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Scared about losing sexual desire Scared about losing sexual desire

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Unread 02-10-2008, 03:59 PM
Scared about losing sexual desire

Okay sisters,

The more I read the worse I feel about sexual dysfunction after hyster.

I am due (3/4) to have TAH with Ovaries and am FREAKING OUT from reading posts about loss of sexual desire.
I have no sexual problems now, so my doctor said that generally means no problems after.

This sounds a little to easy. I have read too much already on the Sexual dysfunction area of this site. I also am lost in the HormoneJungle.

Is there a concensus on whether women develop FSD after hysterectomy?

Also, I read about estrogen and testosterone creams, what are these for?

At this point, I am on information overload - Obviously.

Can someone point me in theright direction?

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Unread 02-10-2008, 04:56 PM
Scared about losing sexual desire

I could have written this post myself. I am so scared that I will lose what sex drive I have now. As I type this I am having bad cramps and spotting because DH and I had sex this morning. Is sex going to get worse or better? My dr isnt sure yet if she is going to take 1 or both ovaries. Depends if they are attached to anything, I am only 29. My MIL said that her Dr said a woman could only be on HRT for a year? Is this true? I know this is an odd concern but will the cuff be ummm, deep enough? Dh already bumps into my cervix.

Sorry so many questions.
Unread 02-10-2008, 08:24 PM
Scared about losing sexual desire

Hi Elizabeth,

Hopefully an experience Sister, will see this post and help us along!

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Unread 02-10-2008, 11:46 PM
Scared about losing sexual desire

Hey all These are some good questions you're asking - it's smart to be thinking about all this ahead of time, even though it's scary. It means you'll be more prepared to understand whatever happens as a result of your surgeries.

Many women do find that sex is the same post op - both in libido and response. However, as you've read, quite a few don't.

It sounds like both of you may end up having both ovaries out. In that case, it's a good idea to have talked with your DR ahead of time about your HRT options (or other plans to handle the symptoms of surgical menopause), which tend to be much worse than natural menopause. Some DRs, as you've already found out, have set views about whether or not women should be using HRT at all, or for what length of time, and they tend to apply these views to all their patients no matter what their age and the severity of their symptoms. If you find you've got one of those DRs, I would make arrangements to start seeing a different DR for your HRTs ASAP. You need a DR who will take into account you, your age, your history and what your symptoms are like in determining what you need.

Most women who go into surgical menopause do end up going on at least some form of systemic estrogen (patches, pills and various other forms) - "systemic" means it goes through the whole body and treats overall symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, joint pain, insomnia and such.

In addition, many women end up also using vaginal estrogen, either in cream form or something like Vagifem (tiny tablets) or Estring (a plastic ring that time-releases estrogen). That's because systemic estrogen doesn't do a real good job of reaching the vaginal walls, which tend to dry out and atrophy if they're not kept well-supplied with estrogen.

Some women also find that estrogen alone doesn't address all their symptoms, and they may add some form of progesterone, or testosterone, or both. In the United States, testosterone for women is hard to come by; the way most of us end up obtaining it is as a compounded cream (from a compounding pharmacy). Testosterone is the hormone responsible for libido, so if your sex drive is lagging a ways after surgery it's something you might ask about. Most DRs don't prescribe it right away, preferring to get you balanced as well as possible on estrogen alone first. I wasn't prescribed testosterone until I was six months post op.

About whether the cuff will be deep enough... keep in mind that the average vagina is only three inches long, pre-hyst. Obviously it is capable of stretching greatly during arousal. The same is true after the surgery, as long as the vaginal walls are kept moist and elastic; that's why you'll read so many posts from women upset about vaginal dryness. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it tends to make penetration painful. So, my advice would be to start on some type of vaginal estrogen as soon as your DR will allow it (probably six weeks post op) to minimize any problems in that area.

It is scary, because as you've seen, there is no way anyone can predict whether or not you will experience sexual dysfunction after your surgery. Some women do and some don't. If you do, make sure to speak right up and ask your DR to help; if they won't, or can't, don't hesitate to seek out another DR who will - they are out there. But I'll keep my that you'll both come through just fine and not have any problems in the romance department.

Good luck with your surgeries!
Unread 02-11-2008, 12:59 AM
Scared about losing sexual desire

Thank you for answering our questions, My Dr has already said if I end up having both ovaries out she will start HRT as soon ASAP.
Unread 02-11-2008, 09:09 AM
Scared about losing sexual desire

Thank you Linda,

Your words were very helpful and I feel more at ease. Thank you so much for the great information.


Unread 02-12-2008, 04:14 PM
Scared about losing sexual desire

For me the libido was ok for about 4 years and then disappeared.
Unread 02-12-2008, 06:03 PM

I was very worried about the same thing! However, I was willing to sacrifice almost anything to be rid of the pain I've had for 25 years. To my delight, my sex drive still feels the same. I had everything taken out. Even though I am not healed enough to try it out yet, I can tell I still have those feelings! I can give the credit to my wonderful family doctor, who put me on bio-identical progesterone 5 years ago.

I began having hot flashes and menopause symptoms at 32 because my hormones were such a mess and the progesterone cleared all that up in about 2 weeks. I was afraid it would not work on my surgical menopause, but IT HAS! No hot flashes, NOTHING! I feel 20 again. Most doctors say bio-identicals don't work, including my surgeon, yet he could not believe how great I felt at my first post-op visit.
Unread 02-12-2008, 06:27 PM
Scared about losing sexual desire

It's very common for libido to surge in the early weeks after our surgery due to changes in the balance of hormones in the body. However, it's equally common for sex drive to take a nose dive right around the time we're getting our doctor's OK for intercourse.

The first couple of months after surgery is premature to be concluding that the sex drive will be the same as it was pre-surgery. As mentioned in the above article, many women feel the same or increased sex drive during the early weeks, only to have it vanish just as they're being given the OK to have intercourse.

Same with HRTs... many women find that, while they don't have any symptoms initially, around 4-6 weeks or so they suddenly start with the night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, etc. - because typically during our recoveries we are still using up stored estrogen that we had at the time of surgery. Also, once we are cleared to resume our normal activities, the increase in exercise, stress, etc tends to raise our estrogen requirements, often requiring an adjustment in dosage.

The good news is that if you find yourself wondering at some point after your surgery what happened to your libido, there may be help in the form of HRTs to address the problem. Many of us have used compounded natural testosterone cream, myself included -- I started using it at around six months post op and gradually was able, over the next couple of years, to use it less and less. Nowadays I rarely use it at all and still maintain a reasonably healthy libido.


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