How Long After a Hysterectomy Can You Have Sex?

woman in black lace brassiere lying on bed

A hysterectomy is most commonly performed to treat cancer (or pre-cancerous changes in the uterus, ovary, or cervix). It can also be used to remove fibroids and other benign tumors.

Generally speaking, orgasms are unaffected by a hysterectomy. Some women may experience vaginal dryness that can make sex less pleasurable, but this can often be alleviated by estrogen in the form of patches, rings, or tablets paired with a lubricant.

Wait at Least Six Weeks After Surgery

Most doctors recommend waiting at least six weeks after your hysterectomy before you try having sex. This gives your body time to heal from the surgery and reduces your chances of experiencing complications, such as infection.

Your recovery timeline may vary depending on the type of hysterectomy you had. Abdominal and laparoscopic hysterectomies typically require you to stay in the hospital for a few days. You’ll be monitored to make sure you don’t develop blood clots in your legs. During this time, you should avoid lifting heavy objects to protect your abdomen.

After the operation, you may experience some vaginal bleeding or discharge for several days to a few weeks. Sanitary pads can help you control this and protect your clothing. It’s important to let your care team know if you have bleeding that feels like a period or doesn’t stop.

During a hysterectomy, the surgeon removes your uterus and, if necessary, the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This means you will no longer be able to get pregnant.

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Although sexual desire and arousal are incredibly individual, many women experience the same or better levels of pleasure after a hysterectomy. This is especially true for women who experienced pain or heavy menstrual bleeding before the procedure. However, some women find that their sex drive decreases after a hysterectomy. Using a lubricant and hormone replacement therapy can help with this.

Listen to Your Body

Your ability to orgasm after a hysterectomy largely depends on your own mental state. If your previous conditions, like painful intercourse or heavy menstrual bleeding, were preventing you from enjoying sex, it’s possible that your hysterectomy will make it more enjoyable. However, if you had your cervix removed as part of the surgery, this may limit the sensation in that area.

If you had a partial (subtotal or supracervical) hysterectomy, your ovaries might have been removed as well, and that can decrease libido. Your ovaries produce estrogen and testosterone, two hormones that affect your sex drive. Vaginal dryness can also diminish sexual pleasure.

Hysterectomies are often performed for medical reasons, such as to treat uterine fibroids, polyps or cancer, ovarian cysts, adenomyosis, or uterine prolapse. Women who have their ovaries removed might experience menopause and its symptoms, including hot flashes and sleep disturbances.

If you’re considering a hysterectomy, your doctor will likely recommend abstaining from sexual activity until you’re fully healed. This is because you risk opening and re-bleeding the wound. If you do decide to have sex, take things slow and ease into it. Be sure to talk openly with your partner about any sexual difficulties you’re experiencing. You may want to consider couples therapy to help you overcome emotional and mental blocks that could be inhibiting your sex life.

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Experiment with External Stimulation

A hysterectomy can cause changes in the way your body feels, including your pleasure and orgasm. But you shouldn’t expect those changes to be permanent, especially if your sex life was already good before surgery. One study found that most women reported that their sex lives stayed the same or even improved after a hysterectomy.

You should not have penetration until you can do so without pain or discomfort, which typically means six weeks after your operation. You should also avoid putting anything in your vagina, which includes fingers, sex toys, and tampons, to reduce the risk of infection.

In addition, it is important to use lubrication during sexual intercourse. A hysterectomy removes the natural oils that line the vagina, so using lubrication can make intercourse more pleasurable.

You should try to experiment with different types of external stimulation before attempting sex. For example, you might want to try finger masturbation with a partner who has a penis or a strap-on dildo. You can also practice orgasms through self-stimulation, such as through deep breathing, stroking and massage. You can also try pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegel exercises, to strengthen the muscles that help you climax. Ultimately, you should listen to your body and talk to your doctor about when it is safe to have penetration again.

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Talk to Your Partner

Having open communication with your partner about sexual intimacy and the emotional impact of a hysterectomy is crucial to your well-being, says sex therapist Jess O’Reilly. It may take time to adjust to the changes and feelings that come with a hysterectomy, but having honest discussions can help you both understand your needs and set expectations for sexual pleasure.

Most women say their sex life stays the same or gets better after a hysterectomy, especially if pain and heavy periods are no longer an issue. However, some women report that they have less intense orgasms following a hysterectomy because the surgery sometimes cuts nerves that enable climax. Some women also experience vaginal dryness after a hysterectomy, and using personal lubricants can improve sensations and make sex more pleasurable.

A surgeon can remove a woman’s uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries during a hysterectomy. This procedure prevents pregnancy and menstrual periods in most cases. It’s also possible to have a partial hysterectomy, in which only the cervix or fallopian tubes are removed.

A doctor should never recommend having sex too soon after a hysterectomy because doing so could cause bleeding and reopen the wound. Waiting at least six weeks is important for your recovery and can help you avoid complications like infection or bleeding during intercourse. During this time, it’s wise to experiment with different stimulation to see what works best for you and your partner.

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