Having your uterus removed doesn’t have to be a permanent detriment to your sex life. In fact, sex after a hysterectomy can be even more pleasurable than before, but it takes patience and preparation.
Doctors recommend waiting six weeks after surgery before engaging in sexual activity and avoiding vaginal insertions like tampons. However, pain during sex may be caused by unhealed tissue or scarring.
1. You Haven’t Waited Enough
A hysterectomy is a major surgery that requires an extended recovery period. Even after the procedure, scarring can restrict blood flow to certain muscles and nerves in the area, causing pain. This happens most often in the pelvic muscles, stomach and lower back. This is why women who have a hysterectomy often describe it as painful during sex.
The most common reason for this is that the woman hasn’t given herself enough time to recover from the surgery. Depending on the type of hysterectomy, it may take between six and eight weeks for you to feel ready to have penetrative sex.
If you have a complete hysterectomy, meaning the uterus and cervix are removed along with other body parts such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries, this can cause pain during sexual penetration because your vagina is much drier and less elastic than before. It’s also possible that you had your ovaries removed as well, which will cause a sudden drop in estrogen and other hormones and send you straight into surgical menopause.
If you’re still having this problem after the prescribed healing time, talk to your doctor about the possibility of having a sex drive treatment. This type of treatment has been shown to improve sex drive for many women with hysterectomies. You can also try to find ways to relax and enjoy other forms of physical intimacy in the meantime, such as cuddling or holding hands.
2. You’re in Menopause
If you are experiencing a loss of libido during menopause or after a hysterectomy, your hormonal levels may be to blame. The hormone estrogen helps regulate the menstrual cycle and develop female sex organs, but levels begin to decline around the time of your last period, known as perimenopause. When they get low enough, your uterine lining stops thickening and you enter menopause.
As a result, you might start to experience vaginal dryness, which can lead to pain during sexual intercourse. You might also notice a change in your emotions, such as becoming more irritable or anxious. This is normal, and it can be helped by getting plenty of rest, eating a balanced diet, and reducing stress.
Other symptoms of perimenopause that can affect your sex life include hot flashes and sleep problems. Over-the-counter vaginal lubricants or moisturizers can help relieve a lot of these issues, as well as having regular intimate interactions with your partner. A lot of women also find that engaging in nonsexual activities like snuggling, kissing and cuddling can improve their sex drive, so try that out as well. You can also talk to your doctor about estrogen replacement therapy, which includes pills or creams that are placed directly in the vagina. It can be used in conjunction with other treatments, including pelvic floor physical therapy, to provide the best possible outcomes.
3. You’re Using the Wrong Position
In some cases, a person who had a hysterectomy is not using proper technique during sexual activity. This can cause pain and reduce pleasure. It’s important to use lubrication during sexual activity to prevent friction against the vaginal canal and surrounding areas.
Using lubrication can also help with penetration. It may take some time for natural sensation and arousal to return after a hysterectomy. This can be helped by longer periods of foreplay and the use of a lubricant. It’s a good idea to talk with a partner about these issues and find out what works best for both of you.
A hysterectomy can relieve pain caused by fibroids, ovarian cysts, severe endometriosis or cancer. However, the surgery does not cure heavy bleeding and other symptoms associated with the pelvic area. Having a hysterectomy can also cause problems with the bladder, bowel and urinary tract.
Hormone replacement therapy can reduce menopausal symptoms and improve sexual function in women who have had a hysterectomy or are in surgical menopause. Using a lubricant can also reduce vaginal dryness, which can lead to lessening sexual pleasure. It’s important to experiment with different positions and types of stimulation in order to find what feels most pleasurable. Talking with a doctor about these issues can help you get the most out of your sexual experience.
4. You’re Using the Wrong Products
Women who have a hysterectomy often feel worried about how this will affect their sex life. However, as long as a woman has fully healed and is not experiencing any bleeding or pain in the area of her incisions, this surgery should not negatively impact sexual function.
A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of a woman’s uterus, as well as any fallopian tubes and ovaries that are attached to it. This procedure is performed for a variety of reasons, including painful uterine fibroids, endometriosis and uterine cancer. In most cases, a hysterectomy is only performed if other treatments have failed.
For some women, a hysterectomy can cause pain during sex due to a loss of hormones if the ovaries were removed during the operation. This can cause vaginal dryness, which can be uncomfortable for both partners during sex. Using a vaginal gel or lubricant can help reduce this problem.
Many women report that they continue to have good or even better sex after a hysterectomy, especially once any pain or bleeding stops. This may be due to the relief from chronic pelvic pain or heavy uterine bleeding. Other women may experience a reduction in pleasure because they are no longer able to have children or get pregnant. If this is the case, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor about ways to improve sexual pleasure, such as hormone replacement therapy or a vaginal gel.