When Heather and Ken were in Dr. D’s office to discuss the question of retaining Heather’s ovaries, they brought up another important topic. They asked Dr. D if and how the hysterectomy was likely to affect their sex life. Dr. D said she was glad they asked.
"I think many couples worry about that but are reluctant to ask," Dr. D said. "Maybe they’re embarrassed or just don’t want to bother the doctor but it is a valid and important question.”
Dr. D asked if Heather’s frequent and unpredictable vaginal bleeding had been affecting their sex life.
"I know it’s silly, but I was less interested in sex because I half expected to find Heather was bleeding and then we had to deal with that," Ken answered. "The mess was only a nuisance, but I think seeing the blood made us both tense up and get distracted. I'd sometimes lose my erection and then not be in the mood to continue."
Heather put a hand on Ken’s arm and said, "I felt so bad about – well, literally - messing things up for us. I know it wasn’t anything I could control but I felt guilty."
Ken put his hand on hers.
"Well, now we’re doing something that’s gonna fix it,” he replied.
"Almost all couples find that their sex life improves after a hysterectomy because the surgery gets rid of a problem, such as pain or bleeding, that was interfering with sex," Dr. D said.
Heather told both Dr. D and Ken that a close friend of hers said she had a problem with sex since her hysterectomy.
"My friend says she misses the feeling she used to have during intercourse when, she thinks, the penis was pressing against her cervix," Heather said.
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that projects into the upper part of the vagina.
"I don’t think I feel anything in my cervix during intercourse but my friend got me wondering what problems could be in store for me that I don’t anticipate," Heather added.
"I'm glad you are NOT asking about cervical sensation because it's unclear what to advise women on that subject," Dr.D. said.Read more in Advancing Health After Hysterectomy