As with any type of surgery, it may take some time after a hysterectomy for you to feel well again both physically and emotionally. This can have an impact on how you feel about sex.

In general, most people will be advised not to have sex for around four to six weeks after having a hysterectomy. This gives your body time to heal and for any bleeding or vaginal discharge to stop.

For some people the type of hysterectomy that they have can affect them differently. If you have had your ovaries removed as well as your uterus, this will trigger the menopause, whatever your age. It will also change hormone levels which can affect your sex life.

After having a hysterectomy some people can have less interest in sex. This will usually return as your recovery progresses. A reduced sex drive can also be caused by menopause , stress, relationship issues and depression. These complaints are often temporary; if they persist, contact a health professional.

Vaginal dryness, sensation and orgasm

After undergoing a hysterectomy, it does not mean that you won’t be able to have an orgasm. For many people nothing may change as you will still have a clitoris and labia which are highly sensitive. However, if the part of your anatomy that was sensitive to stimulation is removed, such as the cervix, or nerves connected your organs are severed during the surgery, your ability to orgasm may be affected.

If a hysterectomy has made your vagina feel drier than it used to be, try using a water based lubricant. You can buy these at a pharmacy or drugstore.

How can I make sex more pleasurable after a hysterectomy?

It’s understandable to be nervous about having sex after a major surgery like a hysterectomy, but there are a few things you can do to make the experience easier and more pleasurable for yourself.

  • Use water based lubricant.
  • Go slowly. You just had surgery, listen to your body.
  • Talk to your partner about how you feel. They may also be worried about hurting you after surgery.
  • Try different positions. As you recover you may find different positions will be more comfortable.

Your health can affect relationships, and after prostate surgery, you could find that your sex life is affected.

Prostate surgery is the removal of some or all of the prostate gland.

There are two main reasons for having prostate surgery. The most common is to remove the prostate because of certain types of prostate cancer. The other is removing all or a section of an enlarged prostate to help with urinary (having a wee) problems.

“How long should I wait after surgery?”

Your sex life doesn’t have to be on hold for too long. Wait at least six to eight weeks after surgery before having sex again

You may find you are having problems getting an erection. The nerves which give you an erection are close to the prostate and could be damaged when you have the surgery. If the nerves are intact you are likely to recover your erections, but this may take several months.

Don’t forget, to take time to get back to having sex, and there are other ways to feel connected like: kissing, physical touching, massage. Just spending time together will make you feel intimate and close.

“Something isn’t quite right down there...”

Some people will have difficulty getting or keeping an erection.

If you have had prostatectomy surgery, you will no longer ejaculate when you have an orgasm. The sensation will feel the same but your body won’t release any semen.

If you have had surgery for an enlarged prostate, you may have something called retrograde ejaculation. This is where the semen travels backwards into your bladder when you orgasm, instead of coming out through your penis. This won't hurt.

“I am still not sure…”

Ideally you should be able to ask questions about sex at any point - before, during or after your prostate surgery treatment. Talking about it before your treatment will mean you are more likely to know what to expect and can respond better to this.

Not everyone is used to talking about sex. It is best if your specialist team ask you questions about your erections and sex life during the treatment. If this does not happen, you can bring up the subject yourself.

You will also be able to attend Penile Erectile Dysfunction Rehabilitation Programme run by your specialist team. Or you can also ask to be referred to an expert in sexual problems or an erectile dysfunction (ED) clinic – who are very used to talking about sex and any concerns.

It can be difficult talking about sex, but talking to your specialist doctor, your specialist nurse, your GP or another health professional, will allow you to get the treatment and support that you need.