Yes! Your capacity for pleasure, orgasm, and intimacy doesn’t disappear after prostate removal.
Pleasure, orgasm, erection, and ejaculation are not a package deal. It’s possible to experience one or more without the others.
“The prostate’s main function is to produce semen, which is the fluid that carries sperm through the urethra and out the body,” says Mohit Khera, MD, a urologist specializing in sexual dysfunction and infertility.
When it’s removed, there’s no fluid to ejaculate, he says. Orgasms and pleasure, however, are still possible.
“Most people will still be able to enjoy penile orgasms after prostate removal,” says Searah Deysach, sex educator and owner of Early to Bed, a pleasure-product company in Chicago that ships worldwide.
Your age and overall health can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), he notes. Your surgeon’s skill level and technique can also have an impact.
That said, “your ability to get and stay erect can improve for years following surgery,” says Khera.
Plus, there are things you can do to improve or strengthen your erections. This includes:
- Penis pumps and rings: Vacuum-style pumps can promote blood flow to the area. After removing the device, gently slide a cock ring around the base of the penis to help hold the blood.
- Oral medication: Sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) all increase blood flow to the penis.
- Penile injections: Certain medications can be injected directly into the penis.
- Penile implants: An inflatable or flexible rod can be placed in the penis during surgery.
“The sooner a patient starts to do these types of exercises, the faster they typically recover function,” he says.
Because of this, ejaculatory orgasms typically aren’t possible after prostate removal.
The sensory experience surrounding orgasm will change, Soper explains. It might take some time to get used to the sensation of orgasm without ejaculation, or dry orgasm.
The overall impact on sex and orgasm may be more drastic for people who enjoy prostate stimulation.
However, anal pleasure is still possible.
“There are many pleasure receptors and nerve endings in and around the anal canal,” Goldstein says. “Receptive anal sex can be a great way to experience mind-blowing pleasure with or without a prostate, and with or without an orgasm.”
To start, Goldstein recommends reframing how you define sex — and asking your partner(s) to do the same.
“At the end of the day, how good sex feels and how pleasurable your orgasms feel will vary based on how you define ’sex’ and what you expect to get out of said sex,” he says. “Neither orgasm nor pleasure always needs to result in ejaculating across the room.”
And if you continue to expect your orgasms to be accompanied by a wet, voluminous release, you’ll ruin said orgasm with your expectations.
In other words, your first step is accepting that you’re not going to have ejaculatory orgasms anymore.
“The prostate and ejaculation play just one small part in sex,” Goldstein explains. “So, in the absence of a prostate or the ability to ejaculate, you can absolutely still find sex pleasurable.”
Adopt a beginner’s mindset
“Sexual activity after a prostatectomy is like learning to have sex for the first time all over again,” Soper says. “You get to explore your new body and rediscover tools, sensations, and positions that feel good to you.”
When you permit yourself to find new likes and dislikes, you give your partner(s) permission to do the same, which can totally revolutionize your sex life for the better, she says.
Now is a great time to incorporate parts of your body you’ve never invited into play before. The armpits, neck, ears, and thighs, for example, are often overlooked.
“If you’re looking for alternate ways to receive pleasure that doesn’t involve the prostate, you could also try incorporating the entrance of the anus which typically responds well to touch,” Goldstein says.
Shut down feelings of shame
You may have to do the hard labor of working through shame following prostate removal.
“Many individuals report shaming themselves for erectile and orgasmic dysfunction postsurgery,” Soper says. And that shame can have negative consequences for your sex life, as well as your overall well-being and sense of self.
Learning new ways to have sex can help remove some of that shame and improve self-esteem, self-efficacy, and pleasure, but you may still want to call on a sex therapist for support.
“Just like any other physical change that can impact your sex life, communication with your partner(s) is key after a prostate removal procedure,” Deysach says.
Exactly how you bring it up will depend on the nature of your relationship, but some options include:
- ”I’ve done some research online about prostate removal and sexual function, and I want to share some of the things I’ve found. Can we talk about it together and come up with a game plan?”
- ”Are you available on Tuesday at 2 p.m. to go to my urology appointment with me? I’m going to ask the doctor about how this surgery could affect my ability to have sex, and I’d like you to be there.”
- ”I know that I need to have this procedure, but I’m really worried that I won’t be able to make you feel desired if I can’t get hard or ejaculate. Can we sit down and think through other ways I can show you how hot I think you are while I’m in recovery?”
Can you still ejaculate after prostate removal?
No, you will not be able to ejaculate after prostate removal.
How soon after prostate removal can you masturbate or have penetrative sex?
The general recommendation is 3 to 4 weeks, but your clinician can give you a better idea of how long you should wait to have solo or partnered sex.
“If the penetrative sex you’re interested in having is receptive anal sex, be sure to clarify that with your doctor,” Deysach says.
Is erectile dysfunction common after prostate removal?
“There are a number of different things individuals with erectile dysfunction can do to improve erectile strength, pleasure, and orgasm intensity,” Soper says.
To learn more, Soper recommends consulting with both a urologist and a sex therapist.
Is it possible to impregnate a sexual partner after prostate removal?
If you can’t ejaculate, sperm can’t leave your body. And if sperm can’t leave your body, it can’t enter someone else’s.
Can you develop other prostate conditions after prostate removal?
It depends on whether your prostate is fully or partially removed. If your prostate is completely removed, it isn’t possible to develop other prostate conditions.
The types of orgasms you may be able to have — and the sensations, smells, and textures typically associated with your orgasms — may change following prostate removal surgery.
But there are many (many!) ways for you to continue to give and receive pleasure after surgery, as well as countless treatment options for any sexual or erectile conditions that might occur.
Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a queer sex educator and wellness journalist who is committed to helping people feel the best they can in their bodies. In addition to Healthline, her work has appeared in publications such as Shape, Cosmopolitan, Well+Good, Health, Self, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found coaching CrossFit, reviewing pleasure products, hiking with her border collie, or recording episodes of the podcast she co-hosts called Bad In Bed. Follow her on Instagram @Gabriellekassel.