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Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers? Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

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Unread 01-15-2008, 03:26 PM
Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

I am new to forum and joined because after searching for information on my own for several weeks I am forlorn and depressed and getting desperate for hope.

I had the DaVinci assisted hysterectomy 10/30/2007 with bilateral oophrectomy, and also had to have a recticele repair and bladder sling and urethral repair. Lots of surgery. In any case, although I have been thrust into surgical menopause, I feel better physcially than I have in years and no regrets. It is such a wonderful feeling to not be incontinent! I have only one problem: sex.

I just got the go ahead to try and have sex from my surgeon about 3 weeks ago, but it has been a disaster. It seems like my vagina is too small for entry. My husband can only penetrate barely past the glans penis and even then it is so excruciatingly painful that it is all I can do to not scream. I can't stand to have anything even close to intercourse and it seems to be extremely painful not just to the vaginal opening but also to my brand new urethra. I use copious amounts of lubricant, am relaxed as I can manage to be, it is not that. We have tried every position and nothing helps. I felt the opening as we were trying and the skin was stretched so tight and burned like it was ripping.

So I was given vaginal dialators and have worked up to the 3rd largest size with not much trouble, but my husband is bigger than even the biggest dialator. I know it isn't psychological - simply a physical impossibility for me now.

My surgeon keeps saying just use lube and relax but I don't think she realizes how much difficulty I am having or maybe doesn't realize how big my husband is.

Now after trying to have sex with DH again a few days ago, I am swollen and itching and it feels like a vaginal infection on top of everything else. I am about ready to just pack it in. I talked to my husband about the possibility of our just not having intercourse anymore and he was not receptive at all. Now I do feel resentful wondering if having him pound away at my body for over decade didn't cause or add to my gynie problems. I was fine and dandy when I met him even though I had already had a baby (my only one).

Has anyone else out there had multiple procedures and if so, did you have this kind of pain and problems with intercourse afterwards? Is there any hope? I am afraid I may have to have some kind of follow up surgery to make my vaginal opening larger, and I really don't want to do that!

Thanks for listening and please help if you can.
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Unread 01-15-2008, 04:33 PM
Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

Hi MisTre Sorry that you're having so much trouble having sex since your surgery. I had basically the same surgeries you had, only all done vaginally rather than lap assisted. I have not had the isues you describe at all.

You mentioned that you'd had a BSO, but not whether or not you're on HRT. It can make a huge difference; and even if you're on systemic HRT (like a patch or pill), the estrogen could be not getting to your vagina. I wonder if you're experiencing vaginal atrophy? Did your DR give you a prescription for any sort of vaginal estrogen, at least? It can really help keep the tissues in the vagina moist and elastic. Lubes only work to make the surface slippery during sex; they don't help it stretch to accomodate.

I hope this helps.
Unread 01-15-2008, 10:40 PM
Yes I am on HRT patch...BUT

the darn things keep falling off and yes I have followed the directions and even used an alcohol prep pad on my skin prior to application but it rarely stays on for more than two or three days no matter where I put it. I have tried every area except my forehead. It doesn't surprise me because I have very oily/sweaty skin anyway and always have. That too is a bone of contention between me and my surgeon - she insists on patches and does not LISTEN when I tell her they are not sticking and I am still having hot flashes and night sweats and would just please rather take oral premarin. I don't think I am getting a large enough dosage or enough thru the skin for the Climara to help. But thank you for the suggestion of vaginal estrogen - maybe she will go for that as she is so anti-pill for whatever reasons.

I'm hoping if I get started with a new gynie, preferably a woman, then perhaps I can get these issues resolved. It is frustrating to me though; I feel like I need to make a plaster cast of my husband's erect penis to take to the doctor's office and say "Here - YOU try to get this thing shoved in there and THEN tell me that everything looks fine!"

It may all LOOK fine - but it sure doesn't FEEL fine!
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Unread 01-15-2008, 11:31 PM
Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

There is also the option of an estrogen topical cream as well as the vaginal estrogen. Compounded hormones give more options with sublingual drops and troches. Do a little research, and if your current doctor won't listen, then I would suggest a second opinion. Even if you go to your family doctor to get something that will work for you until you can find a gyn to work with you.

Best of luck!
Unread 01-15-2008, 11:56 PM
Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

Have you ever heard of Sottopelle? It is bio identical horomones that are tiny pellets that are placed just underneath the skin on the hip.The BEST thing I have ever done!!!!
Unread 01-16-2008, 07:55 AM
Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

i hope you can find another dr that can work with you on the right hrt and listen to you about the problems youre having. wishing you the best...
Unread 01-16-2008, 09:07 AM
Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

Thank you all so very much for responding. It has helped immensely not just having some other avenues to investigate but also simply being able to talk about it and to know that these are not uncommon issues.

I am calling the surgeon to make an appointment today to discuss this and ask her to reassess whether or not I have scar tissue that can be removed at a later date. I think that is the problem along with inadequate estrogen.

The implants sound like the way to go; no pills, so maybe my surgeon will be agreeable to that. Even if she can't do the implant, she should be able to refer me to a gynie who can.

Thanks so much!!!

Unread 01-16-2008, 12:08 PM
Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

Originally Posted by MisTre
The implants sound like the way to go
(((Tre))) Before you give up on the patches altogether, have you tried switching brands? I had trouble keeping Climara on for a full week, too (historically I had always had oily skin); however, the Vivelle-dot sticks much better and only has to stay stuck for three and a half days, since it's a twice weekly option. Maybe your DR could give you some free samples to try to see if switching brands might work for you?

Also, what dosage have you been using, and where are you applying the patches? The patches are available up to 0.1mg/day, and you actually get about 20% more absorption (so about .12mg/day) if you apply them on your backside, where your jeans pockets would be. Switching from front to back is a handy way to find out if raising your dose a little will help you.

However, even if you get the patches - or any other systemic HRT, including pellets - to the right dose, there is a good chance that you will still need vaginal estrogen in addition. The reason is that the vaginal walls are not well supplied with blood vessels, so the estrogen that is helping the rest of you doesn't get in there very efficiently. (And, by the way, it's the same reason we get dry eyes even if we're on HRT - the eyeball isn't well-supplied with blood vessels, either.) However, applying estrogen directly inside the vagina works fabulously for dryness and atrophy. Incidentally, it can also help with urinary incontinence, which can result from urethral atrophy for the same reasons (the urethra runs right up along the wall of the vagina).

I would hesitate to jump to pellets without thoroughly researching the pros and cons. For every woman whose posts I've read that claims they've changed her life, had no side effects, been *the* perfect answer, etc. (and, incidentally, most times these women are only a very few weeks post op; side effects can take a while to develop), there are many who post that they are very expensive, that they can be uncomfortable to have implanted (not to mention that after a while, you can end up with a whole lot of little scars from the implantation procedure if you are one who scars easily), and - perhaps the biggest drawback of all - once they are implanted, if the dosages are not right you are pretty much stuck with them for the duration, which depending on the pellets can be anywhere from a couple of months to six months. That alone would be enough to make me shy away from them unless I truly had explored every other option and none worked for me. I prefer to have the freedom to adjust my dosage fairly quickly if I see I'm having bad results from something.

I've been using Vivelle-dot patches successfully for almost six years now. I know quite a few women who have been on compounded creams or troches or sublingual drops for an equally long time who are also doing very well. I'd like to invite you to come visit our Hormone Jungle forum to find out more about all the options available before deciding to go in search of a DR who does one particular method. There is, as we like to say, no one-size-fits-all in HRT, and it's important to remember as you read other members' accounts that what works well for one may be terrible for another, and what one member doesn't like may be great for you.

If you end up deciding that you need to find a different DR to prescribe your HRT, you would not be alone there. Many women find that the brilliant surgeon who did such a good job on their hysterectomy knows next to nothing about HRTs and hormones. One way to find a DR who will know more about different HRT alternatives is to ask a compounding pharmacist which DRs in your area prescribe HRTs through them. You can find a compounding pharmacy near you using the locator at You have to join the website to use it, but it's free to join and they have some great info on that site. Finding a DR that way doesn't mean you have to use that pharmacy, or even use compounded HRTs; it's just a handy way to find a DR who has a clue about these things.

Unfortunately, there is no short cut to finding the right HRT(s); it requires patience and sometimes a lot of trial and error. I'm wishing you success in both addressing the immediate problem you posted about here as well as in finding HRTs that will work for you.

Unread 01-16-2008, 12:59 PM
Sex impossible after surgery. Any answers?

Thank you surferbabe!!!! You gave me a lot of very useful information. Things I would never have thought about, llike talking to a compounding pharmacy. We have one that is 5 minutes from here and they have ads in the paper all the time about specialized HRT compounds and natural vs synthetic, which I am interested in as well. That is a brilliant suggestion!

I did try a generic HRT patch but it was the size of a drink coaster and very thick and spongey so it fell off worse than the climara. So I pay out of pocket for the climara, which is all the more expensive as I run through them faster. I do try to stick the climara to my buttock, but it doesn't stay on there any better than anywhere else. But the vivelle dot sounds worth trying; the smaller it is the better, and three days seems to be about as long as I can get them to stick anyway.

Implants sounded good but thank you for the food for thought - no, honestly, I really don't want any additional scarring anywhere, and thinking of being stuck with an incorrect dosage until it ran itself out? No thanks! Will follow up with hormone jungle and the pharmacy suggestions.

I think quite highly of my urogyn surgeon, and she did give me back my life and freedom. Even tho I am frustrated with the lack of realistic info about resuming sexual activities, I am eternally grateful to her for what she has done for me. But she cannot act as my gynie and I must find a doctor who can join with my efforts for hyster recovery and good daily health. And what a fantastic place to start - a pharmacist who knows what doctors in the area have an interest in menopausal issues!

Thanks again so very much!!!!

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