Can A Hysterectomy Impact My Sexual Function?
Hysterectomies are not uncommon, at a rate of 600,000 a year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. A hysterectomy refers to the process of surgically removing all or part of the uterus. The procedure performed for a number of reasons. Hysterectomies include infertility as an obvious result, as well as drastic hormonal changes.
Types of hysterectomies
There are different types of hysterectomies that can be performed. In certain hysterectomy procedures, the tubes and ovaries may also be taken out. The ovaries are responsible for secreting estrogen and androgen (two primary sex hormones) into the body. Not having ovaries can dramatically decrease the libido. Many find that even their natural lubrication is missing or reduced.
Hysterectomies also encourage the onset of menopause. Menopause is one of the primary causes of Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD). Menopause often reduces the sex drive while also causing vaginal dryness. Women may also feel insecure about their bodies, or disturbed by the way sex feels different, and may avoid intercourse. FSAD affects many women at some point in their life. FSAD is defined as the inability to either become aroused, maintain arousal, or achieve orgasm. FSAD often evokes feelings of depression and inadequacy, and also has the potential to damage healthy relationships.
Other factors of FSAD
FSAD has many potential causes, a hysterectomy and menopause being two of the more common ones. There are also several psychological factors that can create FSAD, particularly in women who may have had a history of sexual abuse or trauma, or have feelings of guilt associated with sexuality. FSAD can also be caused by emotional turmoil, stress, or anxiety, even if these feelings are not related to the woman's sex life. Women who experience pain during intercourse are often prone to FSAD. Pain may occur in the instance of cysts, lesions, infection or a lack of proper lubrication. Prescription drugs can also affect a woman's sex drive, especially if they interfere with hormones. In the interest of restoring her sex drive, a woman with FSAD may often seek therapy. Therapy can help in overcoming any psychological issues preventing a satisfying sex life, and may also soothe any fears or doubts a woman has about sex in the event of a hysterectomy or other life-changing occurrence. Sometimes, using a store-bought lubrication can help, but it will not provide the same ease or sensation as a woman's natural lubrication.
Herbal supplements are also potential alternatives. Supplements, given that they include natural substances, are safe with no side effects.
http://www.4woman.gov/FAQ/hysterectomy.htm#g http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hysterectomy.html http://women.webmd.com/tc/hysterectomy-topic-overview http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/consumer/women/hyster.htm