How Does a Hysterectomy Affect Your Sex Drive?

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is an elective surgical procedure that includes the removal of a woman’s uterus. It can also involve the removal of the fallopian tubes, ovaries and cervix.

Many women chose on their own accord to have a hysterectomy either as a form of cancer prevention or a final form of birth control, as you are rendered infertile afterwards. Other women have hysterectomies as they may have a growth on their ovaries, uterus or cervix, such as a non-malignant tumour, called a fibroid, or a cluster of cells that grow abnormally and attach themselves outside the uterus, known as endometriosis, which causes immense pain during sex.

Cancer of the reproductive organs is another reason many women have a hysterectomy, as is an over-active secretion of hormones which imbalance the body and its systems.

What is female sexual dysfunction?

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is the impaired ability of women to enjoy, participate or benefit from satisfactory sexual intercourse. Sexual dysfunction is especially prevalent in women over the age of 40, but it is strongly recognised in all ages. Typical cases of sexual dysfunction can be recognised if a woman has a loss of sex drive, loss of arousal, problems reaching orgasm and pain during sex, or even all of the above.

So how does a hysterectomy affect your sex drive?

A woman that has a hysterectomy will experience menopause directly afterwards; this is referred to as surgical menopause. Menopause is the time in a woman’s body that the ovaries, which are responsible for producing hormones, start to decrease in their production. With the natural drop in hormones, the body is forced to change and adapt. Alternatively, women who experience a full hysterectomy, which removes the ovaries, will experience a dramatic decrease in hormones, namely oestrogen and testosterone. The ovaries are responsible for producing these hormones and if they are removed, there won’t be enough of them in the body.

A hysterectomy causes hormone production to cease entirely or slow down dramatically. The relevance this has to a woman's sex drive and sexual functioning is that testosterone is entirely produced to increase her sex drive and levels of arousal, while oestrogen is responsible for ensuring a moist environment in the vaginal area, and decreasing the chance of pain during sex.

Without these two hormones, women will experience pain during sex due to dryness, as well as a massively decreased sex drive and other potential sexual dysfunctions.

What treatments are there?

With modern medical technology and research however, there are many female sexual dysfunction treatments available that can treat a low libido and sex drive, and replace the hormones that the body needs. If you are thinking about, or may need a hysterectomy, it is important to discuss with your doctor what you can expect to experience afterwards, especially your sex drive. This is so you can be prepared, and also start considering treatments that will help you overcome any female sexual dysfunction you may experience.

What is a hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy is an elective surgical procedure that includes the removal of a woman’s uterus. It can also involve the removal of the fallopian tubes, ovaries and cervix.

Many women chose on their own accord to have a hysterectomy either as a form of cancer prevention or a final form of birth control, as you are rendered infertile afterwards. Other women have hysterectomies as they may have a growth on their ovaries, uterus or cervix, such as a non-malignant tumour, called a fibroid, or a cluster of cells that grow abnormally and attach themselves outside the uterus, known as endometriosis, which causes immense pain during sex.

Cancer of the reproductive organs is another reason many women have a hysterectomy, as is an over-active secretion of hormones which imbalance the body and its systems.

What is female sexual dysfunction?

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is the impaired ability of women to enjoy, participate or benefit from satisfactory sexual intercourse. Sexual dysfunction is especially prevalent in women over the age of 40, but it is strongly recognised in all ages. Typical cases of sexual dysfunction can be recognised if a woman has a loss of sex drive, loss of arousal, problems reaching orgasm and pain during sex, or even all of the above.

So how does a hysterectomy affect your sex drive?

A woman that has a hysterectomy will experience menopause directly afterwards; this is referred to as surgical menopause. Menopause is the time in a woman’s body that the ovaries, which are responsible for producing hormones, start to decrease in their production. With the natural drop in hormones, the body is forced to change and adapt. Alternatively, women who experience a full hysterectomy, which removes the ovaries, will experience a dramatic decrease in hormones, namely oestrogen and testosterone. The ovaries are responsible for producing these hormones and if they are removed, there won’t be enough of them in the body.

A hysterectomy causes hormone production to cease entirely or slow down dramatically. The relevance this has to a woman's sex drive and sexual functioning is that testosterone is entirely produced to increase her sex drive and levels of arousal, while oestrogen is responsible for ensuring a moist environment in the vaginal area, and decreasing the chance of pain during sex.

Without these two hormones, women will experience pain during sex due to dryness, as well as a massively decreased sex drive and other potential sexual dysfunctions.

What treatments are there?

With modern medical technology and research however, there are many female sexual dysfunction treatments available that can treat a low libido and sex drive, and replace the hormones that the body needs. If you are thinking about, or may need a hysterectomy, it is important to discuss with your doctor what you can expect to experience afterwards, especially your sex drive. This is so you can be prepared, and also start considering treatments that will help you overcome any female sexual dysfunction you may experience.

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