Our Sexuality! Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 33

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1. Become intimately acquainted with your body. In order to experience pleasure, you

have to be intimately acquainted with your body. Understanding your sexual

response cycle and how your body changes during each cycle is the hallmark of

sexual pleasure.

2. Communicate with your partner. The first time you engage in intercourse after

having a hysterectomy may be weird, so it's important to communicate with your

partner. It is important to let your partner know if you are experiencing any

discomfort or pain. Pain is an indication that something is not right with the body.

3. Start out slow. Keep in mind that your body has undergone a major transition over

the past few weeks, therefore it is extremely important to take it nice and easy.

4. Engaging in more foreplay. Women need foreplay to help get their vaginal flowing,

lengthen the vagina and help the body to relax.

5. Use more lubricant. It is always a good idea to keep lubrication nearby. The more the

vagina is lubricated, the less likely the lining the friction from intercourse will cause

pain and/or ripping and tearing from intercourse. Rips and tears in the vagina help

create a portal of entry for bacteria and other infections.

6. Change how you feel about sex. Sex is more than physical. It is emotional, mental,

spiritual, biochemical, etc. The mind and the body work together to optimize the

sexual experience. Any negative attitudes, thoughts or beliefs we have been taught

regarding sexuality or our bodies can contribute to unpleasurable sexual

experiences.

7. Watch your position. Certain sexual positions can cause pain during sex. Most

positions that allow for deep, thrusting penetration can be painful for a woman,

especially after a medical condition, medical procedure or if her partner is well

endowed. Generally, positions that allow the woman to control the pace and

penetration, e.g., woman on top, tend to be more comfortable for a sufferer of

painful sex. In order to find out what works, experiment with different positions,

techniques and props (i.e., pillows) to find out the one(s) that offer the most

stimulation with the least amount of pain.

At the end of the day, whether having a hysterectomy affects your sexuality and sex life more negatively or positively depends on you.

The journey ahead......

Having a hysterectomy is just as much a spiritual, mental, emotional, biochemical, and social as it is physical, however it is not the end of life. Let's be clear having a hysterectomy is NOT the defining factor for womanhood or sexuality. Nor is having a hysterectomy a death sentence for your sex life However it is important to note that the recovery and healing experience for each woman will be different depending on a variety of factors such as: support system, patient-physician relationship, medical history, thoughts, attitudes and beliefs, fitness levels, overall level of health, pain tolerance, medical adherence, etc.