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“My nerves are damaged. What can I do to feel more sensations?”

Cancer nurse Beth says...

Numb penis:

There are plenty of reasons for this – from low testosterone levels to stress, from injury to erectile dysfunction and other medical conditions like depression or diabetes. In its most common form, it’s the result of the minor compression of blood vessels and nerves to the genitals, usually from injury. Nobody wants to have a numb penis – and it’s far from enjoyable when it happens. However, in the vast majority of cases, it won’t spell the end of your sexual pleasure. Many people suffer from reduced penis sensitivity at some point throughout their lives, and there are many ways to get it back. Damage to the prostate, from cancer, can also lead to numbness, tingling, and other changes in the penis.

Loss of vaginal sensation:

During menopause, your oestrogen levels drop significantly. Oestrogen is what helps keep your vaginal tissues nice and supple, thick, and well-lubricated. When estrogen levels dip, the vaginal walls can become thin, dry, and less sensitive. Hormone replacement therapy, ovarian cancer, and ovary removal can all mirror the effects of menopause and create a similar issue. When it happens after sex, it’s more often than not caused by overstimulation of the nerves in your genitals or hypersensitivity. This can feel more like tingling for some people. Some people are super sensitive after sex and don’t like any further touching.

Sex toy expert Renee says...

Wand massagers are multi-purpose tools. They help with low libido, orgasmic difficulties, tense muscles, bad backs and period pain. Wands are incredibly powerful and offer deep, resonating and all-encompassing vibration. Letting a wand buzz away on the clitoris or vulva means the vibrations will stimulate the internal clitoris, the parts which are there but we can’t see. You may find a wand really helps with sensations.

Patient advocate Elvin says...

If those nerves are those that produce and attain an erection, and the recovery period does include regular exercising of the penis 2-3 times a week, also general physical exercise and daily pelvic floor exercises, there is a chance that lasting damage can be reduced. Exercising daily the penis with a vacuum pump and masturbation; both for 15 minutes at a time, can bring about the early stages of penis rehabilitation, i.e. becoming what is often termed ‘semi-hard’

Also, to improve the chances of overcoming erectile dysfunction, attempt cardiovascular exercise 5x times a week, so try running, swimming, brisk walking, or anything you feel like you can do healthily (and check with your doctor before starting). Here’s an excellent 2 minute instructional video on Pelvic Floor Exercises, produced by the Continence Foundation of Australia:

Beyond that, experiment with the multitude of lubes, gels, oils, and creams that are on the market, produced to heighten your sensations when applied with loving care and a desire for sexual pleasure. Also try experimenting with various scents and an array of sounds. Arousal is enabled through aromas and music, just as much (and sometimes more so) as with visuals.