Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Hysterectomy and your sex life

Published:Monday | March 9, 2020 | 12:15 AM

A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that’s done to cure serious problems of the uterus (womb), cervix or even the ovaries. Some women fear that having this procedure done will affect their sex life. Will it truly? Let’s find out.

“There are rumors of women not being able to give or receive sexually gratification because they had a hysterectomy. Having a hysterectomy does not significantly affect your sex life. But, having the ovaries removed can decrease your interest in having sex,” gynaecologist Dr Kiri-an Bridgewater told Flair.

Depending on your health, especially if you have significant issues affecting the cervix, ovaries or womb, any woman might be subjected to having a hysterectomy done. But mostly it’s women who do not desire to have kids decide to go through with the operation.

According to the medical expert, a hysterectomy is usually a last resort. As such, there are alternatives, however, these depend on the reason for the procedure. For instance, if you have to remove large uterine fibroids, a myomectomy can be performed instead

CHANGES

Although it “will not significantly” interrupt your love life, she explains that there are substantial chances that the procedure can bring on. First up is no more periods.

“If you see a period after a hysterectomy, you should see your doctor ASAP. Other changes to be expected will vary depending on the type of hysterectomy. If the ovaries were removed you should expect symptoms of menopause and if the cervix was left intact, you should continue your yearly pap smears,” she said

Speaking of types, there are several and they vary by the way they are done: vaginally, laparoscopic or abdominally. Dr Bridgewater explained that in vaginal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed through the vagina to avoid cuts on the abdomen. In laparoscopic hysterectomies small (1-2cm) incisions are made on the abdomen to take out the uterus. And during abdominal hysterectomy the uterus gets eliminated through a ‘bikini cut, which is a’10cm incision made low on the abdomen below your underwear.

Hysterectomies also differ depending on what is removed. So, there’s total hysterectomy, a procedure intended to withdraw the uterus and the cervix from the body. Subtotal hysterectomy is another type and involves taking out the uterus only. And there’s bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. This is when there are serious problems with the ovaries, which may have to be removed along with the fallopian tubes.

“If you are still concerned about hysterectomy and your sex life, you should have a discussion with your doctor to find out if leaving the cervix or the ovaries intact is an option for you,” Dr Bridgewater advised.

Story by Rocheda Bartley

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com