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Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible??

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  #1  
Unread 12-18-2009, 08:29 AM
Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible??

I need to vent! And what is a better place than here where I know my hystersisters will understand me. Sorry if this is too long a post! Hope you can bear with me.

I had my first checkup last week. The gyn/onc took a papsmear (I keep my fingers crossed for the results which I will hear this Monday) but told me everything looked very good. Nice to hear.

But that is not the reason of this post.
I was discussing with her the problems I have while having sex. This may be TMI but my DH and I are still trying to find ways to have intercourse that are pleasant for both of us. Because my vagina is a lot shorter than it used to be it is either painful for me or it is not exciting for my DH. It is almost impossible to have intercourse, to have the intimate tenderness and keep the fire of lust burning at the same time. My DH is afraid to hurt me, I am afraid to get hurt and gradually the fire goes out.
I have to say that I still can have orgasms while having intercourse (though it is nothing compared to what it used to be), but my DH is not having them.
I know, of course, other ways to please him, and I am more than willing to do that!
It is just that I'd like to get back in some way or another what we had. This part of our relationship was very good and very important to us.

It is not a muscle-problem; I've been to a PT who specializes in pelvic problems. It is also not a problem of moisture. It simply is that my vagina has become too short for my DH.

Anyway, to my big shock, the gyn/onc told me that 90% of all women who have had a treatment for gyn. cancer NEVER have intercourse again.
I wasn't told that beforehand and it really ***** me off they didn't. Not that it would have changed anything in the end, but I would have known and maybe it wouldn't have left me and my DH sooo frustrated. I was told beforehand that my vagina would be a little bit shorter, but it would stretch again and things wouldn't be very different.
Well, IT IS DIFFERENT!

And I am very sad about this. It affects my relationship with my DH. It is hard to talk about this even though we have a loving and open relationship.
I know that he doesn't want to hurt my feelings and he knows (and I know) I can't help this. Yet, I do feel some sort of guilty. If I hadn't had this disease and this treatment this wouldn't be an issue.
And I am plain scared that I could lose him over this. I know I don't do him right by even saying this, b/c I know he loves me very much and he's not the kind of man who would leave me over this. But I do have to say that we both have difficulties in finding a new balance in our marriage.

Of all the things that have changed for the worse, this is the hardest for me to deal with. I can handle the LE, the problems I still do have with my intestines or my bladder. I can handle the occasional tiredness. These are all things that I can deal with on my own.
This however is something that affects the two of us. And I miss having sex the way we did. I simply miss it very much. I don´t recognize myself anymore in this aspect; our sexlife seems like a million years away.

I am sad. I know I do have to come to terms with this, and I know I will in the end, but at the moment I don't even want it. I am angry. I am grieving.

Just had to let this out. Thanks for listening!
  #2  
Unread 12-18-2009, 08:55 AM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? (explicit language)

I don't believe those stats. And wonder if he made them up. I had a total pelvic exenteration which a part of that is a rad hyster. I don't have a complete vagina at the moment, there is no closure at this time.

I still have a desire to have sex, and I even attempt it on ocassion. Because I have no closure or cervix or uterus, I get an odd sensation since there's nothing there to "bump".

I think it takes time and persistence in trying to find new ways to have actual penetrative sex. Just keep trying. Maybe get a script for a relaxant to calm your nerves before sex. That is what I do and it helps ease my fears and tension. Remember to take it slow. And definately don't believe those stats.
  #3  
Unread 12-18-2009, 09:22 AM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? (explicit language)

I am sad for you that you and your DH have to go through this. I can't even imagine how frustrating it is. Just wanted to send you some virtual hugs!

  #4  
Unread 12-18-2009, 09:47 AM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? (explicit language)

anna -

I don't know if this provides any additional information or not American Cancer Society Surgeries & Intercourse



G.
  #5  
Unread 12-18-2009, 09:57 AM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? (explicit language)

Anna:
I know exactly how you feel. I too have had a greatly decreased sex life. I think the surgery affects women in different ways. For me, moisture and comfort is a big problem. I have tried Replens and now he has me on premarin cream but the drive just isn't there anymore.
Have you tried using a dialator or something to "stretch" your vaginal muscles? I would ask the doctor about that if it has become an issue.
I know that your DH is probably afraid of hurting you and that can be a great deterrent for him.
I try to have a glass of wine or something to relax with ... Hope you can work thru this.... Best to you
  #6  
Unread 12-18-2009, 10:15 AM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? (explicit language)

Ladies, thanks for your replies.

Ialwaysworry: I was wondering too about the stats, but the PT confirmed this. I haven't found stats on the internet though. The gyn/onc told me I was the first woman in a long time who wanted to have sex. I can hardly believe it.

2times survivor: thanks for your support. And your Winston Churchill quote made me laugh out loud. Did you always have this in your signature? It is the first times I saw it.

Tauruslady: thanks for the additional information. Very informative.

PattieO: glad to know I am not the only one who is frustrated over this. I am using a dilator, but I am told that b/c of radiation there won't be any stretching possible. Doc said I have to live with this.
And I am not really nervous or tense; my DH is very careful and tender - it is that I just am too shallow I suppose.

Bottomline is that we have to find a new way of making love and that I will have to let go of the longing for something good I had and what won't return. That makes me sad, but, as I know, this will pass and knowing my DH and me, we will try anything to replace it with something that is fulfilling for us too. It will take some time though.
I think that letting the tears come out is a good thing. It may make room for new things.
  #7  
Unread 12-18-2009, 10:32 AM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? (explicit language)

I too was told the tissues would stretch out again. I can't confirm this though as I've been single since before surgery. I was told it will be painful until the tissues become "flexible".
  #8  
Unread 12-18-2009, 11:32 AM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? (explicit language)

Hi Anna
I am in a similar situation due to the rads, but I am far from giving up.
I completed my treatments rads in June, and I think a part of me is still dealing with the shock of the diagnosis (as is my DH)
I did not begin to attempt intercourse until I was at your stage, and can only say that the tissues have changed a lot on the past 4 months.
Don't be too hasty in your expectations.
My hubby and I have resolved ourselves to the fact that intercourse is not going to be "normal" for a long time, it is currently more of a "clinical" experience.
I feel that there are so many issues to get over with having cancer, that the intercourse WILL improve.....it will just take a tincture of time.

and I am thinking of asking my rad/onc for a larger dilator for the stretching.
I do not believe those numbers either.

Janet
  #9  
Unread 12-18-2009, 12:00 PM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible?? (explicit language)

Like others have said, it is a tough thing to go through. I guess we just have to get thru it somehow and find a new normal to be intimate, especially with penetration.

Also, just like Vega said, I too was told that things would eventually restretch down there. I guess it's the old saying, "No pain no gain". Certainatly not an area we want to experience pain in.

I actually had one doctor tell me that I shouldn't have pain because the vagina doesn't have nerve, so there for no pain should I be experiencing. My response to him.............."Those with penis's are not entitled to an opinion!" Because YES WE DO HAVE PAIN THERE.

So sorry about all you are going thru. But just keep at it. Sad to say, but maybe like the other lady said, a nice glass of wine to calm down and relax before hand. I myself have to take a Xanax to let go of some of the tension. I have an awesome plastic surgeon who is very understanding who stated it is a very normal emotion because our most delicate and private area has gone thru one huge trauma and it'll take time to heal physically and emotionally from that. Wonderful that you have such a great and understanding husband. My SO is the same way. Bless them all.
  #10  
Unread 12-18-2009, 01:34 PM
Re: Intercourse after a radical hysterectomy impossible??

I am glad I read this post and thank you for posting it. My onc insists that my vagina is not any different. I am here to tell you it is shorter!!!!!! I can't do premarin cream and replens and the other $200.00 worth of lubricants sitting in my medicine cabinet do NOTHING. I even went to a gay men's sex shop to buy a bunch of water based and silicone lubes!!!!

I have been to 2 ob-gyn's and they keep wanting to put me in HRT and my ONC says "no". I am frustrated and sick of this too. I have the name of another ob-gyn to go try to get some help and will be seeing him after the 1st of the year. I have been going to women doc's and have not had any luck, so I am going to try a guy and see if that changes anything.
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