The simple answer is yes, a person who has experienced a hysterectomy can still orgasm. How a hysterectomy affects your sex life is relative to you, but I have some insight that may help you understand how to have the best sex possible after surgery.
Here is the good news. Many people report having a healthier sex life after having a hysterectomy. The ailment that forced them to have the surgery (pain, bleeding, anemia, cancer) having been cared for, they have more energy and space in their life for pleasure.
Other people report a change in how penetrative sex and orgasms feel, but they can indeed still orgasm after a hysterectomy.
The term hysterectomy encompasses a few different procedures. I suggest asking your surgeon:
Will I keep my cervix?
Will I keep my ovaries?
If you take my ovaries, will I qualify for hormone replacement therapy?
If they leave your cervix in place, your orgasms should feel much like they did before surgery. If they take your cervix, you may miss the expansion, pressure, and contractions you used to feel deep in your vagina.
Thankfully the cervix is just one element of sexual response. You still have your clitoris, pelvic muscles, urethral sponge (G spot) and all the soft, smooth, beautifully responsive skin of your labia and vaginal canal. You will still be able to orgasm, it might just feel a bit different.
If they take both your ovaries, you will experience some hormonal changes, like loss of testosterone and estrogen. If you have not yet experienced menopause, you will go into abrupt surgical menopause.
It will take some time to find your equilibrium with the hormonal changes. Your body will find its balance but be kind and gentle with yourself if you experience possible mood swings, anxiety, depression, or lack of desire. If these symptoms become hard to bear, talk with your doctor.
If your doctor allows you to have hormone replacement therapy (HRT), it may help you feel more like you did before surgery.
I had a radical hysterectomy. They took my cervix, uterus, and ovaries as a part of cancer treatment. Consequently, I went through abrupt surgical menopause. I did not qualify for HRT because it would increase my chances of recurrent cancer.
I really feared menopause. (Like really feared it!) I was scared how my body and sexual response would change. I was scared that losing my reproductive organs and hormones would affect my relationship or that I would be less attractive in my husband’s eyes.
It took a little time and some concerted self-care (eating well, exercise, and patience) but I am happy to report I moved into menopause rather easily.
My libido and my orgasmic response are as strong as ever. I do miss the sensations that my cervix delivered but it was a small price to pay as we worked to fight my cancer.
Your doctor will give you post-surgery instruction, including the amount of time you should wait before having vaginal penetration. You should follow their advice. Listening to your body is also important.
My doctor asked me to wait no less than six weeks before having vaginal intercourse. My body felt ready at about nine weeks. I started by playing alone, with external touch and then with dilators to test sensations and build up my confidence. When we were ready for penetration, my husband and I went slow so I could really feel every stroke and be ready to respond if I had any issues.
Sex started to feel carefree and normal again after about seven months after surgery. I started to feel more hormonally balanced at about nine months. As I write this it has been more than four years since my surgery, and I am still a tiger in bed!
Your experience will be unique to your ailment, the type of surgery you have, and your commitment to being unstoppably sexy. (Because you are!)
If you have questions or fears, write them down and bring them to your next doctor appointment. The sex related difficulties usually fall into one of four following categories. Listen to your body and qualify your issues. This will help you find the answers you need.
Lubrication: You may experience vaginal dryness. Your vaginal walls will still produce some wetness but it’s usually not enough for comfortable penetration. Buy a high-quality lubricant like Good Clean Love or Uberlube.
Arousal: If your libido is low, talk with your doctor about your hormonal balance and any possible medications that may be impacting your libido. If it does not feel that serious to you, you can try things like a tingle balm or vibration on your clitoris.
Sensation Difficulties: If sex just feels different and you find yourself chasing sensations you previously had, I recommend you keep playing. There are so many ways to have sex and reach orgasm. Play alone and play with your partner. Having regular sex increases blood flow, pelvic muscle strength and delivers feel-good neurochemicals that fuel your sexual wellness. Explore, relax, and breathe.
Pain: If you experience pain or bleeding, call your doctor so they can help you assess the issue. It may be no big deal, but it’s best to care for it right away.
Having a hysterectomy may change parts of your life. Some of these changes may take some adjusting. The healthier your relationships with your body and with your partner are before you had surgery—the healthier you will be after surgery. I have faith that with a little patience and care, you’ll be back in action and finding the pleasure you deserve.