Many women go through a hysterectomy due to some serious problems, including excessive bleeding, uterine prolapsed, or fibroids. Sometimes a hysterectomy is planned, but there is also the possibility of an emergency hysterectomy. This sometimes happens after trauma to the uterus, such as a very difficult delivery, or invasive cancer of the reproductive system that necessitates a hysterectomy to save your life.
A hysterectomy means that your uterus is removed. Sometimes the ovaries, fallopian tubes and cervix are removed as well. Up to 600,000 women in the United States undergo a hysterectomy each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost all of those women have serious questions about life after the procedure, including weight loss after hysterectomy, and what sex after a hysterectomy is like.
When you can have sex after a hysterectomy depends upon the procedure. If you uterus was removed but you kept your cervix, your doctor will probably give you the green light for sex in two to four weeks. If your cervix was removed, then it will take longer, usually about six weeks until the area has healed enough for you to have sex again.
Keep in mind that what caused the hysterectomy can also play a factor in when you can have sex again. If you had a hysterectomy because of cancer, you might undergo additional treatments, which means that sex gets put on the back burner for even longer. If you are dealing with emotional issues concerning the hysterectomy, it might also affect whether you will have sex at the six-week point. If you don’t feel ready for sex, don’t push yourself – every woman is different, and waiting even longer to have sex is absolutely fine.
Having sex after a hysterectomy is different for every woman. If you have lost your ovaries, you might have problems with a lower sex drive. Remember that your sex drive is spurred by hormones: testosterone and estrogen; both important hormones for sexual desire are produced in the ovaries. If you don’t have these hormones, you might suffer from a lack of sex drive. Fortunately, your desire might return as you heal. If it doesn’t, your doctor can prescribe hormones that can help.
Some women will find that an orgasm is different after hysterectomy. Though most women can still have orgasm, many women might notice that the sensations are not as sharp, or they don’t have the same physical pleasure when their partner enters them. They might also have problems with dryness, and less intense orgasms, especially if they previously felt heavy uterine contractions during orgasm.
There are ways to combat the problem. Sexual lubricants can help ease the dryness and make sex more pleasurable. You can also do pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen the area, and that can improve sexual sensation during sex after hysterectomy.
Here’s a surprise: Some women actually have a much better sex life after they have the procedure. That’s because those who were in constant pain, such as those who had severe fibroids, can now enjoy sex without the fear and worry that the pain can bring. Some women who were worried about getting pregnant might not enjoy sex more because that possibility is gone. Some women might experience weight loss after hysterectomy, and that can make them feel more confident in their bodies, thus increasing their sexual desire.
Fortunately, there are many ways to improve sex. It is quite common for a woman to feel overwhelmed or upset at the loss of her uterus, as though she were somehow “less” of a woman. But those feelings will soon go away as it becomes clear that she is still just as much of a woman as she was before the procedure.
Some women discover that they don’t want sex at all because their sex drive is gone. There are many ways to combat this, including hormone replacement therapy. These medications mimic the natural hormones that a woman needs in order to become aroused physically. There are also drugs that increase blood flow to the area and improve sensation. There are gels, creams, and even a handheld stimulation device that can help you achieve sexual desire.
Some women have also had success with herbal remedies. Black cohosh might help with dryness, while ginseng and ginkgo biloba have been shown to help with sexual desire. Before you try any treatments, however, be sure to speak to your doctor about the options that which one might be right for you.