What effect does a hysterectomy have on sexual function?

Dr. Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing Specialist

Hysterectomy with and without removal of ovaries most often has a negative impact on sexual function because of changes in hormone levels. This is in part due to the surgical removal of these hormone-producing organs. Hormone replacement therapy is sometimes recommended by the doctor to off-set these changes.

Psychologically, if producing children has been a key element in the woman's self-image, a hysterectomy will be a huge challenge post-surgery. This internal conflict may reduce sexual desire.

However, for women who see themselves as more than baby-makers, sexual desire will diminish less. Also, women for whom a change in sexual desire in the short term is not overwhelming, will be able to maintain a healthy sex life.

Women who will be delighted not to have to risk pregnancy anymore may in fact experience an increase in libido in spite of hormone fluctuations.

Just remember your brain, not your uterus, is your most powerful sexual organ.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.