Undergoing ovary removal surgery, known medically as an oophorectomy, can be a significant event in your life, especially concerning your sexual health and well-being.
You may have a lot of questions about what to expect, particularly when it comes to resuming sexual activity, experiencing pleasure, and maintaining libido. This guide is here to navigate through these concerns and provide you with the information you need.
Understanding the Impact on Your Body
Firstly, it's important to understand that your ovaries are a key part of your reproductive system, not just for fertility but also for hormone production. The removal of one or both ovaries can lead to a drop in hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, which can affect your libido and sexual function.
Resuming Sexual Activity After Oophorectomy
After an oophorectomy, it's generally advised to wait for a full recovery before resuming sexual activity. This typically means waiting for about 4 to 6 weeks, but always follow your surgeon's specific recommendations. It's crucial to allow your body to heal to prevent complications.
Changes in Sex Drive After Ovary Removal
Many women experience a change in their sex drive after ovary removal. This is due to the decrease in hormones that play a significant role in sexual desire. If you notice a decrease in your libido, it's not just you, and there are ways to manage this change.
Managing Libido Changes
To manage changes in libido after ovary removal, consider the following:
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): If you're experiencing severe symptoms of hormonal imbalance, such as a significant drop in sex drive, HRT may be an option to discuss with your doctor.
- Lifestyle Adjustments: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can improve overall energy levels and well-being, which can positively impact libido.
- Sexual Aids and Lubricants: Vaginal dryness can be a side effect of hormonal changes. Using lubricants or vaginal moisturizers can make sex more comfortable.
- Communication: Talk openly with your partner about your feelings, desires, and any discomfort you may experience.
Orgasm After Menopause and Oophorectomy
Yes, you can still have an orgasm after menopause and after ovary removal surgery. While hormonal changes can affect libido and sensitivity, the physical ability to achieve orgasm typically remains intact. If you're finding it challenging, consider exploring different types of sexual activity, focusing on foreplay, or consulting a sex therapist.
Life After Oophorectomy
Life after oophorectomy can involve adjustments, but with the right support and management, you can continue to enjoy a fulfilling sex life. It's about finding what works for you and adapting to the changes in your body.
How long should I wait to have sex after oophorectomy surgery?
Wait until your doctor gives you the all-clear, usually around 4 to 6 weeks, to allow your body to heal properly.
Does removing ovaries affect sex drive?
Yes, it can, due to the decrease in hormones that are involved in sexual desire.
Can you still have an orgasm after menopause or ovary removal?
Absolutely. While hormonal changes can affect libido, they do not typically eliminate the ability to have an orgasm.
How can I increase my libido after oophorectomy?
Consider HRT, lifestyle changes, and open communication with your partner. Also, exploring new ways of sexual stimulation can be helpful.
Is sex after ovarian cyst removal different from sex after oophorectomy?
Ovarian cyst removal is generally less likely to affect hormones and libido compared to oophorectomy, but individual experiences can vary.
When can I resume sex after laparoscopic oophorectomy?
The timeline is similar to traditional oophorectomy, typically 4 to 6 weeks, but your recovery may be quicker due to the less invasive nature of the procedure.
How to excite a woman after menopause or ovary removal?
Focus on extended foreplay, emotional intimacy, and explore different types of stimulation that can increase arousal.
Remember, every woman's experience with sex after ovary removal surgery is unique. It's essential to have open discussions with your healthcare provider to address any concerns or questions you may have. With the right approach, you can continue to have a satisfying and enjoyable sex life.
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.