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In-Depth Overview of Hysterectomy Surgery

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Updated April 11, 2014

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Sex After Hysterectomy

Most women are concerned with the long-term effects of a hysterectomy on their sex life. While each person is unique, a hysterectomy does not always result in major changes in sex drive or the ability to enjoy sex.

Surgeons suggest waiting a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks to return to sexual activity after a hysterectomy. After that time, sexual intercourse should be possible without pain or discomfort. Most women feel very fatigued during the first weeks of recovery but as the patient feels more energized, interest in sex returns.

Sexual activity after a hysterectomy has been studied extensively, and most women who have a healthy sex life return to that level of activity. Some women find that they are more interested in sex after surgery, especially those who had concerns about pregnancy or chronic pelvic pain.

There are differences between the types of surgery. One study showed that women who had a hysterectomy that left the cervix in place were more likely to orgasm during sexual intercourse as the cervix plays a role in vaginal orgasms. The study also showed that the ability to have clitoral orgasms, or external orgasms, was not changed by surgery regardless of the presence of the cervix.

Some patients do experience a feeling of loss or depression after surgery, and some begin menopause, decreasing sex drive. If these symptoms are handled effectively, the patient can expect to experience a full and active sex life.

Some women will require a lubricant to have sex without discomfort after their hysterectomy, as the surgery can cause some vaginal dryness.

Everything You Need To Know About Hysterectomy Surgery

Sources:

Hysterectomy. Medline Plus. 2008 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hysterectomy.html

Patient Information Library, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2000. Laparoscopically Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy

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