COLUMBUS, Ohio Most women scheduled for gynecologic surgery to address noncancerous symptoms said in a recently published survey that they were not worried about the effects of the procedure on their sex lives.
However, a surprising 37 percent of women planning to be sterilized did express concern in this study that they might have less sexual desire after the operation even though that surgery does not affect hormone levels.
Among those in the study who were having reproductive organs surgically removed, fewer than 15 percent expressed concerns about sex. Women scheduled for ovary removal were more likely to expect to lose sexual desire and enjoy sex less after surgery than were women scheduled for hysterectomies.
"Most women were not very concerned, and among any women who do have these worries, I think we can reassure them that they don't necessarily have to fear a detriment to sexual function," said Jonathan Schaffir, a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University and senior author of the study.
"Some women who have their ovaries removed might have a decrease in hormone levels and might have a problem, but that is certainly not the rule."
Ovary removal leads to menopause in women, which can be characterized by such symptoms as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeping difficulties, irritability and vaginal dryness, as well as the possibility of reduced interest in sex, Schaffir said. He added that doctors can offer remedies, especially a variety of therapies to replace lost estrogen, for most of those symptoms.
Hysterectomy removal of the uterus and sterilization through tubal ligation or other, less invasive methods do not affect hormone levels.
Schaffir said the findings also pointed to differences in counseling proficiency between long-term attending physicians and medical residents, suggesting that residents could benefit from additional training in how
|Contact: Jonathan Schaffir|
Ohio State University