Sex may improve for women after hysterectomy
From Medical Correspondent Holly Firfer
November 23, 1999
Web posted at: 12:49 p.m. EST (1749 GMT)
CHICAGO (CNN) -- A new report in the Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA) says women who undergo hysterectomy do not have problems after surgery with sexual functions and desire.
In a survey of 1,101 women in Maryland, most between the ages of 35 and 49, researchers found most women said their sexual functions improved after surgery, the frequency of sexual activity increased and the problems with sexual functioning decreased.
The study looked at five areas of potential change: frequency of
sexual relations, dyspareunia (difficult or painful sexual intercourse),
orgasm, vaginal dryness and sexual desire.
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Researchers say this is beneficial information for the more than
500,000 women who undergo hysterectomy each year as treatment for chronic, benign gynecological conditions. Historically, most of the pre-hysterectomy concerns are over sexual relations after surgery.
Doctors say those who might have put off or forgone surgery because
of these fears can now have peace of mind that surgery may actually improve their sexual functions.
The results may not be just physical, doctors say. There may be some psychological contributors as well. For instance, women may have less fear of pregnancy or vaginal bleeding. And they may simply feel better and healthier.
Researchers also stressed these findings do not mean that a hysterectomy will improve sexual functioning in healthy women. The majority of patients in the study had existing gynecological problems, and it is possible any sexual function problems they had before the surgery resulted from those disorders.
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Journal of the American Medical Association
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