Sex and vaginal dryness after hysterectomy
Sex drive after hysterectomy
You may have heard that your sex drive will go down after a hysterectomy and that you’ll no longer enjoy sex. Actually, about 75% of women find that their libido remains unchanged and 20% actually had increased sexual desire. If you expect to have lower libido you may actually think yourself into it.
However, for some couples, the experience of going through a hysterectomy increases the bond between them and sex is better than ever. If your sex drive is low after your hysterectomy, it may be because your ovaries were removed, resulting in hormone imbalance. Natural hormones may help you.
Orgasm after hysterectomy
You may be worried that you won’t be able to climax after your hysterectomy. If you experienced orgasm deep within your pelvis, you may have difficulty climaxing because your uterus and cervix are absent. You can still enjoy orgasm but you’ll have to learn how to do it through stimulation of your clitoris. This will require some patience so don’t despair.
How to ease back into sex after a hysterectomy
- You may need several weeks to heal completely after your operation. Be sure to ask your gynecologist when it is safe for you to resume intercourse.
- Be open with your partner and help him to understand that you need time to recover. Don’t be afraid to touch and hold each other during this time.
- Fear of painful intercourse may lead to vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse. If you are well lubricated there should be no pain as your clitoris and labia (the lips covering the vaginal opening) are not affected by the operation.
- Encourage your partner to gently caress your clitoris. This should help with vaginal lubrication and arouse you.
- Guide your partner’s finger into your vagina slowly and gently. When you’re comfortable, introduce his penis slowly and gently into your vagina. He should not thrust until you’re ready.
- Once the two of you are comfortably, normal sexual desire should return and you may proceed to have normal intercourse.
- If vaginal dryness remains a problem, a lubricating jelly should help. In the long run you may need a natural progesterone/natural estrogen combination cream, especially if your ovaries have been removed.
- If you continue to experience pain in spite of all you precautions, consult your gynecologist.
Vaginal dryness after a hysterectomy
After a hysterectomy, you probably have many emotions and questions running through your mind. You may feel great relief from any previous pain or discomfort you had. You might feel a sense of loss or sadness. As you continue to heal and have some recovery time, you may notice one of the not so comfortable post-operative side effects of vaginal dryness. If so, do not panic because you are not alone. Lots of women suffer from vaginal dryness after hysterectomy and there are quite a few ways to manage it.
What causes vaginal dryness after hysterectomy?
During a hysterectomy the uterus is removed by itself or the uterus is removed along with the ovaries. When the ovaries are removed as well, this causes a rapid change in your body’s hormones. The dryness you experience is a result of decreased estrogen levels. The ovaries are your body’s primary source for the hormone, estrogen.
Even if your ovaries are left intact, you may still have vaginal dryness soon after having a hysterectomy.
The ovaries receive their blood supply from several sources. The blood vessels that supply the uterus also nourish the ovaries. By removing the uterus with its blood supply you are also tampering with the nutrition of the ovaries. Women who have had a hysterectomy with their ovaries left behind are approximately 2 times more likely to develop ovarian failure compared to women of the same age who still have a uterus.
Estrogen is the hormone that is responsible for the female secondary sex characteristics
- Formation of breasts
- Thickening of the endometrium
- Regulating the menstrual cycle
- Uterine growth
- Thickening of the vaginal wall
- Vaginal lubrication
What can help vaginal dryness after hysterectomy?
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness after your hysterectomy, you should speak with your gynecologist. You may already be taking hormone supplements, in which case your physician may test your hormonal levels to see if your estrogen levels are within normal limits. If your estrogen levels are not within range, they may decide to increase your dosage. If you are not on any hormone supplements they may suggest starting one. This usually helps with a range of other symptoms that occur after a hysterectomy as well.