Will My Sexuality Change Post-Hysterectomy?

Sun, 01/20/2013 - 09:12
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Dear Betty and Carlin,

I wanted to thank you both for all the amazing work you do for women across the world. I found your site a few years ago and I've known about Betty since college.

Next week I will undergo a hysterectomy due to health reasons, will be in the hospital for a few days and then bed rest for 6 weeks. I'm grappling with a lot of emotions and feelings and while I'm feeling calmer and more centered (surgery is just a few days away), I'm wondering how I am going to feel sexually after my hysterecomy - how will this affect my sexuality as a 40 year old woman? I don't have kids and am single so having this hysterectomy means I won't be able to biologically have children.

I'm not sexually active at the moment and don't have a partner but am thinking about the future. I have no idea what to expect - will my body feel different? will sex feel different when I am sexually active again? will I feel the same sensations? I have read that some women experience more fulfilling sex lives while other women don't and have issues with their orgasms. Luckily, my ovaries are fine so I won't have to deal with early menopause symptoms.

I am a bit worried about my incision scar - will be having an abdominal hysterectomy--as shallow as that sounds, I'm nervous about what the scar will look like after I'm healed. I've always been a very sensual woman and love sex, and am very open - not afraid to have fun and experiment but I'm feeling uneasy about what's going to happen down the road.

Just wanted to share my story because I know there might be other women around my age who are going through this or have gone through this.

You and Carlin are both amazing women, and greatly admire you both. If you have any words of wisdom/advice to offer, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much!

Love and light,

T

Dear T,

Although I still have all my female parts, many of my friends and clients have had hysterectomy's.
Women definitely preferred leaving the cervix unless they were dealing with cancer.
They experienced fewer changes in sexual functioning and a
shorter time for healing. If possible, I would choose to leave my cervix intact. 

The following information comes from our Google god. What would I do without Her?
"A partial hysterectomy is also known as a supracervical hysterectomy.
This procedure involves removing the upper part of the uterus, but
leaving the cervix intact. The decision to keep the cervix is often
based on patient preference."
Surgical Approaches to Hysterectomy

Just as there are several types of hysterectomies, there are also
several ways your doctor can surgically perform the procedure, including:
Open hysterectomy
The uterus is removed through a large abdominal incision. The
majority of hysterectomies are performed using this “open” approach.
When both the uterus and cervix are removed, this is known as a TAH –
Total Abdominal Hysterectomy. The main limitations of an open
hysterectomy are the long incision required and lengthy recovery of 4-6
weeks.2
Vaginal hysterectomy

The uterus is removed through the vagina. There are no abdominal
incisions but the surgeon makes a small cut in the vagina to remove the
uterus. This approach is often used if the patient’s condition is
benign (non-cancerous), limited to the uterus, and the uterus is a
normal size. When the uterus and cervix are removed through an incision
deep inside the vagina, it is known as a TVH – Total Vaginal
Hysterectomy, and is often used to treat pelvic prolapse (falling).

The primary limitation of a vaginal hysterectomy is the surgeon’s
limited view of the pelvic organs. This procedure can also be
challenging if the patient has severe endometriosis or had prior pelvic
surgeries such as a C-section that caused adhesions. Recovery from a
vaginal hysterectomy can take 3-4 weeks.
Laparoscopic hysterectomy
The uterus is removed minimally invasively using instruments
inserted through a few small incisions in the abdomen. One of the
instruments is an endoscope – a narrow tube with a tiny camera – which
allows the surgeon to see the target anatomy on a 2D monitor. When only
the uterus is removed, the procedure is called LSH – Laparoscopic
Supracervical Hysterectomy. When the uterus and cervix are removed,
this is known as TLH – Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy.

Laparoscopic hysterectomy can be challenging during complex
procedures because of the long-handled, rigid instruments used, and
recovery can take 3-4 weeks.2

da Vinci Hysterectomy 

(Here comes their promotion but it sounds pretty good to me. If possible
insist on leaving your cervix along with your ovaries).

Fortunately, there is a minimally invasive option for treating
gynecologic conditions designed to overcome the limitations of
traditional surgery - da Vinci Surgery.

If your doctor recommends a hysterectomy to treat your condition, you may be a candidate for da Vinci Surgery. Using state-of-the-art technology, a da Vinci® Hysterectomy requires only a few tiny incisions, so you can get back to your life faster.

The da Vinci System enables your doctor to perform a
minimally invasive hysterectomy even for complex conditions with
enhanced vision, precision, dexterity and control. da Vinci offers women many potential benefits over traditional surgery, including:

  • Less pain3
  • Fewer complications4
  • Less blood loss5,6
  • Shorter hospital stay6
  • Low risk of wound infection7
  • Quicker recovery and return to normal activities8

The da Vinci System
is a state-of-the-art surgical platform with 3D, high-definition
vision and miniaturized, wristed surgical instruments designed to help
doctors take surgery beyond the limits of the human hand. By helping
doctors to overcome the challenges of traditional open and laparoscopic
surgery, da Vinci is changing the experience of surgery for women around the world.

If you have been told you need a hysterectomy, it's time to ask your doctor about da Vinci Surgery.

As with any surgery, these benefits cannot be guaranteed since
surgery is specific to each patient, condition and procedure. It is
important to talk to your doctor about all treatment options, including
the risks and benefits. This information can help you to make the best
decision for your situation.

All the best for a quick recovery,
Dr Betty

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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