Painful Sex After Hysterectomy: OB-GYN's 7 Tips to Improve Your Sex Life

Written by: Dr Dmitry Loktionov



Time to read 5 min

You've taken the brave step of undergoing a hysterectomy and are on your way to recovery. But if you're experiencing painful sex after the surgery, know you're not alone. Many women report discomfort and painful sex after a hysterectomy, but the good news is that there are ways to make sex comfortable again.

In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind the pain and provide some helpful tips for making your intimate moments enjoyable once more. Remember, your sexual health and pleasure are essential, and you deserve a fulfilling sex life post-hysterectomy!

Dr Dmitry

Dr Dmitry Loktionov - MB. BCh. OB-GYN

Dr. Dmitry is an accomplished doctor, women's health advocate, and founder of Quanna, a next-generation sexual wellness brand. With a background in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he works towards empowering women with knowledge and improving access to holistic care.

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Why Does Painful Sex After Hysterectomy Happen?

Painful sex after a hysterectomy can be attributed to several factors. Some of the most common reasons include:

1. Vaginal Dryness

Removing the uterus and in some cases, the ovaries can lead to a drop in estrogen levels, which can cause vaginal dryness. Estrogen is an important hormone in a woman's body, and it helps keep the vagina healthy by maintaining its natural moisture. However, when the uterus and ovaries are removed, the level of estrogen in the body can drop causing natural lubrication to decrease.

So, after a hysterectomy, some women may experience vaginal dryness because their estrogen levels have gone down. Without enough moisture, the vagina can feel dry, and cause pain during sex after hysterectomy.

2. Scar Tissue

As your body heals from the surgery, scar tissue can form in the vaginal area. Hysterectomy scars can result in discomfort during sex.

Think of scars as the body's way of fixing itself by creating special tissue to close the wound and help it heal. But sometimes, this healing process can lead to the formation of scar tissue. Scar tissue is different from regular skin because it doesn't have as much flexibility or elasticity.

When scar tissue forms in the vaginal area after a hysterectomy, it can make the tissue less stretchy and more rigid. This can cause the vaginal opening to feel tighter than before. During sex, when the area stretches and moves, the scar tissue might not be as flexible, leading to discomfort or even pain.

3. Emotional Factors

A hysterectomy is a major life event and can bring about a mix of emotions, including anxiety, depression, and feelings of loss. These emotions can contribute to pain during sex after a hysterectomy, as they may cause you to tense up or have difficulty relaxing.

This tension can make it difficult for the muscles in the pelvic area to relax during sexual activity. When the muscles are tense, it can cause discomfort or pain during sex.

Additionally, the emotional impact of a hysterectomy can also affect our overall mood and interest in sexual activities. Depression or a sense of loss may decrease our desire for intimacy, leading to reduced arousal and potential pain during sex.

It's essential to recognize and address these emotional factors after a hysterectomy. Talking openly about your feelings with a healthcare provider, counselor, or trusted support system can be helpful. They can provide guidance, support, and techniques to manage emotions and work towards a more comfortable and fulfilling sexual experience.

Remember, it's normal to have a mix of emotions after a major surgery like a hysterectomy, and addressing these emotional factors can contribute to overall well-being, including sexual health.

4. Nerve Damage

While rare, in some cases, a hysterectomy can cause damage to the nerves that provide sensation to the vaginal area, which can result in discomfort during sex.

When these nerves that provide sensation to the vaginal area are damaged, it can lead to changes in sensation and feeling during sex.

The damaged nerves may send confusing or altered signals to the brain, which can result in discomfort or pain during sex. It's important to note that nerve damage after a hysterectomy is relatively uncommon, but it can happen.

Tips for Making Sex Comfortable Again After a Hysterectomy

Now that we've identified some of the reasons behind painful sex after a hysterectomy let's look at some ways to make sex more comfortable, enjoyable and how to increase sex drive after hysterectomy:

1. Communicate with Your Partner

Open communication with your partner is essential for addressing concerns and finding solutions. Let your partner know about your pain and work together to find positions, techniques, and pacing that feel good for both of you.

2. Take it Slow

Rushing into sex can exacerbate pain and discomfort, so take the time to engage in ample foreplay and gradually work your way up to intercourse. This will help you relax and allow your body to adjust to the sensations.

3. Use Lubricant

Vaginal dryness is common after a hysterectomy, so using a water-based lubricant can help make sex more comfortable. Don't be afraid to apply generous amounts; reapply as needed during intercourse.

4. Explore Non-Penetrative Sexual Activities

If penetration is causing you pain, consider engaging in other forms of sexual pleasure, such as oral sex after hysterectomy, manual stimulation, or sensual massage. This can help you maintain intimacy and pleasure with your partner while giving your body time to heal.

5. Practice Vaginal Relaxation Techniques

Learning to relax your vaginal muscles can help alleviate pain during sex. You can try pelvic floor exercises, deep breathing, or meditation to help you become more in tune with your body and the sensations you're experiencing.

6. Talk to a Professional

If you continue to experience pain despite trying these tips, consider consulting with a medical professional or a sex therapist. They can help identify underlying issues and recommend appropriate treatments or therapies to help you enjoy sex again.

7. Give Yourself Time to Heal

Remember that your body has been through a major surgery, and it's normal to take time to heal fully. Be patient with yourself and your body, and don't be too hard on yourself if sex doesn't feel great immediately.


Experiencing pain during sex after a hysterectomy is common, but it can be addressed with patience, communication, and some helpful tips. By taking it slow, using the best intimate lubricants, exploring non-penetrative activities, and seeking professional help, you can regain your sexual pleasure and enjoy a fulfilling sex life after your surgery.

Remember, you deserve to feel good in your body and to share intimate moments with your partner without pain!