Sexual dysfunction within the HysterSisters community is observed as a post-op experience, usually many months post-op. It is also noteworthy that experiencing FSD is a surprise to the woman who has experienced a hysterectomy and who was previously enjoying a satisfying sexual relationship with her husband of many years.
Whether a HysterSister is in her 20's or her 60's, the report of distress over sexual dysfunction spans the age brackets. Researchers tell us that about 50% women surveyed feel that a satisfying sexual relationship is important to their quality of life. Distress is reported by those HysterSisters whose Female Sexual Dysfunction has interrupted that enjoyment.
If you find yourself distressed and concerned about your sexuality, its important to schedule an appointment with your physician. While sexuality may not be an easy topic of discussion, its very important. Share your struggle with your physician. Without your persistance there can be no treatment.
Below are some ideas to consider as you prepare for that appointment.
Pain during intercourse (also referred to as dyspareunia) is defined as pain or discomfort in a woman's labial, vaginal, or pelvic areas during or after sexual intercourse.
There are many other reasons for painful intercourse, including Endometriosis, adhesions (scar tissue), interstitial cystitis (a bladder condition), and ovarian cysts. Infections also can cause discomfort at the vaginal opening. A weakening of the supporting structures such as a bladder prolapse (cystocele) or Uterine prolapse can also cause discomfort or even pain during intercourse.
Natural or surgical menopause can result in sexual discomfort due to hormonal changes. Decreasing levels of Estrogen can dry up our bodies own natural lubrication and leave vaginal tissue dry and fragile. Over the counter Lubricants often provide temporary relief. The use of an Estrogen cream or other Hormone Replacement Therapy can provide a more permanent solution.
A condition in which part of the vulva is chronically inflamed. It can cause a burning pain at the opening of the vagina. It can often make intercourse near impossible due to the severity of pain experienced.
Cutting out certain foods has shown beneficial to many woman as has decreasing/controlling muscle spasms through the use of a biofeedback device, that may be contributing to the pain. As a last resort, surgery to remove the chronically inflamed skin has helped some woman but should be considered only after more conventional treatments have failed.
Interstitial Cystisis (IC):
A chronic inflammation of the bladder that can lead to severe pelvic pain. It is often described as feeling as if you have a UTI but antibiotics fail to provide relief.
The pain with this condition usually increases during intercourse.
There are variety of treatments, sufferers usually can find relief through one of them.... no single therapy seems to work for everyone.
Deep penetration often causes the discomfort with IC, avoiding this may help.
A condition, that can be extremely painful, leaves tissue from the lining of the uterus to grow into other areas such as the vagina or pelvis where it becomes inflamed. Pain with intercourse is reported by more than half of the woman suffering this condition.
Birth control pills, drugs that temporarily suppress estrogen production or surgery to excise the tissue can often bring many relief. Some find that limiting intercourse to the week or two after your cycle may help minimize the discomfort.
Sometimes the first sign of an infection can be pain during intercourse. Lubrication can be reduced by yeast and bacterial infections. This can result in the irritation at the opening of the vagina, itching, unusual discharge or odor is usually accompanying. A urinary tract infection will hurt most when you urinate but can also cause pain during intercourse because of the pressure on a tender, inflamed bladder.
Once infections are diagnosed, most are easily treated with antibiotics, pills or with yeast an antifungal cream.
Generally, pain with intercourse is not an emergency. It is a condition most appropriately checked by a group of specialists including your Gyn.