Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure which involves the removal of the uterus and other reproductive organs including the ovaries in women. This is usually done if an abnormal growth of tissue or tumor is found.
Other reasons why some women are recommended to undergo the procedure include abnormal uterine bleeding, fibroids, pelvic organ prolapse, excessive growth of the endometrium, chronic pelvic pain which is uterine in nature and cervical abnormalities. Others who are advised to undergo the procedure may have concerns with regards to sex after hysterectomy.
Mostly, women who have fibroid tumors undergo the procedure in order to decrease the likelihood of developing malignant growths which could advertently lead to cancer.
The operation could have an abdominal or vaginal approach.
Abdominal hysterectomy is performed by creating an incision on the abdominal area and removing the uterus.
On the other hand, vaginal hysterectomy is done through the vagina. Complete or full hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus as well as the fallopian tubes and the ovaries.
Partial hysterectomy, on the other hand, is just the removal of the uterus and the ovaries are kept intact.
Following the procedure, several women might have questions if sex after hysterectomy is possible. The answer is, yes. However, due to the differences in the recovery period, some women may have to wait while some others may be able to enjoy such sacred gift earlier. One advantage of vaginal hysterectomy over the abdominal is that the recovery period is faster and requires a shorter hospital stay.
One downside, however, is that following vaginal hysterectomy; sex is usually painful due to the trauma on the vaginal tissues caused by the procedure. This could be alleviated by altering the angles and positions during sexual intercourse to which a woman feels more comfortable.
In addition, deep penetration should be avoided during the early recovery period so as to decrease the discomfort that a woman would usually experience. After about six weeks, the stitches in the vagina usually heals and the vagina is somewhat shortened. With gradual intercourse, the shortened area could be stretched once again.
After abdominal hysterectomy, a woman may have to stay longer in the hospital. The recovery period of abdominal hysterectomy typically takes a few weeks to two months. The recovery is usually longer for abdominal hysterectomy since it involves the manipulation of several tissues and organs.
However, after few weeks, sex after hysterectomy through an abdominal approach is not greatly affected compared to that of a vaginal hysterectomy. Since the vaginal area is not operated, one could enjoy sex after hysterectomy as long as caution is taken with the abdominal stitches. In addition, the positions could be adjusted so as to promote comfort during intercourse.
Those who have undergone complete hysterectomy with the removal of the ovaries may need to take some oral replacement for hormones. Since the ovary is where these hormones are produced, removal of the ovaries may diminish one’s libido or sex drive.
In addition, some may develop bone defects due to the reduced level of estrogen and some others experience pre-menopausal symptoms. In order to alleviate the untoward effects of hysterectomy, one could discuss with her health care provider with regards to the treatment options available.