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After the Hysterectomy

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I had a hysterectomy and since then have lost sensitivity, arousal and orgasms, and I do use Astroglide as a lubricant. Do you have any suggestions on how to get those feelings back?

Lori

Dear Lori

It’s natural for the body to respond differently post-surgery, with about 20% of women who have undergone a hysterectomy experiencing a loss of sexual response. Those who had typically experienced more internal orgasms (i.e. uterine and/or cervical contractions) versus externally stimulated ones can find it especially hard to reclaim physical sensations. Any woman who has undergone the procedure can also find herself longing to have the same feelings about sex, in general, that she once had.

In eliciting more of a physical response during sexual activity, apply a hot water bottle to your vulva about 5-10 minutes before sex play. This will stimulate greater blood flow to the genital area for increased responsiveness. Explore other ways to once again become more physically sensitive to touch by consulting various health professionals about different forms of therapy that could at least partially restore your sexual response. Look into acupuncture, topical creams/vaginal moisturizers, a vacuum clitoral device, and/or medications, like testosterone or estrogen. Talk to your doctor about a non-systemic estrogen that can administered as an estrogen ring or as a small pill and inserted into the vagina for increased blood flow to the area.

Continue using lubricant, as this can be helpful in further enhancing any of the strategies above. If you’ve found that your feelings about sexual intimacy have changed, and you want to get back to your old sexual self, seek out a support group or talk to a therapist about any emotional issues that could be further shutting down your sexual response. While going through a hysterectomy is an extremely difficult situation, more than anything, try to see this as an opportunity to further explore and redefine your sexuality, keeping in mind that your brain is your most important sex organ.

Good luck!
Dr. Yvonne

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