Many therapies for erectile dysfunction (ED) after prostate cancer treatment improve erectile firmness, yet, most couples stop using aids within 1–2 years. Patients and partners who expect immediate and complete success with their first ED treatment can be demoralized when they experience treatment failure, which contributes to reticence to explore other ED aids. Comprehensive patient education should improve sustainability and satisfaction with ED treatments. Pre-emptive and realistic information should be provided to couples about the probability of recovering natural erections. Beginning intervention early and using a couple-based approach is ideal. Recommendations are provided about the timing of ED treatment, the order of aid introduction, and combination therapies. Renegotiation of sexual activity is an essential part of sexual adaptation. From the outset of therapy, couples should be encouraged to broaden their sexual repertoire, incorporate erection-independent sexual activities, and continue to be sexual despite ED and reduced libido.
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The authors thank Drs Stacy Elliot and Jay Lee for their helpful feedback on drafts of this manuscript.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Walker, L., Wassersug, R. & Robinson, J. Psychosocial perspectives on sexual recovery after prostate cancer treatment. Nat Rev Urol 12, 167–176 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrurol.2015.29