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Condoms after Hysterectomy

From the Intimacy After Hysterectomy Articles List

Man and woman walking after hysterectomyAre condoms needed after hysterectomy?

If you have had a hysterectomy, you may be wondering if your partner needs to continue to wear a condom. The answer is maybe!

While condoms are primarily seen as necessary to prevent pregnancy, condoms are also critical for safe sex and preventing a number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Thus, all women, even those who have had a hysterectomy, who are not in a monogamous sexual relationship should not have intercourse unless her partner wears a condom. There are, however, some special considerations for condom use after hysterectomy.

If you suffer from vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy, you may be using moisturizers, personal lubricants, and/or vaginal estrogen to treat your symptoms. Unfortunately, some of those products can weaken or damage condoms.

Petroleum-based lubricants can break down condoms, preventing them from being as effective against STDs. A wide variety of household products sometimes used as lubricants can also damage condoms. These include vegetable, coconut, palm, fish, and baby oils; suntan oils and lotions; hand and body lotions; and butter. Before using any of these products along with a condom, talk to your doctor and check with the condom manufacturer to determine if they will damage the condom and keep it from being effective in preventing STDs and infections.

Estrogen products can also weaken the latex of the condom. If vaginal estrogen is present during intercourse with a condom, the estrogen may weaken the condom and keep it from preventing STD’s or infections. Thus, timing of intercourse and applying vaginal estrogen can be important.

Unfortunately, having vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy puts you at higher risk for STDs and vaginitis, so condom use can be important. This is especially true if you are not in a monogamous relationship or have begun a new relationship.

While condoms are not needed after a hysterectomy for birth control reasons, they can still be important for sexual health. If you are in a monogamous relationship, then you should not need condoms after your hysterectomy. If, on the other hand, you have a new or multiple partners, you still need to use condoms after your hysterectomy. If you have issues with vaginitis, you also may need to use a condom, even if you are in a monogamous relationship.

You and your doctor will need to consider your situation to determine how to use condoms while also treating any vaginal issues you may have. It may be necessary to choose a non-latex condom option. If a personal lubricant is important, it may be best to stick with a water-based or silicone option. The timing of sex and vaginal estrogen use may need to be discussed. When and which vaginal moisture to use may depend on condom use as well.

Being open and truthful with both your doctor and partner(s) is important for your sexual health. Take the time to talk and come up with the best plan for you before you are in the heat of passion. The long term implications are too serious to ignore for short time of pleasure.

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.

08-17-2015 - 11:47 AM


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