Sexual concerns following a hysterectomy

Many women are concerned about the effect a hysterectomy may have on their ability to enjoy sexual relationships. Studies have shown that new sexual problems after hysterectomy are unusual. And most women report more sexual desire and satisfaction after recovering from a hysterectomy. (This is compared to women who used medicine or other treatment for heavy bleeding).1, 2

Many women say that after hysterectomy they:1, 2

  • Enjoy sex more.
  • No longer have symptoms such as heavy bleeding getting in the way of sex.
  • No longer have painful intercourse.
  • Have an increased ability to achieve orgasm.
  • No longer worry about becoming pregnant.
  • Have better sleep and overall health.

Vaginal dryness often improves after a hysterectomy.1 But if vaginal dryness is a problem, you can:

  • Talk with your doctor about the use of estrogen to manage your symptoms.
  • Use a nonprescription lubricant, such as Astroglide or K-Y Jelly.

Before your surgery, talk with your partner about your concerns about sex following your hysterectomy. Find out about your partner's feelings. Discuss ways to handle problems if they occur after surgery. Ask your partner to come to your appointment with you. Discuss your fears and concerns with your doctor. For more information, see the topic Sexual Problems in Women.

Citations

  1. Roovers JP, et al. (2003). Hysterectomy and sexual wellbeing: Prospective observational study of vaginal hysterectomy, subtotal abdominal hysterectomy, and total abdominal hysterectomy. BMJ, 327: 774–778.
  2. Kuppermann M, et al. (2004). Effect of hysterectomy vs medical treatment on health-related quality of life and sexual functioning: The medicine or surgery (Ms) randomized trial. JAMA, 291(12): 1447–1455.

Last Updated: August 12, 2008

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