HysterSisters Articles for Hysterectomy
Intimacy after Hysterectomy | Is My Vagina Shorter?
From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List
SHARING IS CARING
After a hysterectomy, when the cervix is removed, is the vagina shorter?
Doctors' answers to this question vary from, “No,”
to “Possibly…but only by a few millimeters,”
to “Actually, it might be a tiny bit longer after the surgery.”
Unless something unusual happens, any permanent change in length of the vagina would be so negligible that, after all post-op healing occurs and the swelling of tissues subsides, it wouldn’t be detectible without utilizing a precise measuring device.
Of course, to determine any change in length, you would have had to measure your vagina before the surgery, which most women don't usually do.
One doctor explained it like this, “Picture a tall glass being the vagina. Now, set an apple on the opening of the glass. The apple is the uterus. The part of the apple that hangs into the glass is the cervix. Now, remove the apple. After the apple is removed, there is actually more room at the top of the glass. But then, suturing the edges of the glass (to create the vaginal cuff) takes up some of the space that remained after the apple was removed. So, the net result in vaginal length is about the same as before the surgery.”
Some women do report that their vagina feels shorter when they resume intercourse, and sometimes their partner reports the same sensation. This may be due to swelling—the vaginal cuff does experience quite a bit of swelling that often lasts beyond six weeks. Another explanation for this sensation is that the cuff is quite stiff (compared to the vagina) while it’s in the healing stages.
Women who experience an uncomfortable “bottoming out” in their early post-op intercourse sessions are probably having an issue with stiffness (i.e. lack of elasticity) rather than true shortness. With time, the tissue becomes more supple and accommodating.
In those first several post-op encounters, make sure that you are positioned so that you can control the depth of penetration. A good lubricant
also helps. Remember to be kind and gentle to your body during the first few months after your hysterectomy.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
04-21-2000 - 10:18 AM
SHARING IS CARING
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