SEX AFTER GYN SURGERY: INTIMACY CAN IMPROVE AFTER TREATING COMPLEX GYN CONDITIONS
Pain during sex can be an indication of a complex GYN condition like fibroids, endometriosis or adenomyosis. While there are other conditions that can cause painful intercourse, for these treatable conditions, laparoscopic GYN surgery can often improve a woman’s ability to have sex.
Many women are concerned about surgery negatively affecting their sex lives after recovery. If performed as a laparoscopic procedure by advanced-trained GYN specialists, treating these conditions can help women by reducing or eliminating pain from the conditions themselves, and once recovered, women often become more active and get back to living their lives, including enjoying intimacy.
Fibroids are tumors that grow in or on the uterus. These tumors can grow very large and press on nerves. There are two options for surgically removing fibroids: removal of the fibroids themselves, a myomectomy, or removal of the uterus, a hysterectomy.
Endometriosis is a condition that causes lesions and inflammation in the pelvic cavity. Thorough removal of the endometriotic lesions is possible for many patients. This technique is called endometriosis excision or resection of endometriosis. Once a patient is through recovery, there should be a noticeable difference in the level of pain. In many cases, all of the lesions can be removed and the resulting pelvic adhesions that develop through constant cycles of inflammation can also be removed, freeing the organs from sticking together in the pelvic cavity. This should help patients with endometriosis who have had difficulty having sex.
Adenomyosis Treatment Options
Adenomyosis is a painful condition. The uterine lining grows into the uterine wall, so that during a menstrual cycle as the cells swell, shed and bleed, the uterine wall becomes inflamed. The only cure for adenomyosis is a hysterectomy. Women who desire fertility can discuss pain management options with a specialist.
FEARS ABOUT SEX AFTER GYN SURGERY
A review of four endometriosis studies showed that surgical excision of endometriosis is a feasible and good treatment option for pain relief and improvement of quality of sex life in symptomatic women with endometriosis.
The National Institute of Health conducted studies of women after having a hysterectomy and the results show no negative affect on sex drive, self-image, or sexual satisfaction with partner. In fact, in many cases, the opposite was true. The causes for this vary, but for many women, the conditions that exist that warranted hysterectomy may have affected arousal or interest in sex.
“Complex conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis or fibroids can cause pain for women during sex,” said Natalya Danilyants, MD. “For many women with these conditions who are past childbearing or who do not want children, a laparoscopic procedure can relieve the symptoms of the condition and in turn, restore a woman’s confidence.”
The pain or bleeding that comes with these conditions can lower a woman’s interest in intimacy. Once the source of the pain or bleeding is resolved, confidence often is restored, which has a huge impact on a woman’s self-esteem and libido.
HORMONES & SEX: WHEN IS HRT RECOMMENDED?
A woman’s libido is driven by her hormones. The concern that sex drive will decrease after surgery can be addressed by an honest conversation with the specialist performing the procedure in advance.
The average age for a hysterectomy in the United States is 42, which is about 10 years younger than the average age of the onset of menopause. In many cases of hysterectomy, if the ovaries can safely be left intact, a woman will progress through menopause naturally. Menopause (occurs naturally as a woman ages or, surgically by having the ovaries removed) will affect the hormones that influence a woman’s sex drive. How it affects each woman is different, and some women find that hormone replacement therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of menopause, while others can manage with life-style changes.
Every woman is different, and choosing hormone replacement therapy should be managed by an expert. Women who have had their uterus removed can benefit from estrogen therapy, which is the safer of the two options. Women who retain their uterus must have combination therapy, which has a higher risk associated with developing endometrial cancer.
CHOOSE A LAPAROSCOPIC GYN SPECIALIST: RECOVER FASTER
The DualPortGYN technique for hysterectomy and LAAM fibroid removal for fertility technique were developed by the minimally invasive GYN surgeons at The Center for Innovative GYN Care and are used exclusively by CIGC-trained specialists.
Often women postpone surgery out of fear of scars from large incisions. Laparoscopic procedures can reduce the appearance of scars, as well as reducing the recovery time. The CIGC procedures only use two incisions and reduce recovery times for all procedures.
DualPortGYN uses two 5mm incisions, one at the bikini line and one at the belly button. Most hysterectomy procedures are completed in under an hour, and patient recovery is about a week. LAAM uses one 5mm incision at the belly button and one 1.5 inch incision at the bikini line, with a 10-14 day recovery.
Women are advised to wait for 6 weeks after surgery to resume sexual activity after CIGC procedures. Scars from the incisions are practically invisible after a couple of months.
Having confidence in yourself after struggling with a GYN condition can actually improve a woman’s sex life. It’s important to choose an advanced-trained laparoscopic surgeon to ensure a successful procedure.
BOOK A CONSULTATION
The CIGC state-of-the-art specialists are available at three locations in the DC metro area. Virginia patients can visit the Reston, VA location, and Saturday appointments are available. Maryland offices are located in Rockville, MD and Annapolis, MD.
CIGC is dedicated to providing information and materials for women to help navigate the complicated healthcare system. The CIGC founders, minimally invasive GYN surgical specialists Dr. Paul MacKoul, MD and Dr. Natalya Danilyants, MD, developed their advanced GYN surgical techniques using only two small incisions with patients’ well-being in mind. Dr. Rupen Baxi, MD is a CIGC-trained minimally invasive GYN specialist with extensive fellowship training and a respected speaker and researcher.
Their personalized approach to care helps patients understand their condition and the recommended treatment so that they can have confidence from the very start. Our surgeons have performed over 20,000 GYN procedures and are constantly finding better ways to improve outcomes for patients.