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Intimacy after Hysterectomy | Outercourse

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Outercourse after hysterectomyWhat is outercourse? When is it safe to engage in this type of sexual activity?

Most surgeons tell patients that no sexual activity involving penetration is allowed following a hysterectomy. However, they may not give any other specific instructions. This may leave you wondering exactly which sexual activities are okay and which are not during recovery.

Sexual intercourse, both vaginal and anal, too soon after surgery can cause stitches to tear and introduce bacteria to healing areas. Multiple complications can then arise including infection, a torn vaginal cuff, opened incisions, and bleeding issues. In some cases, further surgery may be required to address the issues and recovery can be set back by weeks.

If you are experiencing, as many women do, a surge in libido and/or the desire to connect with your partner soon after your hysterectomy, refraining from intercourse may be very difficult. You'll be relieved to know that outercourse may be an option, though it, too, requires clearance from the surgeon.

Outercourse can involve sexual activity that does not involve any penetration by any object or body part of either the vagina or anus. This may involve clitoral stimulation by you, your partner, or a vibrator. Outercourse can also involve you or your partner touching or massaging your outer genital area in a pleasurable manner. This can be done by directly touching the skin or through clothing. Foreplay, without penetration of any kind, can also be considered outercourse.

Oral stimulation, or mouth-genital stimulation, may be considered acceptable outercourse in some cases. However, this activity could cause response and spread bacteria to healing areas. Performing oral stimulation on your partner could also cause arousal as well as straining vaginal, pelvic, and abdominal areas that are healing.

Because outercourse can lead to an orgasm, women do need clearance from their surgeon before engaging in this type of sexual activity. An orgasm causes a significant increase in blood flow to healing areas which may not be conducive to proper healing. Additionally, an orgasm can lead to spasms which could damage healing areas. Doctors have different opinions regarding whether or not orgasms are safe during healing, and it can depend on your surgery type and whether or not you have had any repairs done.

Talk to your doctor before engaging in any sexual activity or engaging in any activity that could cause sexual arousal. Some order complete pelvic rest during hysterectomy recovery to encourage the best chance of healing well. If outercourse and/or orgasms are allowed, take it slowly, do not get carried away. Do not engage in intercourse. Notify your doctor of any pain or bleeding that occurs.

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.

06-12-2013 - 12:20 PM


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