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Regaining Erectile Function after Prostate Cancer - Xialla

Regaining erectile function post-cancer

In their own words, our customers share their stories about the way erectile dysfunction impacted their lives, the treatments they tried, and the solutions that work best for them.  

Some background about me: I’m 73 years old, very active, and a lifelong farmer trained in mechanics. I also operate a recycling enterprise that composts stable waste and makes animal bedding from clean wood scraps, mulch from tree waste and stumps and food waste composting.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer after routine tests showed that I had slightly elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen). A biopsy confirmed an early-stage cancer and in October 2007, I had robotic surgery to remove the prostate gland. Prior to surgery, I had no symptoms of any kind. After surgery, I had complete ED and incontinence. With time the incontinence improved but the ED did not.

At four months post surgery, I was prescribed penile injections. It was better than nothing, but I was sensitive to the medicine and had a terrible ache from the product. I finally heard about using a vacuum device and a constriction ring and started my learning curve on how to restore my sex life.

I hope that by sharing my experience, I can streamline the process for others. I have been active in two face-to face-prostate cancer support groups for many years and believe that we can help each other if we make an effort to both share information about problems and receive information from others that can help us.

ED is a very treatable condition with four basic methods of treatment:

  1. Mild ED is very treatable with oral medication.
  2. For more severe ED, penile injections can be effective if you can tolerate having an injection to the penis and the medicine. The injections need exacting dose and proper placement. They are fairly expensive and have limitations on frequency of use.
  3. A vacuum device with a constriction ring is very effective in creating an erection with no chemicals or restrictions on frequency of use and helps restore original length when no nocturnal erections are happening. When used with oral medication or natural erections, the constriction rings are also very helpful in maintaining the erection as you change body positions or when you become worried about losing the erection.
  4. Penile implants, which require surgery and consist of inflatable tubes inserted in the penis with a pump in the scrotum and a reservoir in the lower pelvic area, are very effective. However, they take away any natural erection ability that may still exist, and they also reduce penile length slightly.

Every guy with ED will want to try different treatments to find the one that works for him, but here are some things that have really helped me on my journey to greater sexual enjoyment.

Try joint showers

Since ED affects a couple's sexuality and general overall intimate contact, a counselor told me to try joint showers. With both partners agreeing to try this, it is a really great way to restore intimacy and fun for both. This practice should not be an automatic prelude to sex unless both agree. This is to be a fun time to restore the loving connection between partners. As we get older and stop communicating about sexual wants and needs, this exercise helps both partners feel better about letting the other know what they like. Joint showers are a great way for a guy to find out if he has any erectile function or not, because standing is the most beneficial position in terms of blood flow and being with a naked partner supplies visual and tactile stimulation. This also has the added benefit of letting the female partner know that she is still sexy. Some guys that I know that thought they had complete ED were surprised to find out that they had some reaction during this exercise.

Use pumps and constriction rings

I have found the use of a vacuum pump and constriction ring to be very effective in helping me get and maintain an erection, but it's important to follow these tips to get the best results.

The most common mistake in using a vacuum is to pump up prior to foreplay. DO NOT PUMP UP PRIOR TO FOREPLAY. Why? Because if you do, by the time your partner is ready to have sex, your penis will be COLD. If you put that where you would like to, this may be the last time you have sex with your partner.

This is where communication is very important and your partner must be the one to tell you when they are ready for you to pump up. Don’t be shy about trying different lubes, especially ones that have a warming effect, and get your partner's input about what they like. While you are getting pumped up, a small vibrator is a nice way for your partner to occupy their time.

Some things to do to prepare:

  • Install the constriction ring on the vacuum tube
  • Have the lube handy
  • Have the base of your penis trimmed or shaved to help get a seal for the vacuum

When ready to pump, up use lube generously on the penis and scrotum. Good lubrication makes the process quicker and more effective on getting any folds stretched out. Just before inserting the penis in the vacuum tube, stretch it in a milking-like action a few times to push some blood toward the tip and lengthen the shaft.

Insert your penis into the tube and start the vacuum. Pump to what is comfortable, then release some vacuum pressure. Start the vacuum again and pump to what is wanted. Do not release the vacuum before sliding the constriction ring off the tube. With the vacuum pressure at the desired level, pull outward on the tube and push the ring off. Now release the vacuum and you are ready. The reason to maintain the vacuum while sliding the ring off is to keep the ring tight against the body to maximize length and to prevent a hinge effect (a weak point where the penis can bend under pressure) at the base of the penis.  

Finally, remember to remove the ring within 30 minutes after use.

Improve stability and sensation with Xialla

While the Xialla ring works for many men, I prefer a wider, stretchy ring because I have a lot of venous leakage. I have found that using a Pos-T-Vac Hex ring along with a Xialla device gives me the ring fit I need along with better stability.

I slide the Xialla ring on the vacuum pump, then the Pos-T-Vac Hex ring. Once I have used the pump to achieve an erection, I slide the Pos-T-Vac Hex ring and then the Xialla ring onto my penis. When using Xialla, I had an even tighter seal next to the body. Using just the Pos-T-Vac Hex ring, the ring would move around during sex, but with Xialla, the strap holds the ring in place.

The other big benefit to me was that with the Xialla strap in place around the testicles and against the perineum, I had a sensation that I had not had since surgery when ejaculation was achieved. Without a prostate gland, there is no semen, so the feeling is not as strong during ejaculation as what it was before surgery. The pressure of the strap made a real difference.

I hope my experiences help other men find a better solution to ED. Remember that if you make every effort to make sex an enjoyable event for your partner, you will probably have a better life.

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