Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

sex problems after surgery

terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Chronic Pain
an embarrassing albeit important subject with me. as most of you know i have had numerous back surgeries. after all of them except the last, i was able to function normally in the old sex department. it was only after my last one about 3-4 years ago that i have had as one would say been unable to turn on the old engine. i have talked to my back guy and my urologist and one says yes it could happen and the other says no. i have been on the same type and number of meds for 10 years so i don't think it is them. one guy said there are nerves that can be damaged with fusions. i know they had a guy to monitor my nerve functions during surgery but nothing was said. i have been on ed meds with no help. i have tried different ones and doses with no help. my wife is somewhat understanding. i have used testosterone supplements with the best results but i get extreme acne with either the shots or gel,androgel. any of you guys have had the similar problems? i am only 64 and hopefully this can be managed.
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.


  • since my last operation nearly 6 years ago my wedding equipment has been out of order too and i am only 45 .i have been told that it will never work again .to be honest with you i am in so much pain all the time and knackered the rest of the time sex is the LAST thing on my mind .i hope that you get sorted out
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Is your doctor checking your testosterone levels when you are on the supplemental testosterone? Acne is a sign that your level is just too high. When on the hormone, you should keep the level mid-range. The hormone should be individually managed, and should never be given without labs monitored. There is no...one size fits all with dosing. Hormone levels constantly change, especially when the body is stressed, such as surgery. I have my labs checked every 4-6 months.

    I use topical creams myself, because the cream is not metabolized by the liver. My liver does not need any additional burden on it since I have to take meds for pain.


  • i have it checked all the time. acne is just a side effect with no matter what level it is. i get it with the shots and also the gel. the shots seem more effective but i have to go to dr every 6 weeks and it is a hassle. i'd rather have the gel. this has been going on and off for 4-5 years. it is weird because sometimes the gel or shot does not improve my sex drive and sometimes it does. but it does not improve erections nor does the ed medicine per se. i'm thinking about changing urologists. there is a team and the office is really run bad. i have called up to get refill on antibiotic because infection was not improving and they never called back. this happens all the time. i have complained but after a while they still won't return a call even when i want an appointment.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • cause you to have high levels before they level off. That is why cream (or gel) slowly increases your level to the desired point, and then you can keep it there.

    Do you get a copy of your lab results? I would do that, then you can begin to see where your lab levels are falling with the dose your are taking. The lab results will give you a range. For example, if the range is 250-850, maybe about 500 would be good for you. You will have to play with it for a while to learn what level you can keep it at without causing the acne. That is why a topical preparation works so nicely. If you begin to get acne, then back off some, and then check your level again in 6 weeks. That is what my doctor does. Osteopathic or naturopathic doctors really understand hormone balance, and how important it is to optimize all levels. You could even have a problem with high estrogen, which can cause some of the symptoms that you are having. It is not uncommon in men as they age, and it can be treated by doctors with the expertise to do so.

  • Hi Tony.. I also was in a car crash in 1996..Left me disabled.SSD i collect now.Cannot work.I am a female who really could care less about sex anymore because of the constant pain i am in on a daily basis--24/7..I hav many sleepless nights.If I do fimally sleep, it is at 3a.m....I take numerous meds, that also dont help with the sex drive..I am only 48yrs old& hav bn living with this for yrs.It has gotten worse.Now i await my 3rd surgery within 1&1/2 yrs...Sept 2011..because anothr disc collapsed.I only hav 1 or Lumbar disc to fail & then my back will b full of metals..from neck to rear ender.....lol...hav to handle the pain..What else is there to do....
    B positive....Every Day is New Day..U R In Control of Your Own Self...Mind Over Matter..No Matter How Hard

    I hope all works out well for U.. :)))

    1999ruptured disc L5-S1(surgery resulted in massive scar tissue,resulted in chronic pain)
    2006 auto accident.May2010 surgery(L3-4,4-5,5-6,L5-S1,removed bad discs,replaced w/rod,pedicle screws,pins to hold discs together..Also neck(C4-5,5-6,6-7).2010 surgery Nov to repair broken screw&fix pinched nerve in foot/toes... Now again, awaitin L2-3 collapsed disc surgery slated for Sept2011..
  • Before surgery (L5/S1 discectomy) everything worked fine.

    After surgery, the pain was the only thing on my mind for a long time. With the slow relief of that, I realized that sex drive had bottomed out.

    Testosterone test, barely registered.
    Gels, another test.
    Patches, another test.
    Injection of sustanon, another test.
    Injection of reanderon, another test.

    Still waiting for the spark to come back, as I hate feeling like the village eunuch.
  • You may not feel that it has anything to do with the medication that you are taking, because you have been taking them for ten yrs, but in those ten yrs you and your body have gone through many changes. Medication, namely opioids/opiates do have an inpact on sex drive. All opioids (narcotics) can decrease your sex drive, but usually the most significant effect is that it makes ejaculation more difficult (for males). The drugs can increase fatigue, reduce sex drive and increase the chance of headaches. This is a very common side effect of pain medication/s.

  • Hi Jon,

    I am sorry you are having these problems. I am currently 36 yrs old, and have had problems in all of the same areas you are talking about. In my opinion, I think you might benefit from an actual specialist in hormones of the body. An (Endocrinologist) is the specialist for the hormones of the male and female body. This is what they do, they are a specialist to hormones, as a neurosurgeon is to the nerves of the body. You won't find a more qualified specialist for this problem. I went in for my first cervical fusion (age 32), and before surgery I could perform just as I should; I came out of surgery, and could not urinate or get an erection. My urologist was helping with my urination problems, and trying with the erection problems also. He eventually recommended and referred me to a specialist for hormones aka (Endocrinologist.) I am still thankful to this day for it. I have more energy, and it has leveled out my testosterone which was non existent at the time. The (Endo) said that injuries to the spine can cause disruption of testosterone production. I will stop here, and not ramble on. My main point was to hopefully give you some info on a different type of specialist that I didn't see anyone mention. I hope I helped some, and I really hope that you get the help and results that you desire. Good Luck :)))

  • thanks to all for the messages. unfortunately i need to find another urologist. i have been with him for 10 years but i call office and the nurse never lets the dr know. this is one reason i want to leave. i was really sick and wanted a change in meds, they never let dr know. etc etc. i plan on getting the name of another urologist and see what he says and does.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • As someone above noted, seeking a Endocrinologist is now my next step, as to date I have a GP who simply follows the directions of a pain management Dr.

    Although the GP has tried a few of the usual treatments for low hormones, gels & injections of testosterone, etc., their lack of results indicates that the treatment is not effective, and knowledge too shallow.

    Since day one after the surgery (left side of L5/S1) I have had constant pain in my left testicle.

    My GP said that the lack of testosterone just happens to coincide with my age, and has nothing to do with the surgery.

    Before surgery = everything working
    After surgery = village eunich

    I no longer have faith in my GP's ability to adequately consult in this matter.

    Where I live there are Endocrinologists who combine testosterone with HGH (Human Growth Hormone).

    My dream is that HGH will somehow help the scar tissue on the nerve repair, or reduce, allowing the body to take more active control over my groin, whilst the Testosterone replacements then become effective.
    At worst, I am hoping for a boost in energy levels.
  • I had not considered Low-T (testosterone).

    Sex is a very painful process for me and has been since the Lumbar fusion. Really upsets (that's a mild term) my wife who is 8 years younger than me... i am only 43, so it bothers me too.

    Gonna get some tests done in the very near future.
  • i talked with a orthopedic surgeon about 8 years ago and i don;t know if they still do this but some fusions are done through the front of you and not the back. like i said i don't know if some do it that way but mine have always been through the back. he said one side effect of going through the front was lack of ejaculation and that they would ask the guy if he wanted kids and if he did not then they would do it through the back. i don't know what the benefits of going through the front were but i still believe that back or front, there are tons of nerves involved and that is why they have a guy monitoring your nerve functions during surgery. my first 3 surgeries, no problem, but my last one, sex problems, more pain, can't walk without pain and having to stop, and pain in leg and foot. it seems that the last one was done higher then the others and that is when i started to have problems/ drugs have not helped, still take testerone and viagra like drug but sex drive and erections are still problematic. hugh hefner is 87 and still has 20 year old girl friends, and i am only 64 and i work like a wet noodle. so i see a new urologist on the fifth of august, wife's birthday, and hopefully i can give her a good present if you get my meaning. my other urologist just looked at me and said try this and after 10 years nothing. my urologist is like some or your pain specialist, there but nothing doing.his name is dr ben dover urology.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Hi Jon,

    Are you taking the gel or the shots to receive your testosterone? I tried the gel for quite sometime and it didn't help my Test levels at all, basically because I am not producing any Test by myself. When the Endocrinologist started me on the shots it made a real big difference. I am only 36, and no erections at all without Viagra and Testosterone shots. If you are not on the shots yet, then I think it would be worth exploring your options with your specialist. I hope you get the help you are looking for.

  • thanks keith
    i have tried both and to tell you the truth the shots work better for me also. it is just a problem of driving across town to get them and getting charged for a visit to get them. it is cheaper and more convenient to use the gel, but like you i am thinking of using the shots again since i changed my urologist who is now a lot closer to me than my old one. i see him on the fifth and i will ask him then. my dr has a computer system where they have all of my x-rays, blood and lab test on line so it will be aviable for my dr. i have tried the gel and or shots along with and erection drug, cialis with no results at all. that is why i want to try a new urologist
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • My GP at first tried injections of what was called Sustanon.

    These were nominally better than the Androderm patches, and better again than the gel.

    A side-note about the Androderm patches, which I did not use as a patch.

    I found they had little effect when applied as a 24-hour patch, and instead I used to double the patch over on itself, squeeze it all up to one end until the membrane popped, then I rubbed that over my upper arm and shoulder.

    I would follow this by lightly rubbing 'rubbing alcohol' (isopropanol) over the area until the stickiness of the gel left my hand, then a good soap and hot water wash of my hands to remove traces of the gel compound.

    I found this method of application more effective than using the patch as a patch.

    I am now getting shots of Reandron 1000

    I asked the GP if he had any doctor samples of pills 'out the back', left my visiting sales rep's?
    The Dr had once given me a sample Viagra box (contents 1 tablet), but I found the issue of timing and planning within a certain time window to be a bit of a turn-off, but tried it none-the-less, with no dramatic, or successful, result.

    This time he returned with a shopping bag with about 12 boxes of Cialis. He told me this had no time window, and with a Testosterone boost via injection, may work better, and indeed it did.

    It took a few days for the injection to start making it's presence known, then I tried the daily Cialis, and for the first time since a long long time, I woke in the morning with an erection that felt it was about to burst.

    On this alone, I would choose Cialis over Viagra any day.

    None-the-less, whilst it helped me gain a functional erection, the time seemed to be quite short before I went flaccid again.
    For once I wished I had a problem with early ejaculation.

    The Reandron is supposed to last, I believe he told me, 3 months, but I found it wore off rather quickly, so I would prefer more frequent shots, if he agrees to give them to me more often.

    As mentioned previously, I also plan to see a Dr know to dispense not only Testosterone, but Human Growth Hormone, and I am hoping with everything crossed that's possible, that the injections, plus the cialis, plus HGH, will prove to be a more positive combination.
    I pray that somehow, the HGH will also have some benefit to the underlying scar tissue, and help the nerve to continue repairing itself, however slowly.

    As someone mentioned, Hefner is in his 80's and still manages to get it going, even if he does use drugs for assistance, but, he has not had the nerve damage we have.
    If he had suffered the same kind of injury and after-effects, he would be nothing but an old man surrounded by maids, without a bikini in site.

    When I first had the Reandron injection, at times I did find myself quite short-tempered and aggressive feeling. It may have just been a bad day, but I want to mentally monitor this, in case it's a side effect of the injection.

    As we all do, let's hope that some positive and reproducible treatment becomes available.

    In the meantime, good luck to all fellow sufferers.

  • I was talking to my daughter the other day and she mentioned how she gives her husband testosterone shots at home. Isn't that odd? The doc gave them whatever they needed and she does it I think once a week she said. I know he has issues because of anti-depressant medication and that is the reason for his lack of sex drive but her and I both want another child so he had to get with the program. O.K., grandchild for me - kid for her - I best clarify that one! Hope that gave you boys a chuckle. Maybe that would be an option Jon since you mentioned having to drive thru town to get the shots? Might be worht looking into.
  • that reminded me of when my wife and i were trying to conceive, she had to have meds pertuston, sp??? to help her with conception. if it did not work, i had to learn how to give her hormone shots and also learn how to mix the meds. i practiced on an orange and she was not too thrilled at the prospect. we had to try 4 times to conceive and thank god she became pregnant before i had to give her shots. along with my sex problems, at first i had no problem with sex drive but i was sterile as a mule. no sperm at all. so we had to go and use the prediction kit and when she was ready to conceive, we went to the dr and used the old turkey baster and injected sperm from a donor. it is not supposed to be a good way to get pregnant but thank god she became pregnant by the third time. we had a beautiful healthy baby and he is now 15. but at least i had a sex drive and was able to have a "woody" easily. now no drive or woody. we will see what my new urologist says on the fifth of August
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Jon, I hope you have good luck this time. I also was going to tell you about taking the shot yourself. My wife will give it to me in the arm, or I will give it to myself in the leg. This is what my doctor said to do, and it is much more convenient to give to yourself at home than to go to the doctor once a week. I am on Testosterone Cypionate, and it seems to be pretty good. I definately have more energy than I used to, and add that to the 100mg viagra and I can get an erection about 65-70% of the time. It's not perfect for a 36yr old guy, but it is better than I used to be which was 000%. I really, really hope this new doctor can help you get things at least where u would like to be. Keep us up to date.
  • Just had my multilevel bone fusion on may 23, 2012.
    It is now June 1, and the pain in the left testacle is crucial.
    When does it end?
  • take 4 grams of vitamin C pure crystal powder twice a day with 500mg of b5....mixed with plenty of water...

    your engine will be back in no time....

    occasionally you can take arginine 500mg before performing....

    the arginie helps blood irrigation...

    all these are natural....

    the C is the best....

    Live to Pray
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.