It is true that after vaginal surgery it is necessary to go through a recovery process before resuming the routine of our sexual life, however, there are a number of doubts around the subject that call into question the ability to feel pleasure and satisfaction after this type of treatment, at this point we consider it important to inform you correctly, to demystify the issue and avoid unfounded fears.
That's why we wrote this article! To help you solve your questions about it, because your feminine health is the priority. And at Zenzsual we want to help you speak clearly about the issues that affect your happiness.
There are many cases of women, who after an operation are afraid of resuming their sexual life or are simply embarrassed to discuss the issue with their partner, thinking first about the recovery of their health. Among the most common doubts that come to mind are:
- How long after the operation is it possible to restart sexual life?
- Will I feel pain?
- Will I be able to feel the same pleasure as before?
- Will my vagina be lubricated enough?
There are 4 cases of recurrent surgeries that we are going to analyze to answer these questions:
- Surgery for urinary incontinence
- prolapse surgeries
- Cosmetic surgery of the gynecological area
Sex after surgery for urinary incontinence and prolapses
Both surgeries are most often done through the vagina, depending on how much work is done down there or how big the prolapse is, recovery time can vary.
Stress urinary incontinence is urine leakage that happens when you are active in your daily activities or when there is pressure on your belly, such as when walking, exercising, lifting, coughing, sneezing, or just laughing out loud. Depending on the severity or progression of the disease, there are cases in which doctors recommend surgical intervention to correct this problem, with the intention of repairing and returning to their place the ligaments and other tissues in your body that support the bladder or bladder. urethra.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, some cases are operated through the vagina and other times through the abdomen . If some external material such as girths (very thin and small meshes) are placed during surgery, the preparation time for the operation and the tissue recovery period will be longer, especially if you are in the menopausal stage. For this reason, it is very important that you discuss it with your doctor to ensure the success and rapid recovery of your sexuality.
The prolapse of the bladder, rectum or womb, is the descent of any of these organs due to a weakening of the vagina and the structures that support it (pelvic floor) in different parts. A prolapse is different from an incontinence, they are not always together and the surgeries are different. Prolapse surgery varies depending on the organ that is descended or fallen, however, most of the time it is performed through the vagina, and very rarely, through the abdomen. In recent years, meshes or synthetic materials are hardly used anymore.
If this is your case, it is important that you are fully aware of the preparation and recovery process, and what the reactivation of your sexual life implies after this type of operation.
Before the surgery:
- Make sure you don't have vaginal or urine infections .
- Avoid having sexual intercourse two nights before or use condoms since it is ideal that you do NOT have semen secretions in the vaginal canal during surgery.
- If you are already in menopause , it is important to keep your vagina well hydrated and with an adequate PH (acid), even more so if you are going to place a strap or sling. You can achieve this using a good water-based gel, with an acid PH and if it has hyaluronic acid, like the one from Zenzsual , much better. Ideally, you should start using it daily, at least three weeks before surgery. Keep in mind that your doctor may, on occasion, indicate hormone creams.
- Empty your intestines . That means you should prepare by eating fiber the 5 days before and try to have a good bowel movement or poop the day before.
- Talk to your partner about it beforehand . It would also be ideal for him to accompany you to the medical appointment to clarify his doubts, because surely he has thousands.
- Very important : NEVER ASK TO BE LEFT YOUR VAGINA LIKE A 15 YEAR OLD GIRL! (ie very narrow). That's terrible, because it's associated with a lot of pain after surgery.
After this surgery it is normal that:
- You may be tired and need to rest for about 4 weeks.
- You can present pain or discomfort in the vaginal area or in the leg for a few months, in the same way it is important to always inform your doctor.
- You may present some light bleeding or yellowish discharge from the vagina, this happens because your body is processing the stitches, this discharge should NOT have a bad smell, it can be abundant but it should NOT have a strong odor (like fish).
- There are cases that send you home with a catheter (tube) to drain the urine from your bladder, it is a bit uncomfortable, and in general, you can have it for about 5 to 10 days.
Now our recommendations!
If you think about having good sex after this surgery, pay attention:
- Wait as long as your doctor tells you , at least 6 weeks, without inserting anything into the vagina.
- DO NOT have sex during that time.
- Do not use sex toys that involve penetration.
- If you are menstruating, DO NOT use tampons during this time. Use absorbent wipes.
- DO NOT douche .
- If your husband is very impatient, talk to him, explain everything your doctor told you, and if you want to please him, you can help him masturbate. They usually love that. We do not advise you even clitoral stimulation or oral sex, since the vulva can usually be inflamed and increase the risk of infections in the recovery period.
Once you start your sexual activity you must keep in mind 3 very important things:
- Patience! Remember that the area is not the same and the sensations can change for a while, usually everything recovers.
- Technique: your vagina can be smaller and you are generally tense with expectation, for this reason you should help your husband introduce his penis in the best way, so that it does not bother you (check the videos of @tu_ginecologa on Instagram or Facebook where he explains this in detail).
- Lubrication: it is always better to start with an intimate gel or lubricant, water-based with acid PH, to prevent the surface of the vagina from hurting and hurting.
Your privacy after hysterectomy
This is the surgery in which the woman's uterus or womb is removed, and on some occasions, also the ovaries. It is called Subtotal Hysterectomy, when the neck of the womb (which is what is at the bottom of the vagina) is preserved. And there are cases of Total Hysterectomy, in those patients who require complete removal of the matrix.
There are 3 ways to remove the organ from the body and each has different recovery processes. We mention them in order of fastest recovery:
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy : or also called robotic surgery, in which cameras and minimal holes are used in the patient's abdomen.
- Vaginal Hysterectomy : very similar to childbirth.
- Open abdominal hysterectomy : similar to a cesarean section.
There are 2 factors that determine the recovery time to start sexual life:
- If the hysterectomy is performed by laparoscopy or vaginally , recovery is generally from 4 to a maximum of 6 weeks and the pain is less, so sexual activity can be resumed quite quickly.
- If the hysterectomy is through an open abdomen , it usually takes more than 6 weeks and there may be more pain when sexual activity begins, for this reason you have to be patient.
There are some key facts that make a difference in your sexuality after surgery. If you know and master them well, there don't have to be factors that hinder your recovery.
So pay attention!:
- The vagina can get a little shorter and change the angle of inclination , which in some positions can cause a little pain, if the penis hits the bottom (such as posterior or anterior positions with legs raised).
- If the cervix is withdrawn together with the womb, you may have the perception of presenting less lubrication , since the cervix produces mucus that contributes in part to this lubricating process, but if the woman handles her arousal well and uses a good intimate gel or lubricant. This hardly affects!
- If the ovaries are removed before you have entered menopause, you may begin to feel the changes of menopause abruptly. But don't be scared, there is a solution for this: moisturizing gel, natural supplements to improve libido, and prior consultation with your gynecologist to clarify any doubts and raise the possibility of hormone replacement. All this can be of great help!
- If you previously felt the contractions of the uterus during orgasm, that is going to change. Don't worry, all those sensations of pleasure are re-conditioned in your brain and if you know your body you will experience the climax again without any problem.
As in the previous case, preparation before surgery is key to its success and to the recovery of your privacy. So the same tips mentioned above apply:
- Make sure you don't have vaginal or urine infections.
- Avoid intercourse two nights before.
- Prepare your vagina with a good moisturizing gel.
- Empty your intestines, evacuating before surgery.
- Take your partner to the consultation and clarify all your doubts together.
After this surgery it is normal that:
- You may be tired and need to rest for about 4 to 8 weeks.
- You may have pain or discomfort in the abdomen or vaginal area or for a few months, in the same way it is important to inform your doctor.
- You may present some light bleeding or yellowish discharge from the vagina, since it is usually closed with stitches, which are reabsorbed and fall off. This secretion should NOT have a bad smell, it can be abundant, but it should NOT have a strong odor (similar to fish).
When starting sexual relations in this case, the same recommendations apply as in vaginal surgery, especially it is important to tell your partner that they should lower the intensity of penetration, since it can bother you at the beginning. If the vagina is shorter, don't worry, if you keep it lubricated little by little they will pick up the pace, that tissue is elastic and can give way.
Next, we give you some techniques so that this does not affect your sexual relations:
- Take as much time as necessary during petting! When the arousal is at its maximum, the vagina is more elastic.
- Apply lubricating gel to the outer labia and upper thighs to apply pressure with them, or cup your hands around the base of your partner's penis during sex.
- There are also rings that can be placed around the base of the penis to decrease the depth of penetration.
To intensify this effect, it is important that the vagina is moist to help in the mobility and stretching of the tissues. At this point, we recommend you read the article on vaginal dryness that we published on our blog and it is also important that you have a water-based intimate gel on hand, with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, like the one we offer you at Zenzsual.
In the special case of women who have undergone a radical hysterectomy for cancer, they sometimes have the question of whether the surgery will affect their ability to achieve orgasm . This has not been studied much, but to date, there is no science to show that there is a negative effect. Following these instructions, and above all, using a lot of lubricant, you will gradually recover your sensations as before.
If you can do it!
We invite you to dedicate time and love to your sexual life after recovering from your vaginal surgery, to achieve the pleasure that makes you feel full and satisfied. At Zenzsual we keep writing about cases and experiences of real women and specialists with reliable information that can help you improve your sexual life and your female health.
Join this community and share with us your opinion, contributions and doubts through our social networks, follow us on: @zenzsual
- Dr. Klara Senior ( @klarasenior ) – Founder of Zenzsual
- Dra. Sofía Herrera ( @tu_ginecologa ) – Founder of Zenzsual
- US National Library of Medicine (Medlineplus.gov)
- Chilean magazine of obstetrics and gynecology. vol.78 no.2 Santiago 2013