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Personal Lubricants after Hysterectomy

From the Intimacy After Hysterectomy Articles List

Lubricants after hysterectomyDo I need a lubricant after my hysterectomy? If so, which do I choose?

As you resume intimacy after your hysterectomy, you may find you need a lubricant, at least temporarily, to help new and healing tissues better handle sexual intercourse.

Depending on the type of hysterectomy and/or repairs you have had, friction caused by intercourse could lead to pain and/or discomfort. Using a lubricant during the first few weeks after you are released to resume intercourse can help keep those tissues moist so there is less friction and discomfort.

If your ovaries are not working up to par and/or you had your ovaries removed, you could also experience low estrogen following a hysterectomy. Without adequate estrogen, you may not have as much natural lubrication. Using a lubricant can help ease the resulting vaginal dryness during intercourse so it is not painful.

There are three types of lubricants, each with their own pros an cons: oil-based, water-based, and silicone-based. Your doctor can help you decide which choice may be best for you.

Oil-based Lubricants

Products such as vegetable oil, virgin oil, coconut oil, and Crisco are examples of food grade, oil-based products some women use as a lubricant. They are easy to find and good for the budget, but HysterSisters does not recommend using any food grade products in this manner, especially immediately after a hysterectomy. Doing so runs a risk of contamination, which could spread to newly healed or still healing areas. Oil-based lubricants are also difficult to wash off and may leave a coating behind, increasing your risk of infection. This type of lubricant can also break down condoms, possibly allowing for the spread of STDs.

Silicon-based Lubricants

This type of lubricant is safe to use with condoms but should not be used with other silicone-based products. Silicon-based lubricants can last longer than some of the other choices, but it may also cause some vaginal irritation if it is not washed off completely after intercourse.

Water-based Lubricants

Water-based lubricants are likely the best option for you following a hysterectomy. They typically cause the least amount of irritation and are the easiest to wash off. They are also safe to use with condoms. Because of the sugar content, however, those that contain glycerin should be avoided if you have issues with yeast infection. Many HysterSisters recommend the Genneve Intimate Moisture as a water-based lubricant.

When looking for a lubricant, it's best to choose one with the least ingredients possible. The more ingredients, the more chance for adverse reactions. You should also steer clear of "warming" lubricants, which could cause pain and discomfort to new and healing tissues. If lubricants burn or cause discomfort, discontinue using them immediately and talk to your doctor.

For persistent vaginal issues including overall vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy, a vaginal estrogen may be more beneficial than a lubricant as it can aid in the health of the vaginal tissues. Vaginal estrogen should not be used immediately before sexual intercourse as the product could be spread to your partner and lose its effectiveness on you. You could also ask your doctor about using Vitamin E suppositories or other over-the-counter products meant to help with dryness rather than lubrication.

This content was written by a member of HysterSisters.com as a non-medical professional based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

04-09-2014 - 05:39 PM


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