jordan byrd | RVA | 20 yrs old
Can girls pee when they're on their periods?
What happens after a hysterectomy? Like, what's at the end of your vagina? Is there still a cervix? Does penetrative sex feel like 'normal' sex for both parties? What is the scarring like? Will it be obvious to sexual partners that I don't have the full set of equipment? How much pain can I expect afterwards? Will my vagina stay... normal? It looks likely that I'll need a hysterectomy and I'm scared because I have so many stupid questions that I just feel embarrassed to ask my doctors.
There are different types of hysterectomy.
- Radical: Uterus, ovaries, and cervix removed
- Total: Uterus and ovaries removed, cervix still in place
- Partial: Uterus removed, ovaries and cervix remaining
There are a few different ways that hysterectomies are done:
- Abdominal hysterectomy: A cut is made through the lower abdomen and the uterus is removed through that cut
- Vaginal hysterectomy: The uterus is removed through the vagina
- Laparoscopic hysterectomy: 3-4 small incisions are made on the abdomen and a camera is inserted through one while tools are inserted through the others to cut the uterus up and remove it in small pieces
Why do people have hysterectomies?
- Cancer of the ovaries, cervix, uterus, endometrium
- Prolapse of the uterus (not a good reason)
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
How long does it take to recover from a hysterectomy?
- Abdominal: 4-6 weeks
- Vaginal/laparoscopic: 3-4 weeks
- For either one, it will be 6 weeks before you can have sex or take a bath
- Additionally, a lot of people say that they don’t really feel 100% for at least 6 months after the surgery. It takes a while for you to get used to all the ways your body has changed. This is common with major abdominal surgeries, cesarean section as well.
- On the other hand, many people feel better as soon as 2 weeks after the surgery. It’s different for everyone.
So what about sex?
- If your ovaries have been removed, you can expect a change in your sexual function. Ovaries are what make both estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that are vital to sexual desire and function. There are replacement hormones you can take, but expect them to still feel different than how you felt before, since the replacement hormones are chemically different. Additionally, the removal of estrogen can cause increased vaginal dryness and thin the vaginal walls, leaving them susceptible to tearing and painful sex. If you are going to have your ovaries removed, talk to your provider about replacement hormones ahead of time.
- If your cervix has not been removed, there shouldn’t be any noticeable difference to your partner during sex. If it has been removed, you can expect your partner to know that there is a difference, but it won’t feel bad or like a major inconvenience to them. It won’t stop you from having any of the types of sex you used to have.
- In fact, there is a lot of new research saying that people have better sex after they have a hysterectomy. All those symptoms that are causing you to have the hysterectomy in the first place? The irregular spotting, bleeding, pelvic pain, cramping, bloating, GI discomforts, they’ll all be gone. Plus, you don’t have to worry about pregnancy.
- Orgasm? They surgeons won’t even go near your clitoris or your g-spot, so no worries on that front. They’ll stay perfectly intact.
As far as pain goes - that is something you’ll have to talk to your doctor about. It’s different for everyone (duh) but also different depending on the type of medications they use, the type of hysterectomy they’ll do, and how they manage those sorts of things.
But also, ask your doctors! I totally get wanting to talk to someone you trust and who you don’t have to look at face-to-face when asking these questions, but it is really important to know what your doctors think about these things too. You can get information that is tailored to YOU and YOUR body when you talk to them. I promise that they talk about sex ALL THE TIME. They won’t be embarrassed or put off if you ask any of these questions. They’re really reasonable questions.
Write down a list of all your questions and bring it with to your next visit. Awkwardness aside, just read them out, one by one, and ask follow up questions you feel like you understand the answers. If they’re about to cut one of your organs out of your body, you deserve to know all about the procedure and the ways it’ll affect your life in the future. Below are some suggested questions to ask:
- What kind of hysterectomy are you doing for me?
- What will you be removing and how?
- Will I need to take medications for the rest of my life after this procedure?
- How long will it take me to heal?
- Are there other treatment options for my condition? Are there risks to those options?
- What are the risks to this surgery?
- And then also ask all the questions you listed above.
Remember, they are providing you with a service. You can ask whatever questions you like. If they don’t have enough time at that visit, make another appointment to talk more before the surgery.
dont eat potatoes its culturally appropriating to the irish and as a non irish person it offends ME
Potatoes were first grown and domesticated in Peru by the Andean/Inca people. Not in Ireland.
If you’re going to try to make a pathetic joke, at least know what you’re talking about first.