Sexual activity after hysterectomy: How long should you wait and what to expect?
Hysterectomy (Uterus Removal) is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus (a part of the female reproductive system). Sometimes, other reproductive parts like ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix might also be removed along with the uterus. After the removal of the uterus, a woman can no longer have children.
Hysterectomy (Uterus Removal) is performed by an experienced gynaecologist who will remove either complete or partial uterus as per the medical conditions of the patient.
Reasons for hysterectomy (Uterus Removal)
Here are some reasons which may lead to the removal of the uterus:
- Pain, bleeding and other problems caused due to uterine fibroids
- Dislocation of the uterus into the vaginal canal
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or the ovaries
- Vaginal bleeding
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Adenomyosis (thickening of the uterus)
A female undergoes a lot of changes after hysterectomy (Uterus Removal). She might have bleeding and feel pain in the abdomen area as these are the common side effects of hysterectomy (Uterus Removal). All surgeries can have short and long-term side effects. Hysterectomy (Uterus Removal) can also affect a woman’s sex life. But as the body heals after surgery, these problems get resolved on their own. Getting back to a normal sex life after recovery will depend on several factors:
- Not all surgical procedures have the same effect on all women. Each procedure affects every woman in a different manner. A sudden shift in the hormone level of a woman can happen after a hysterectomy. Women may also enter menopause if the ovaries along with the uterus are removed.
A sudden drop in the estrogen (a hormone) level may occur leading to menopause-like symptoms such as hot flashes and trouble sleeping.
Removal of the ovaries can also cause a decrease in testosterone levels which can affect the female sexual desires. Women may experience dryness in the vagina during intercourse, making it unpleasant and painful. This explains how a sudden drop in the levels of estrogen and progesterone after hysterectomy causes a low sex drive. These symptoms can be relieved by hormone replacement therapy as recommended by the doctor. You can also use lubricants to get rid of vaginal dryness while having sex as it may reduce the pain and discomfort.
- Hysterectomy affects the pregnancy and menstrual cycle as a woman who has had a hysterectomy done can longer have periods. Women may not be able to have children after hysterectomy as the uterus is removed. All these factors increase the level of anxiety, depression, and low sexual desires. In this case, try to communicate with your partner without any hesitation. You can also discuss such concerns with your doctor.
- Hysterectomy (Uterus Removal) may change the sex experience of different women differently. They may no longer feel the same about sex as they used to earlier. Consequently, women find sex less enjoyable after the removal of the uterus and cervix. On the other hand, some women feel just the opposite. Some researches even show that hysterectomy improves sex dramatically making it more enjoyable. It increases the sex drive and the frequency of orgasm in women who have undergone hysterectomy.
Resuming sex after hysterectomy (Uterus Removal)
It is recommended to wait for at least 6 weeks before resuming sex after hysterectomy (Uterus Removal). Nothing should be inserted into the vagina for a period of 6 weeks after the surgery. Women may no longer have periods (menstruation) but can feel pain, have vaginal discharge, and light bleeding.
Burning sensation, pain, and itching at the site of the incision are some of the common symptoms a woman may experience after a hysterectomy. Most of these symptoms go away once the body starts to recover after the surgery. It takes around 2 months for the symptoms to go away after the surgery. Women may experience menopause-like symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, etc.
After the recovery consults your doctor as to the right time for having sex.
If it is difficult for you to regain your normal sex life after a hysterectomy, you can follow these tips to get your sex life back on track:
- Don’t rush to have sex. Take your time to get aroused.
- Though your uterus is removed your vagina can still have sensations for sexual pleasure. Hysterectomy doesn’t affect the vaginal sensations.
- If you find your normal sex positions uncomfortable, try to explore new options in which you find yourself comfortable.
- Try to talk to your partner about how you feel on or before having sexual intercourse.
- You can also consult a sex therapist or counselor for advice.
Seek advice from the best gynecologists only at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad.
Dr. Shashi Arora – She is the HOD of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad. The best Obstetrician & Gynecologist in Delhi NCR, she has medical experience spanning a period of more than 40 years. She specializes in all women-related issues including hysterectomy and advanced laparoscopy surgery.
Dr. Jyotsana Agarwal is one of the best gynecologists and obstetricians in Delhi NCR. With the experience of 30 years in the field of gynecology, she is known for her expertise in the treatment of diseases during pregnancy.
Dr. Aparna Arya Tyagi is one of the best-known obstetricians and gynecologists in Delhi NCR with great experience in high-risk obstetrics management, serious cesarean deliveries, open gynae-surgeries, infertility, etc. She specializes in preventive oncology of the female reproductive system as well as in diagnosing and managing high-risk pregnancies.