If you are a partner of a man with prostate cancer, then you might experience changes to your relationship and sex life. Some partners feel very distressed and may go on to develop anxiety and depression.
Select any of the following thoughts or concerns you may have to find out what you can do to help manage them and get support.
If your partner has a low sex drive or has trouble with erections this might make you feel less attractive. It can help to talk to your partner about how you are both feeling. It’s likely that his feeling for you won’t have changed. Find out other ways of getting support.
Prostate cancer and treatments can affect your partner’s sex drive. If your partner has a low sex drive this might make you feel less desirable or attractive. You might feel that your partner is no longer interested in you. Again, it can be a good idea to talk this through with your partner. They might not realise how you are feeling and may be able to reassure you. It can be good for you to hear how they are feeling too, so you know how you can support them if you need to.
You might be worried that if you have sex with your partner you’ll catch cancer from him. But you can’t catch prostate cancer through having sex or sexual activity.
You might feel selfish or self-centred for wanting sex, even if your partner doesn’t feel like it or has erection problems. But it’s normal to have sexual needs. Try to talk openly about how you feel.
You might feel that as your partner is going through enough with their cancer and treatment. You don’t want to upset your partner and so you might feel that you can’t talk about your feelings. Try to talk openly about how you feel.
You might feel that that life without sex is OK, but your other half may find this hard to believe or feel bad for you. Try and find some other ways to stay close to your partner.
Your partner may not find it easy to talk about sexual problems caused by their prostate cancer treatment. And they may not want to talk about it all. This feel could make you feel lonely or abandoned. Often timing is important to get your partner to talk to you.
You might feel that it’s not the lack of sex life that bothers you but the more the fact that you no longer have intimacy with your partner. To ease off the pressure of having sex, why not try out some of our ideas for other ways to stay close?
Some people find that their partner doesn’t want to talk about, or is too embarrassed to talk their sexual problems. This can be frustrating but perhaps you could suggest that he starts by talking to someone else.
If a man has problems with his sex life after treatment for prostate cancer, especially a while after treatment, their partners can become worried that they will never have sex with them again. Men can recover from their treatment and may be able to have sex – find out more about how you can have sex after treatment
If your partner has a low libido or is too embarrassed to try to have sex, it might make you feel frustrated and angry at them.
Some partners feel that the lack of sex or intimacy means that they are growing apart from their man. Try to talk openly about how you feel.