Most women wonder after they've had a hysterectomy, "What will become of my sex life?" But the reality is that even though you've had some or all of your major reproductive organs removed, your sex life is far from over.
First of all, there are different kinds of hysterectomies. In some cases, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the cervix, and the ovaries are all removed. This is a complete hysterectomy. In other cases, only some of these organs are removed. There are two choices of how a hysterectomy can be performed. Some surgeons prefer to make an incision in the abdomen, while others will remove just the uterus through the vagina. Vaginal hysterectomy is often preferred if possible because of the reduced length of time in the hospital, fewer complications, and lower costs.
Whether or not the cervix has been left intact may affect a woman's future pleasure. One study showed that women whose hysterectomy left their cervix in place were more likely to have orgasms as it is thought that the cervix plays a part in vaginal orgasms. The same study showed that women who have always had clitoral orgasms will continue to have them following a hysterectomy. These external orgasms remain unchanged, regardless of how the surgery was done, or whether a woman still has a cervix.
Six to eight weeks is the recommended time to wait before attempting intercourse following a hysterectomy. Most women who were sexually active prior to surgery regain their interest and ability to enjoy sex afterwards. Expect to feel fatigue during the many weeks and months of recovery; that's normal. Also, you might want to amp up your lubrication. And if you had surgery to get rid of fibroids, a principal cause of chronic pelvic pain, you may find that you enjoy sex more than ever once you've had a hysterectomy.
Eve Marx writes frequently about sex for ThirdAge.com.
Also Popular on ThirdAge