Does hysterectomy affect Sex life?
Hysterectomy, removal of uterus (womb), diminishes sex drive and ability to orgasm if nerves to the vagina have got removed. It is preferable to retain ovaries and the cervix. It is important to ask your doctor if genital nerves will be kept intact for they give the ooohh! vaginal sensation.
Let us begin at the beginning.
What is hysterectomy?
Hysterectomy is an operation to remove a woman’s uterus (womb).
Why is hysterectomy done?
It is a part of surgical treatment of fibroids, endometriosis or cancer.
Sex after Hysterectomy
Sex Drive and Orgasm are likely to be impaired after hysterectomy
if ovaries and cervix are removed along with uterus and if nerves going to the vagina are removed.
Sometimes, nerve pathways affecting sexual response can be cut during a hysterectomy, affecting your ability to enjoy vaginal stimulation.
What you must ask your doctor?
Ask the gynecologist whether cervix can be retained and if nerve sparing surgery will be done.
If you’ve been told that you need a hysterectomy for a gynecological problem not related to cancer, explore other options first, including retaining your cervix.
It is advised to have nerve-sparing type of hysterectomy, which aims to spare the genital nerves so that women still have some sensation.
The physical effects of a hysterectomy can be modest in comparison to the possible psychological issues, warns Whipple.
Some women (knowingly or not) conceptualize the uterus—and the ability to carry a baby—as the essence of feminity and may become depressed after a hysterectomy. And feeling depressed and less feminine can lead to diminished sex drive and sexual activity, says Whipple.
On the other hand, many women feel relief with the knowledge that pregnancy is not possible and become much more interested in sex and more sexually active.
-The Merck Manuals – Vol 2, Issue 7
-Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., R.N.
is Professor Emerita at Rutgers University and author of
The Science of Orgasm
(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).