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Can there be sexual desire or intercourse after penectomy?

Emeh Joy
By Emeh Joy

Basic Medical Scientist, Freelance Health Writer, Lifestyle Blogger and Business Enthusiast

What is penectomy? Penectomy is the surgical removal of the penis and is mostly used for treating penile cancer. This surgery usually asks the thorny question, "can men have sex after penectomy?"

Penectomy is the surgical removal of the penis either totally or partially and is mostly used for treating penile cancer. Will a man with no penis still have sexual desire or intercourse?

Penectomy procedure usually asks the thorny question of "What is the fate of sexual intercourse afterwards?" Can a man have sexual urge sex after a penectomy? How is life after penectomy?

The impact of conditions such as penile cancer (cancer of the penis) will vary depending on factors such as the stage of penile cancer at the time of diagnosis, how sexually active the man is, and the extent of the treatment.

Treatment of penile cancer raises much fear and anxiety for the man and his partner, and penectomy is just the height of this treatment. Sometimes penectomy depression too sets in.

Penile cancer and treatment

Penile cancer is the formation of cancerous or malignant cells on the surface or inside the penis tissue. Just like every other cancer, Penile cancer is deadly, especially when diagnosed late.

There are different treatment options for penile cancer, such as chemotherapy, penectomy, radiotherapy, and drugs.

Penectomy can cause depression for men, making them feel less of man

Penectomy depression is real

While Penectomy might be the last resort to saving the life of one diagnosed with penile cancer, much will change in terms of the man's sexual life.

After undergoing surgeries to remove part of their penis, some men have said that not only that they could not satisfy their partners, but the penectomy surgery has also made them "feel less of a man". They start experiencing penectomy depression.

Penectomy depression is when a man is thrown into a state of depression and anxiety after penectomy surgery.

It is just understandable. Imagine having some part of the most significant anatomical features of your identity taken away from you.

Image showing the male sexual anatomy: The male reproductive system

What to know about Penectomy

Penectomy surgery is another effective method and might be recommended by the doctor when the situation demands it. Asides from penile cancer, there are rare cases where it might be recommended for severe penile trauma.

Penectomy surgery can be total or partial. With total penectomy, the whole penis is removed. "How will a total penectomy patient urinate then?" you are bound to ask.

The surgeons will create another urinary opening in the perineum (the area between the scrotum and the anus). The man will, however, have to squat to urinate.

The procedure of creating a new urinary opening is known as perineal urethrostomy.

In partial Penectomy, only the end of the penis is removed, leaving out the shaft. In more advanced cases, the testicles and surrounding lymph nodes might also be removed alongside the penis.

Also, a portion of skin might be taken from another part of the body to replace some of the tissue that has been removed (a procedure known as skin graft).

Surgery to the penis in some cases causes complications like urinary problems.

There could be swellings and inflammation of the penis, which exerts pressure to the urethra; thus, causing the urinary system to spray when urinating. However, this is expected to improve as the body heals.

The sexual after-effects of partial Penectomy

Removing all or part of the penis (total penectomy) can greatly impact a man's self-esteem. It can throw one into a state of depression.

Some men say they would rather lose their limbs or be crippled than lose their penis through penectomy. But then, let's take that to be on a lighter tone.

What happens when it is the only option for one to be alive? Will the man have sexual desires after undergoing a penectomy? Can he have sex after a penectomy?

Yes, a man can have sex after a penectomy. Some men can still attain sexual arousal and can even have satisfying sex after undergoing a partial penectomy.

This means there can be sex after penectomy, and there is also life after penectomy.

It's possible for men to attain sexual desire even after penectomy. (Image source:

It is usually not a walk in the park, though, because they had to do therapy sessions in most of those cases and had their partners working with them to overcome their challenges.

Since partial penectomy involves removing the end of the penis, the shaft would still be intact and become erect when aroused. Indeed, the penile glans or 'head', which is the most sensitive area of the penis, is gone but, orgasm and ejaculation can still be reached.

The sexual after-effects of total Penectomy

what about total penectomy? Total penectomy involves complete or total removal of the penis. Hence, It won't be possible for the man to have penetrative intercourse with total penectomy.

However, it is still possible for a man to feel or have sexual pleasure when certain sensitive areas such as the area around the surgical scars, the scrotum and the skin behind the scrotum are caressed.

There might also be a possibility of reconstructing the penis after having a total penectomy surgery. You will have to consult expert physicians on this.