Sex After a Hysterectomy
What is sex like post hysterectomy? The short answer is it depends. While it’s possible to continue having a satisfying sex life after this major surgery, there are some factors that may make it more challenging. Still, knowing that the body will change after this procedure, can help women recover better both physically and mentally and keep passion in the bedroom.
Different Types of Surgeries
The first factor to consider is that there are three different hysterectomies that women can undergo and each of them carries varying risk factors and will affect sex in different ways. Here are the three types of hysterectomies:
- Total hysterectomy: The most common surgery, this procedure involves the removal of the entire uterus and cervix. Some surgeries also include removing both the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. For women who have their ovaries removed, it can cause a decline in sexual desire since those organs produce estrogen and progesterone.
- Radical hysterectomy: When a woman has cervical or uterine cancer, she may opt for this very rare type of procedure which includes the removal of the cervix, tissue surrounding the cervix, uterus and upper part of the vagina.
- Partial hysterectomy or subtotal laparoscopic: This procedure, which involves removing the upper portion of the uterus, requires the shortest recovery time.
Eliminating the uterus can mean that nerves allowing the body to climax were cut. This explains why a lot of women report having no or weak orgasms after a hysterectomy. The cervix also holds nerves that are aroused during sexual activity. Therefore, women who also had their cervix removed may not feel stimulated sexually. In addition, having the ovaries removed puts the body into immediate menopause which will cause hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats and other symptoms that can cause a decline in desire.
Still, the good news is that according to one study published in the International Society for Sexual Medicine by Elsevier the majority of women said sex was the same or even better after a hysterectomy.
For many women when the pain and/or excessive bleeding that drove them to have the surgery were eliminated, sex improved.
Give Yourself Time
No matter what type of hysterectomy a woman undergoes, it’s essential to let the body heal. Women should expect to be rehabilitated from surgery-related symptoms about two months post-op. Most surgeons recommend waiting at least six weeks before resuming sexual activity. Women should talk to their doctor about the appropriate time to begin having sex again.
Because the procedure fast forwards the body into menopause, women are likely to deal with vaginal dryness which can make sex painful. This can be alleviated by using lubricants or other vaginal creams.
A hysterectomy is a major surgery that causes the body to go through many physical and psychological transitions. Give yourself time to ease back into it and you should be able to have an enjoyable sex life.
Are you dealing with severe pain due to endometriosis, uterine fibroids or other issues? Contact Dr. Ghozland at 310.299.7143 to schedule an appointment and find out more about his minimally invasive hysterectomies, including robotic hysterectomy.