Can bladder cancer affect my sex life?

Surgery after bladder cancer can affect your sex life and your sexuality. If the cancer has gotten out of control and invasive surgery is necessary, you may have to have the entire bladder removed. This is called a radical cystectomy. Along with removing the cancerous bladder, lymph nodes and reproductive organs may be removed, leaving you infertile. Men will most likely have their prostate and seminal vesicles surgically removed. There may be some nerve damage, making it difficult to have an erection. Young women may start feeling the symptoms of menopause after removal of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even part of the vagina.

After reconstructive surgery, the presence of the urostomy bag (put in place to collect urine after the bladder has been removed) may make you feel self-conscious, especially in sexual situations. You may need some counseling to deal with the feelings you are having and to help you get through anxious times.

Continue Learning about Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer

A disease of our urinary tract, bladder cancer is highly treatable when caught early but often reoccurs after initial treatment.The bladder, which stores our urine, consists of many layers; as the cancer grows, it penetrates more ...

layers and becomes more difficult treat. Four types of tumors can cause bladder cancer, with the most common called transitional cell carcinoma. Although the cause of bladder cancer is unknown, you may be at higher risk if you have chronic bladder infections, a diet high in nitrates and fatty foods, prior radiation or chemotherapy treatments and exposure to chemicals found in dyes. A personal and family history of bladder also puts you at higher risk. See your doctor as soon as possible if you notice blood in your urine, a condition called hematuria. Frequent or painful urination, and abdominal or back pain may also be signs of bladder cancer.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.