Orchidectomy and its side effects
Orchidectomy is not a common treatment for prostate cancer. It involves removing the testicles by surgery. LHRH agonist injection treatment is as effective as an orchidectomy operation, and much more common.
Side effects of an orchidectomy
Because an orchidectomy cannot be reversed, you must consider the following permanent side effects before you give your permission.
- Lose your ability to get or maintain an erection (impotence)
- Lose your sex drive
- Be infertile
- Experience hot flushes (owing to hormonal changes)
- Be left with some of the testicle tissue: ‘the shell’ of the testicle. However, it will feel smaller than a normal testicle.
It is possible to have prosthetic testicles implanted either during the operation or afterwards. These can be cosmetically and psychologically beneficial for some men, but some may experience problems with them long-term. It is important to ask about an implant and discuss it with your care team before making a decision.