Sex After Hysterectomy

Hands of a couple interlinked to show sex after hysterectomy continues
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.

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. Then we’ll offer a few tips to the partners.

If you prefer to talk to NAVA now, do please contact us for an appointment. Otherwise read on.

Sex after Hysterectomy FAQs

How Soon After a Hysterectomy Can We 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.

What Happens to Sexual Appetite?

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.

What Can Make Sex More Pleasurable After a 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.

Suggestion For the Partner

Learn about hysterectomies. The more you know, the better.

Many of your fears are based on misconceptions or misinformation. Ask your partner which type of hysterectomy she’s having, and then do a little research on reputable medical websites to help you understand what to expect following surgery.

Get support

If her hysterectomy is making you see her in a new light, take a step back. Her hysterectomy does not change who she is. If you have many mental reservations after your partner’s hysterectomy and cannot get over them, seek help.

Long-term problems in your sex life will not just go away. Don’t use concerns about hurting your partner as an excuse to avoid sex. Confront your problems head-on rather than blaming them on the hysterectomy.

Affirm your partner’s femininity

Social and cultural conditioning link womanhood to fertility, so your partner may experience deep grief over having her uterus removed or losing the ability to bear children. Your support is invaluable during this difficult time.

Reassure your partner by regularly complimenting her on her appearance, personality, intelligence, and unique characteristics. Find ways to let your partner know how much you treasure her.

If you get frustrated with her emotions and cannot be sensitive or thoughtful to her needs at this time, you may need to give her (and you) a little breathing room.

We Can Help You and/or Your Partner

Hysterectomies happen. Your sex life doesn’t have to end. 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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