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5 Surprising Facts about Intimacy after Hysterectomy

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What do I need to know about intimacy following a hysterectomy?What do I need to know about intimacy following a hysterectomy?

If you are facing a hysterectomy, you may be concerned about how it will affect intimacy for you and your partner. You may have questions about if and when you will be able to resume intimate activities and what will happen when you do. You could be experiencing a wide range of emotions and fears as you ponder the what if’s and unknowns.

Talking to your doctor prior to your hysterectomy can help ease some of your fears and prepare you for the future. You can also talk to trusted friends and family members who have had a hysterectomy as they can share first-hand information which you may find helpful. Sex after hysterectomy might change, but it can be for the better!

Here are some surprising facts about post hysterectomy intimacy that you can discuss with your medical team prior to your surgery:

1. The wait can be worth it.

Depending on the type of hysterectomy, your surgeon will ask you to wait to resume intercourse for approximately 4-6 weeks after your hysterectomy. This time frame is not to torture you, but rather to give your body time to heal sufficiently so that resuming intercourse will be safe and successful for you. Engaging in intimate actives too early can lead to complications, pain, vaginal cuff tearing, and more. Waiting until your doctor releases you can give you more peace of mind and help ensure that no problems will occur.

2. You may feel extra frisky during your hysterectomy recovery.

Sudden changes in hormones can cause you to have an increased libido in the initial days following your hysterectomy. You may find your thoughts are consumed with intimacy and your sexual desire is high, leaving you feeling frisky and frustrated. As your body adjusts, residual hormones are depleted, your ovaries get back into routine, or your hormone replacement therapy (HRT) becomes more balanced, these intense feelings can fade to a more normal level. As long as you retain your ovaries, your hormones should allow you to continue to have a satisfying intimate life. If your ovaries were removed, you can work with your doctor to find the right HRT balance so that you can have a satisfying intimate life.

3. An oophorectomy has more effect on intimacy than a hysterectomy.

Sexual health is greatly affected by the hormones produced by your ovaries. If you have a bilateral oophorectomy, intimacy can be affected in a number of ways. Without adequate hormones, you may find you have no sex drive, vaginal dryness could make intimacy more painful, and response or vaginal sensation may be lacking. To help prevent post hysterectomy sexual issues, you can work with your doctor to find the right HRT balance for you.

4. Once you are released, you may not feel ready to resume intimacy.

Intimacy involves more than just the physical, it is also involves your emotional being. Even if your doctor determines that you are physically ready to return to intimate activities, you may not feel emotionally ready for intimacy. You might be fearful that things will not go well, or you may feel disconnected because of surgery involving body parts connected to your femininity. It can be helpful to talk to your partner and share your feelings, and also to remember tenderness and affection in the days leading to your release. You may also want to plan a special date night with candles, soft music, and new lingerie to help set the mood once your doctor has given you the go ahead.

5. Sex can be satisfying after a hysterectomy.

A hysterectomy does not have to be the end of a satisfying sex life. Eliminating the pain and health issues related to your uterus can help make your intimate life better by resolving pain and issues which interfere with intercourse. So once you have healed, you should be able to resume intimate activities and enjoy a satisfying sex life. If hormone levels were affected and surgical menopause is an issue, there are still options available to allow you and your partner to continue to have a satisfying sex life. You may need to use HRT, personal lubricants, or be a bit more creative, but with patients and pillow talk you and your partner should both be satisfied.

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.

12-22-2014 - 01:46 PM


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