Sex After Hysterectomy

happy couple, finding solutions for health and sex after hysterectomy
Medically Reviewed
August 11, 2021

We’re going to talk about sex after hysterectomy? You probably remember the old days when all of this hysterectomy and sex stuff was kept hush-hush!

That isolation and secrecy left many women feeling alone, ashamed, and unsupported during a significant life change. Unfortunately, this created an even bigger taboo and fear around sex and hysterectomies.

The truth is, though, that hysterectomies are common in the United States. According to the Center for Disease and Prevention, nearly 600,000 women get hysterectomies each year. They run a close second to C-Sections as the most common surgery for women in the US.

Is Sex Different After Hysterectomy?

Are you concerned about what sex is going to be like after your hysterectomy? Or maybe it’s your partner who’s getting a hysterectomy, and you’re not sure what to expect. Many people think that life after a hysterectomy means no more sex drive and no more sex. But it isn’t that simple. The truth is three-fold:

  • Some women will experience no change in their sex lives after a hysterectomy.
  • Other women will experience a change that requires physical, emotional, and mental support.
  • And yet other women’s sex lives will be even better than they were before the surgery!

No matter which category you or your partner fall under, having open and honest conversations will pave the way to a better relationship – which often leads to better sex.

So let’s clear the air. In this article, we’ll share answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about sex after hysterectomy. 

Sex After Hysterectomy

How Long After Hysterectomy Can I have Sex?

After a couple of weeks, you can fool around and have orgasms all you want to. Generally speaking, doctors tell women not to have penetrative sex (nothing in the vagina) for six weeks following surgery. However, not all hysterectomies are the same.

  • A total hysterectomy encompasses the entire uterus, including the cervix.
  • A partial hysterectomy encompasses the upper part of the uterus, but the cervix is left in place.
  • A radical hysterectomy requires that the uterus and structures around it (including the ovaries) be removed.

Depending on which surgery you had and how you are healing, you may be able to have sex sooner than six weeks post-op. Follow your doctor’s guidance and listen to your body. If external stimulation is comfortable for you, ease into penetration with gentle fingers or small toys and see how that feels. If you feel any discomfort or pain, it’s best to wait before having sex.

Will Sex Feel Different After a Hysterectomy?

Studies have shown that most women who‘ve had hysterectomies said there were no changes – or that their sex lives got better – after recovering from surgery. Women who had been experiencing painful sex or bleeding before their hysterectomies often find that these symptoms disappear when the uterus is not there.

For women who’ve their ovaries removed, vaginal dryness may become a concern, but estrogen therapy in the form of BHRT used alongside lubricants can alleviate that.

Will I Still Be Able to Orgasm?

For most women, orgasms should happen as normal. There are two buts here:

  1. If pain and bleeding were part of your pre-hysterectomy sex life, your sex could be more pleasurable than ever!
  2. If pre-hysterectomy you felt your uterus and/or cervix contract during orgasm, then you may have a much different experience once you’ve had surgery to remove them.

Why is Sex Painful After Hysterectomy?

Painful sex after a hysterectomy can result from various physiological and psychological factors. Physically, since the surgery involves removing the uterus and some other reproductive organs, it can lead to discomfort or pain during sex. Also, the decrease in hormone levels, especially if ovaries are removed, can lead to vaginal dryness and decreased elasticity. The emotional impact of a hysterectomy may include feelings of loss or changes in self-perception and body image, which can affect sexual function. However, it is best to speak with your doctor if you are feeling pain after hysterectomy recovery.

Does Hysterectomy Affect Your Sex Drive?

Because your ovaries produce sex hormones that affect your sex drive, if your hysterectomy, includes removing them, your sex drive may decrease. If your ovaries remain in place, your libido should not be affected.

Hysterectomy hits each woman differently. The state of your mental wellbeing affects whether or not you’re in the mood for sexual activity. So, if you’re a woman who’s having a difficult time adjusting mentally, your sex drive may also suffer.

How to Increase Sex Drive After Hysterectomy?

Sex after a hysterectomy can jangle your nerves, but you don’t need to worry. Physically, the body may need a little support post-op for you and your partner to have a pleasurable sexual experience again.

Don’t be shy. Talk it out and lube it up!

Are you scared that you’re going to hurt your partner because she had a recent hysterectomy? Talk to her about it. Having a frank and open conversation about what’s happened and how you feel can work wonders. Using plenty of lube can work wonders, too. Stress, nervousness, and the removal of the ovaries can all lead to vaginal dryness, so grab some lube for a better experience.

Slow down and listen to your body

No matter how quickly you want to hop back in the sack, you just had surgery. You and your partner have nothing to prove here. Taking time for recovery can lead to more intimacy and better sex. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s ready. Until that happens, back off and have some fun! You will also want to refrain from any positions that rub on incision areas.

Sex After Hysterectomy – Find the Best Support with Nava

Navigating the changes of sex after hysterectomy is a personal journey, but it’s one that you don’t have to face alone. Finding the best support is essential for a positive outcome. At Nava, we have a team of healthcare providers who understand your experience and can help you every step of the way. Together, we will find solutions to help restore intimacy and comfort for your sex life after hysterectomy.

If you want to know how we can support you both on the post-operative journey, contact us for a consultation!

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A Medical Director, and one of the first physicians to join the Nava Health & Vitality Center, Dr. Douglas Lord has made significant contributions to our Center and its founding principles. Dr. Lord has helped develop and implement the Nava Method™—Nava’s proprietary approach to total body wellness. He has also been instrumental in liaising with other expert practitioners to successfully implement Nava’s range of therapies, treatments, and products.