Hi everybody! My boyfriend got diagnosed as having testicular cancer last week, we are just going through the early stages, he has just had one of this testicles removed ( a week ago tomor), and he got his CT scan today! Although the doctors were great .. and we obviously wont know for two more weeks what stage the cancer is at, i was just wondering do any of you guys know how long he should stay off the road (driving) for ??? And how long must you refrain from Intercourse after having this procedure done etc?? These are little things we werent told about?! I hope somebody can help us out .......... we are very much new to this ... and as he is very young only 24 are still in shock! Thanks xxxx
Hi SupportiveGirlf, Sorry to hear of your boyfriend having testicular cancer. I did a little search on Testicular cancer and intercourse and found quite a bit of info on it. If you search for testicular cancer and intercourse, it should be the first link. Since links won't work in here, I couldn't tell you the exact one. Anyway the info will be pasted underneath.
Hope all goes well, and good luck!
Many men worry that losing one testicle will affect their ability to have sexual intercourse or will make them sterile or impotent. But a man with one healthy testicle can still have a normal erection and can still produce sperm. Therefore, the operation to remove just one testicle, called an inguinal orchiectomy (IO), does not make a patient impotent and seldom interferes with fertility. Nevertheless, it still is surgery, and in order to avoid complications like a hernia, we advise that you wait a couple of weeks after the surgery before attempting intercourse.
Surgery to remove the retroperitoneal lymph nodes (RPLND) will not alter a man's ability to have an erection or an orgasm, but the operation can cause infertility because it can interfere with ejaculation. In the past, removing these lymph nodes invariably caused the nerves that control ejaculation to be cut. Without these nerves, the bladder neck does not close during ejaculation, and your sperm end up in the bladder instead of where you would expect them to go. Nowadays most surgeons attempt to perform a nerve-sparing RPLND. The good surgeons are successful almost all of the time, but the regular surgeons with little experience with the operation are not particularly successful. Some men recover the ability to ejaculate without treatment, while others may be helped by medication in an effort to regain their fertility. Most, however, will simply have dry ejaculations. As I understand it, it essentially feels the same, but without the wet spot. Some men claim that it does feel different. As always, if fertility or a forward ejaculation are important to you, make sure that your surgeon has extensive experience with the nerve sparing procedure!
If you end up having radiation therapy it should not change your ability to have sex whatsoever. Radiation therapy can, however, interfere with sperm production. Usually the effect is temporary, and most patients regain their fertility within a matter of months. As for chemotherapy and its effects, men who receive chemotherapy for testicular cancer continue to function sexually, although some anticancer drugs interfere with sperm production. Although this effect is temporary for most patients, some may become permanently sterile. For more information on TC and fertility, check out the TCRC Fertility page.
In either case, if you are receiving chemotherapy, we strongly recommend that you use some form of barrier contraception during and shortly after treatments. You do not want to pass any of those chemotherapy drugs to your partner via semen! Generally speaking, we think it would be best to use a condom between the time chemotherapy starts and 2-3 days after the last dose of chemo.
Regarding sex drive, testicular cancer survivors we have spoken with have told me everything from having sex the day after their IO (ouch!) all the way through having to go on hormonal therapies to re-establish their desire. Just as each one of us is different going in, we're going to be just as different coming out, too. One big key is to keep the patient-doctor communication lines open, before and after any treatments. If you feel different, or just out of whack, let your doctor know. They cannot read your mind, and they definitely cannot diagnose anything if you do not tell them that something is wrong!
Finally, I would like to stress that testicular cancer is not contagious and it cannot be transmitted via sexual intercourse. There are a lot of reasons to be afraid of cancer, but this is not one of them!
The info that sweet86 has posted is pretty accurate (quite the text-book approach), but there is stuff there that you need not worry about until you have a diagnosis (specially RPLND). I am a testicular cancer survivor myself and have gone through what your BF is going through now. First off though, did he recieve a prosthetic implant?? Assuming that he did not, his incision is probably between 3-5 inches. I'd stay off driving for at least TWO FULL WEEKS, longer if he had an implant and specially if it was the right testicle (like mine). Intercourse is a definite NO until at least 4 weeks...believe me, the last thing he wants is a lesion in that wound!
There is definitely no loss in sex drive and erections and ejaculations are normal. At first there is a bit of fluid that collects in the sac where the testicle used to be, but that goes away in time - if he had an implant, that is probably not an issue now.
Your doctor will need three things in order to provide an accurate prognosis:
1) The pathology report
2) CT Scan results
3) Blood test for tumor markers
If you have any of those in hand, I can give you an idea of what to expect and what you should do next. Everything will be OK!!!!
Hey Guys, Thank you both for your responses, I really appreciate them! 4weeks? I thought it would be longer! And driving ... wow I told him i thought it would be ok for him to go back doing a bit here and there oooooooops! He has had all the scans done this week and tests, so now we just have to sit and wait to see what stage it is!
I think doctors say if they were to pick any cancer to get it would be this one! He didnt get an implant! And yes it was his right one! Poor thing, the fact that he lost one is scarful enough i suppose!
how did you feel about everything Believer63? and are you ok now?
Thanks you two, xx
I was also told that it is "the best" cancer to get, if there is such a thing, but I'd rather get none..... after 4 weeks I was good to go on having intercourse - just nothing too rough. The first two weeks are bothersome and painful but the recovery goes fast after that, as long as he doesn't over-do it - NO HEAVY LIFTING.... I learned that the hard way! The problem with driving is that you use your right foot so any sudden move could do some damage there.... I would hold off for another week.
Yes, I am fine now and it's been a few months already. Thank God in my case the cancer was contained in the testicle and did not metastasize - so I am currently under strict surveillance and there's been no need for chemo or radiation. I did A LOT of research myself to get prepared for this so let me know when your results are in - I'd be happy to give you any advice if you wish......
Wow Believer63 you are the best info i have got from the net so far! It is all so sterile and cold! Thank you so much, i hope you dont mind me asking you for info etc ...... i really really appreciate it!