Sex After a Hysterectomy: What to Expect and How to Actually Improve Your Sex Life

    Published 03 February 2020
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Olga Adereyko, MD, Primary Care Physician, General Practitioner, Medical Consultant
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    The removal of your uterus could affect the way you engage in intercourse after a hysterectomy, from both a physical and psychological standpoint. But there’s something you can do about it. Read on for expert advice on how to take sex after a hysterectomy to the next level.

    What to expect from a hysterectomy

    Considered to be a major operation, a hysterectomy is performed one of two ways ‒ either as a vaginal or abdominal procedure. The former is a surgical detachment of your uterus from your fallopian tubes and vagina, where the organ is taken out through your vagina. In an abdominal hysterectomy, however, surgeons remove your uterus via a small incision in your lower abdomen.

    Both occur in an inpatient, hospital setting and aftercare includes plenty of rest and relaxation. A vaginal hysterectomy has a faster recovery time since the muscles of your abdomen aren’t cut. In fact, your doctor might send you home the next day, if not the day of your procedure.

    Patients of an abdominal hysterectomy, on the other hand, tend to require additional care or physical therapy to rebuild the abdominal wall. It usually necessitates a longer hospital stay, perhaps a few days.

    Though generally safe, hysterectomies still carry the possibility of blood clots, reaction to anesthesia, infection, urinary tract or bowel damage, and early menopause. You may also experience vaginal bleeding, cramps, and soreness. It’s important to discuss this with your doctor beforehand.

    How a hysterectomy affects your sex life

    For some women, a hysterectomy could mean a boost to their sex life, as they no longer feel pain during intercourse. For others, the emotional toll might make sex difficult at first. Both experiences, and anything falling in between, are completely normal. 

    The intimate aspects of a hysterectomy and sex should be openly discussed with your gynecologist. Knowing exactly what to expect will help ease some of your concerns about the surgery. 

    Aside from more pleasurable intercourse, sex after a hysterectomy could be freeing, especially when it comes to birth control. Getting off hormonal birth control or having sex without condoms is likely to improve sensations, not to mention your own ability to orgasm.

    When can you have sex after a hysterectomy?

    If you’re wondering, “How long after a hysterectomy can I have sex?”, most doctors recommend waiting six weeks for post-surgery intercourse. This reduces your chances of developing an infection and gives your body time to heal. Even at this point, there’s a small chance of bleeding after intercourse. If this occurs, consult your doctor regarding surgical complications.

    It’s not just intercourse that you should avoid following a hysterectomy. Medical experts suggest refraining from putting anything in your vagina, including fingers, sex toys, and tampons. Vaginal hysterectomy patients might notice bleeding and discharge from their vagina after the procedure. Resist the urge to use tampons to absorb this, and opt for pads instead. Be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions.

    Can you have an orgasm after a hysterectomy?

    Aside from alleviating many conditions, such as painful sex or heavy menstrual bleeding, intercourse after a hysterectomy could become more enjoyable.

    Your ability to orgasm after a hysterectomy largely depends on you. Even hysterectomies that include removal of your cervix shouldn’t physically prevent you from experiencing a vaginal (G-spot) or clitoral orgasm. Note that this is true for both vaginal and abdominal hysterectomies. In most cases, you’ll be able to resume an active, fulfilling sex life once you’ve fully healed.

    Your ability to orgasm after a hysterectomy largely depends on you. Even hysterectomies that include removal of your cervix shouldn’t physically prevent you from experiencing a vaginal (G-spot) or clitoral orgasm.

    Since your vagina is a muscular organ, capable of expanding and contracting, surgery is not going to alter its tightness. Although Kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic floor and enhance sexual experiences. However, if your cervix was removed, your vagina might be a little shorter, perhaps impacting your partner’s depth of penetration. Ultimately, sex after hysterectomy surgery may feel different, but is perfectly safe once you’ve recovered. 

    Keep in mind that your own mental state sometimes inhibits your ability to climax, especially if you’re depressed and anxious. If you’re having difficulty orgasming after you’re fully healed from the hysterectomy, consider talking to a therapist to process these feelings and sexual inhibitions.

    Does a hysterectomy affect your sex drive?

    Depending on your reasons for having the operation, your libido might either increase or decrease. If you previously had fibroids or polyps on your uterus, which lead to painful intercourse, you’ll now notice less (if any) discomfort during sex. This, combined with the relief of resolving a serious medical issue, often increases your sex drive.

    Alternatively, some women show less interest in sex after a hysterectomy. It might be a symptom of depression following surgery, or the result of pain and discomfort during recovery. 

    If your ovaries were removed along with your uterus, menopause and its associated symptoms could start (diminishing sex drive in the process). Consider going for couples therapy with a licensed sex therapist, and consult your doctor as well.

    It’s important to remember that you need time to heal and process what’s happened. You may benefit from personal therapy or group sessions with other hysterectomy patients. Effective treatment has the power to improve your sex drive by restoring your general health, well-being, and energy levels.

    Ways to improve sex after a hysterectomy

    There are a number of things you can do to battle feelings of sadness, depression, and low libido after a hysterectomy. Eating healthy and exercising regularly boosts your overall mood the natural way. You’re likely to feel better about yourself and heal faster, making you crave physical intimacy.

    If you’ve noticed vaginal dryness post-procedure, use personal lubricants for intercourse after a hysterectomy. If surgery has compromised the strength of your pelvic floor, do Kegel muscle drills and other core-building exercises to enhance your sexual experience.


    Sex after a hysterectomy can still be very pleasurable for you and your partner with patience, understanding, and a little preparation. And if you’re one of many women who found relief from a painful medical condition through a hysterectomy, you have even more reason to celebrate a happier, healthier you!

    History of updates

    Current version (03 February 2020)

    Reviewed by Olga Adereyko, MD, Primary Care Physician, General Practitioner, Medical Consultant

    Published (03 February 2020)

    In this article

      Try Flo today

      Sign up for our newsletter

      Our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.

      Thanks for signing up

      We're testing right now so not collecting email addresses, but hoping to add this feature very soon.