Having a hysterectomy can take a toll on your physical and mental health. How to get in the mood after a hysterectomy can seem nearly impossible.
Your energy is low – you’re aching in places that you don’t want to ache. Sensations feel different in areas of your body that can be hard to talk about. And you’re probably grieving because that’s what a hysterectomy can do to you.
Let’s take a moment to break down the phrase “get in the mood.”
Do Women Have Sexual Desire After Hysterectomy?
We usually think of that in sexual terms – getting the libido pumped up and being excited about sex. But “get in the mood” can have a broader meaning. If you check the dictionary, you’ll see that “getting in the mood” means “feeling a desire for something or to do something.” So it’s not necessarily all about sex.
“Mood” refers to how you feel at the present time.
Note that the definition of mood says “at the present time.” That’s good news because it means your mood can change! We all know that there’s one constant in life, and that’s change. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t be trying to figure out how to get in the mood after a hysterectomy.
Also important to note here is that libido and sex drive are driven by many factors. If you don’t feel in the mood to do anything, you’re not going to feel in the mood to have sex. So it’s essential that you get to the root of the problem and don’t just try to attack it from a sexual point of view.
Hysterectomy and Sex Drive
The first thing you need to do to get in the mood after a hysterectomy is to give yourself time to heal. You won’t feel this way forever. Trying to force yourself to feel differently as you recover from a hysterectomy doesn’t help. In fact, it can stress you out and make things worse. So give yourself some time and space to recover.
How long does it take to recover physically after a hysterectomy?
That depends on
- Your age
- Your general level of health
- The type of hysterectomy you had
- If there were any complications
You can expect to be in the hospital anywhere from 1-5 days. (Don’t expect to be in “the mood” there!)
Once you get home, it can take up to eight weeks to make a full physical recovery. Abdominal hysterectomies take longer to heal than a vaginal or laparoscopy hysterectomy. This is the time to rest.
Don’t lift anything heavy, and let your abdominal muscles and the surrounding tissues heal. (You can make this time sexy and intimate by asking your partner to wait on you and treat you like a precious object. )
If you’d like a full run-down on what happens after a hysterectomy, we’ve posted about that here.
Address Your Feelings
Mentally and emotionally recovering from a hysterectomy may take more time and may inhibit your ability to get in any mood but an angry or depressed one. This is where “how to get in the mood after a hysterectomy” involves a few more considerations.
Let’s look at them now.
It also means the end of your fertility. If you weren’t ready for either of those situations quite yet, you might have to work through your feelings about them.
Talking with a trusted friend, counselor, or loved one can help relieve the dark mood and get you to a lighter one. Unfortunately, shoving down your feelings means they’ll eventually come out sideways, making you feel worse both physically and emotionally.
Is Sex Different After a Hysterectomy?
Loss of libido is common for women who are recovering from a hysterectomy. Sometimes it sticks around way too long. Even after your body has healed, you may still be physically affected by some of the side effects of a hysterectomy. One of these side effects is hormone imbalance.
Hormone imbalance can throw everything off. Including how to get in the mood. For example, you may have expected to experience symptoms of menopause and estrogen and/or progesterone imbalance, but did you know that your testosterone levels may also be low?
Although testosterone is thought of as the male sex hormone, women make small amounts of it in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone is probably not the first thing you think of when you think of a natural female libido enhancer, but it is. The reason is that testosterone levels peak at ovulation, which stimulates a woman’s desire for sex.
If you undergo a hysterectomy and have your ovaries removed, you’ll lose 50% of your circulating testosterone.
Your doctor can test you for a hormone imbalance and then help you get back to feeling more like yourself with bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. The good news is that this is also how you can get in the mood after a hysterectomy!
Beat the Bloat After a Hysterectomy
Gas and bloating are common – and often unexpected – side effects of hysterectomy. The cause of gas pain and bloating after a hysterectomy is a slowing down of gut movement.
Bloating causes (and the resulting gas build-up) can include:
- Inflammation and swelling with tissue injury
- Pain-relieving medications
- General anesthetic
- Slowed nervous system/neural changes
- Decreased walking and movement
- Hormonal changes
Bloating isn’t comfortable for anyone. And it certainly doesn’t get you in the mood. If you want to beat the bloat, you can:
- Eat pre- and pro-biotic foods to support your gut biome.
- Drink warm beverages and peppermint tea.
- Eat slowly and avoid carbonated beverages and swallowing air.
- Move regularly and do yoga or stretches that relieve gas.
- Avoid gas-producing foods.
Sex After Hysterectomy
We suspect this is the one you were wanting to read when you clicked on “how to get in the mood after a hysterectomy”! But all the stuff above is really important too.
So – if you can get in a more positive mood, even feeling great, but you still don’t feel a desire for sex, that’s okay. Here are some time-honored suggestions to help.
Try focusing more on foreplay, experimenting with sex toys, trying new positions (ones that may not be so uncomfortable for you right now), talking with your doctor about medicines that you’re taking that may impact your libido, consult a sex therapist, or address relationship or other interpersonal issues that may be affecting your sex life.
Reconnect with yourself and what you like – in the present moment – and your partner. This is good advice for anyone,or not!
How to Increase Sex Drive After Hysterectomy – Nava Can Help!
We’re here to help. Having a hysterectomy doesn’t mean the end of good times. We have solutions that can help you get on the path to your best times!