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Jean describes how she felt when her husband Chris started to have erection problems and how she dealt with it. Chris had brachytherapy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006.

Was it me?

‘Chris initially was able to maintain an erection after having treatment for brachytherapy, however some months later he started to have erection problems. Initially, I didn't put this down to having treatment for prostate cancer and thought it was because he didn't love me or want to make love to me. We would start to make love but then he would lose his erection, he would turn over and I was left wondering why.

Was it me he didn't love any more? I was upset and very hurt.

We were not touching, holding hands or even kissing as we both thought this lead to making love. Chris didn't want to start something he couldn't finish and I didn't want to start anything, knowing the possible outcome. I just wanted to cry all the time.

Communication is key

One day I broached the subject and it was such a relief on both sides. We were then able to sit and talk about our feelings, and we went off to see the GP, who prescribed Viagra.

I think you need to be open and to talk and to understand that, yes, you can have something as special, even if you can't make love. But it's the talking bit that I think we especially needed to overcome. Once we'd done that and we could say, "actually yes, we have a problem. OK, what's going to happen next?"’