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Myth: Erectile Dysfunction is Common After Bowel Surgery

Myth: Erectile Dysfunction is Common After Bowel Surgery

If you’re about to have bowel surgery and you’re worried about developing erectile dysfunction, there’s good news: it’s not that common.

Why do men assume they’ll get erectile dysfunction?

Many men assume that because prostate cancer surgery can cause erectile dysfunction, bowel surgery will cause erectile dysfunction—due to its similar location on the body. But unlike the prostate, the bowels generally don’t involve the nerves that control erectile function.

What can cause erectile dysfunction alongside bowel surgery?

Of course, any surgery can increase the risk for erectile dysfunction just from the psychological issues related to going under the knife. Fear of loss of sensation or the need for a colostomy, both of which can interfere with sex, can lead to erectile dysfunction

If men require chemotherapy or radiation after the surgery, that could cause erectile dysfunction, but so could co-existing medical issues, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

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Certain medications can also cause erectile dysfunction too, which is why it’s vital to talk to your medical provider about any health issues and medications you’re taking.

Smoking, drug use, excessive alcohol consumption and anxiety or depression can also cause erectile dysfunction.

Treating erectile dysfunction

For most men with erectile dysfunction, simply taking an FDA-approved erectile dysfunction like Viagra will be enough to regain erectile function.

Viagra does require a prescription from your doctor, so be prepared to answer questions about current medications and health issues you might be experiencing. It’s especially vital that you disclose information regarding heart medications, high blood pressure, diabetes and habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or drug use, as all of these can affect erectile dysfunction (and some—such as nitrates for heart problems—may affect whether you can take Viagra at all).

You can also reach out to AccessRx for an online consultation.

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About Lisa

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As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. Lisa Furgison on Google+