Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Anonymous on September 9, 2011

I have testicular cancer and need to have surgery... how will it affect my sex life?

I’m about to have surgery to remove one of my testicles because of testicular cancer. Of course I’m happy that the cancer will be gone, but what will this mean for my sex drive and my ability to perform?

answered by David Sobel, MD, JD on September 9, 2011

Thanks for your question. Even though surgery to remove a testicle is fairly straightforward, many men share your concern.

The good news is, when only one testicle is removed, most men don’t have any problems with erections, or experience any change in sexual function. The remaining testicle often produces enough hormones to preserve sex drive. And the remaining testicle usually still produces sperm; so most likely, you won’t have problems with fertility, either.

If you’re concerned about how it will look to have one testicle, some men opt to get a prosthetic testicle. While that doesn’t have a physical effect on sex drive, for some men it makes them feel less self conscious or anxious, which can affect a man’s ability to perform. So if this is something you’re interested in, be sure to discuss it with you doctor.

Thanks for your question and good luck with your surgery.

Related info:

David Sobel, MD, JD

Dr. Sobel is a Colorado-based urologist and Director of the Denver Center for Men’s Health. His areas of expertise include men's sexual health and all areas of urology, including urologic oncology, treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy, stone disease and incontinence. Dr. Sobel was educated at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed his residency at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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