Majority of Women Worry About Sex After Hysterectomy
No matter a woman’s age, having a hysterectomy can be an emotional experience. For many, it can bring up feelings of loss and fear: loss of femininity, no longer being able to bear children, fear of diminished attractiveness. And it can bring up concerns about having sex: Will it be painful? Will I be able to enjoy it? Will I feel different to my partner? Will I even be interested in sex again?
Confusion over what a hysterectomy involves can create unnecessary anguish, and it’s important to understand what kind of hysterectomy you are having, and whether an oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) is also being performed.
What Is A Hysterectomy?
- A standard or partial hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and the cervix.
- A supracervical hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus above the cervix.
- A hysterectomy with a bilateral salpingo oophorectomy (the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes on both sides) is called a complete hysterectomy; it removes the uterus, cervix, ovaries and fallopian tubes.
It is important to know what happens to your body with each of these procedures, because care after the surgery is tailored to each patient’s individual needs. Normal hormone production within the body continues with a standard or supracervical hysterectomy, as female hormones are produced by the ovaries. For women who have not yet entered menopause, menstruation stops with a standard or supracervical hysterectomy, but hormonal changes should not begin until their late 40s or early 50s.
The only time hysterectomy brings the onset of menopause is when both ovaries are also removed.
Important Questions to Ask Your Surgeon
- What type of hysterectomy are you recommending?
- Will my ovaries remain intact or are you recommending removal, and why?
- What additional therapy will I need after my surgery?
- How will you be performing the surgery?
- What is the estimated recovery time?
- How long after surgery will I need to wait to have sex?
The Facts About Sex After A Hysterectomy
In a CIGC survey of 500 women, 59% of those polled feared sex will be less enjoyable after surgery. In addition, 61% were worried that their vagina would feel different to their partner after a hysterectomy.
But for many women, the actual experience has been demonstrated to be the exact opposite. Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health of women after having a hysterectomy show no negative effect on sex drive, self-image or sexual satisfaction with their partner. In many cases, the opposite was true. The causes for this vary, but in general, the conditions that warranted a hysterectomy may have had an effect on arousal or interest in sex. Treating the condition can help women become more active and get back to living their lives, including enjoying sex.
Surgical menopause, brought on by having your ovaries removed, will affect the hormones that influence your sex drive. How this affects each woman is different, and some women find that hormone replacement therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
How Long After Surgery Will I Need to Wait to Have Sex?
After a hysterectomy, you will need to wait about six to eight weeks to heal and receive an all-clear from your doctor before resuming intercourse. The healing and waiting time after a supracervical hysterectomy (in which the cervix is not removed) is shorter.
For more questions to ask your surgeon, download Hysterectomy FAQ. Print this out and take it with you to your doctor.
Find a Minimally Invasive GYN Surgeon Who Will Work With You
The emotional and physical changes after a hysterectomy can be easier to adjust to if you know what to expect and are able to ask the right questions. Knowing what to ask and what kind of treatment you want will also help you find the right person to perform your surgery and manage any additional therapy that may be needed.
Choosing a GYN specialist at The Center for Innovative GYN Care to perform an advanced, minimally invasive hysterectomy will ensure your recovery time is faster than with standard laparoscopic, robotic-assisted laparoscopic and open procedures. Our DualPortGYN hysterectomy is a newer, safer technique that can only be performed by highly trained minimally invasive GYN surgeons. CIGC specialists are fellowship trained and focus only on surgery. The estimated recovery time after a DualPortGYN hysterectomy is about seven to 10 days rather than up to eight weeks with other surgical options. Outcomes are better and often include a more sexually active life after recovery.
Book A Consultation
CIGC surgical specialists can often see patients sooner because they are focused entirely on surgery. Each patient gets detailed, in-depth attention from Paul MacKoul, MD, or Natalya Danilyants, MD. This personalized care helps patients understand their condition and the recommended treatment so that they can have confidence from the very start. Our surgeons have performed more than 25,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve outcomes for patients.
Book a consultation today with Dr. MacKoul or Dr. Danilyants.
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