There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to have sex after surgery. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the general timeline for resuming sexual activity and provide expert advice for ensuring a safe experience.
The answer to this question varies depending on the type of surgery and your baseline health. In some cases, surgeons may not specify a time frame at all.
The type of surgery
Depending on the type of surgery you had, how extensive it was and the extent of your recovery, you may need to abstain from sex for weeks or even months. The surgeon will be able to provide guidance on this issue after they assess your condition and the treatment.
For example, if you had a major abdominal procedure such as a tummy tuck or a C-section, you will need to wait for the wound to heal before you can have sex. This is because sexual activity can cause too much pressure or movement on the abdomen and strain the incisions.
The same goes for some breast surgery such as a mastectomy or reduction surgery. The breast surgery can improve the look and shape of the breasts, but it can also affect a woman’s vaginal area. Having sex before the surgery has healed can lead to complications such as stretched scars, blood clots or fluid collections (haematoma).
Other surgeries might also affect your ability to have sex for different reasons. For instance, a hysterectomy can affect a woman’s hormone levels and make it impossible for her to become pregnant. It can also interfere with her orgasms because it removes the ovaries and leaves the womb sterile. In this case, women can get hormone replacement therapy or vaginal creams with added hormones to help them experience orgasms.
The extent of the surgery
The type of surgery you’ve had plays a role in when it will be safe for you to engage in sexual activity. For example, if you’ve had chest surgery, it’s important to wait until your sternum is fully healed before engaging in sexual activities as movement can cause pain and compromise healing.
You also need to take into consideration any underlying health conditions you may have. For instance, some men require medication or devices to assist with erectile dysfunction after having surgical procedures on reproductive organs. These medications can interact with post-op medicines so it’s crucial to discuss this with your doctor before resuming sexual activity.
If you have a mastectomy, you may not be able to ejaculate, so this will impact how orgasms feel. Similarly, women who have had a hysterectomy or a procedure that causes early menopause will likely need hormone replacement therapy and vaginal creams with hormones before they can become pregnant again.
Women who have had a C-section will also need to be cautious about sexual positions as bouncing movements can induce pain. Instead, they’ll need to adopt a position that keeps pressure off the stomach.
The type of recovery
If the surgery was a major operation, it will take longer to recover. During this time, your doctor will want to make sure you are healing properly.
This includes ensuring that any wounds are closed and have adequate strength. If you start having sex too soon, you risk damaging your wounds and increasing the likelihood of complications like haematoma or fluid collections (seroma).
Your surgeon may not give you an exact timeline for when you can resume sexual activity, but will instead provide some sort of benchmark that you can use as a guideline. This can include walking up two flights of stairs without feeling out of breath, having a certain amount of energy or making it through a movie without needing to stop.
For example, if you have had a hernia repair surgery, your doctor will likely recommend you avoid any activities that require bending at the waist or rotating your leg. These restrictions will prevent you from getting in a position for penetration, which is necessary for sex.
Similarly, women who have had a hysterectomy will need to wait until their gynecologist tells them it is safe to have sex. This is because the operation can cause early menopause, leaving them unable to become pregnant. In this case, a gynecologist can provide hormone replacement therapy and vaginal creams that can help women manage these symptoms until it is possible to resume anal sex.
The pain level
The recovery period from a surgery is different for everyone, and every patient heals at a unique rate. It’s important for patients to listen to their doctor and follow his or her guidelines for resuming activities, including sexual activity. In general, minor procedures allow patients to return to activities much sooner than major surgeries.
For example, if someone has had open-heart surgery, he or she may need to wait longer before having sex because movement can put pressure on the chest bone and delay healing. Similarly, a woman who has had a C-section might need to avoid anal sex because some positions could cause her stomach to dislocate.
During a consultation, the team at Bella Vou can provide recommendations for optimising your recovery. They can also advise on how long you should wait before having sex after breast reduction surgery.
It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations with your partner before surgery so you can plan ahead. Having clear expectations can reduce stress, which can slow down your recovery. It’s also a good idea to start slowly and ease back into your routine as you gain strength and confidence. It’s also a good idea not to push yourself too hard, as this can lead to complications. Pain is a good indicator that you’re doing too much, so pay attention to the signals your body is giving you.