Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Orgasm Problems Common After Prostate Surgery

But Orgasm Quality Often Returns Within 2 Years of Prostate Cancer Surgery

WebMD Health News

May 10, 2004 (San Francisco) -- The quality of a man's orgasm often decreases after prostate cancer surgery, according to a new study presented at a meeting of men's health specialists. But the good news is that orgasm quality improves over time.

Although prostate cancer surgery is known to cause sexual function problems, the emphasis has been placed on erection problems, says lead researcher Andrew R. McCullough, MD, at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco. He is director of the Sexual Health and Male Infertility and Microsurgery Programs at New York University School of Medicine in New York.

McCullough says no long-term studies had been done on orgasm quality after prostate cancer surgery, so he and his team performed a study on 228 men. In order to rate orgasm quality, the men, average age of 59, completed questionnaires before prostate cancer surgery and several times during the following 24 months.

Before prostate cancer surgery, 76% of the men described their orgasm quality as either good or very good. But after surgery, some men in the very good category said their orgasm quality had fallen.

There are many factors at play, says McCullough, including the effect of surgery on sexual function and the psychological stress of a cancer diagnosis.

Approximately 15% of men with poor to fair orgasms had an improvement and described their orgasms as good or very good two years after surgery. Younger men, men who were able to get an erection, and men with more sexual desire were all more likely to report an improvement in orgasm quality.

But the good news is that orgasm quality continued to improve in the months after prostate cancer surgery. Treatment with medications to improve erectile function, such as Viagra, also improved orgasm quality, says McCullough. Erectile dysfunction treatments also helped speed return of both erectile function and orgasm quality.

"These findings are consistent with what I see in my practice," Anthony Y. Smith, MD, tells WebMD. "Around the time of surgery, men experience stress and other factors that probably do carry forward for some time, but in a significant percentage of men, orgasmic quality gets better over time, and it gets better with erectile dysfunction treatments." He is a professor of urology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Today on WebMD

man with doctor
Symptoms, risks, treatments
man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore
prostate cancer cells
What does this diagnosis mean?
doctor and male patient
Is it worth it?
cancer fighting foods
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
Prostate Enlarged
Picture Of The Prostate
Prostate Cancer Quiz
screening tests for men
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Vitamin D