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Most women facing gynecologic surgery don't worry about its effects on sex
Date:4/12/2010

surgery, and 13 percent in each group agreed that they would feel less feminine after the procedures.

The 37 percent of women facing sterilization who believed they would have less sexual desire after the procedure took Schaffir by surprise.

"The opposite is often true. And research has also been done that shows that women who have an effective method of contraception feel free to participate more sexually because they no longer have fear of pregnancy," he said. "These procedures don't change the hormone levels or the anatomy. So it's a little unclear where that fear might come from."

He also noted that reproductive organ removal, and even ovary loss, should also improve sex for some women, depending on their symptoms leading to the surgery.

"Hormones contribute to sexual desire, but there are so many other issues that influence how a woman is able to function sexually and how much she will want to have sex, a large part of it being confounding medical issues," Schaffir said. "If someone is bleeding all the time, she's not going to want to have sex, and the same is true if she's in horrible pain and sex causes discomfort. So surgery can relieve a lot of problems and improve her sex life even if there is some hormonal disruption."

On average, the women surveyed did not wish for more time to discuss the sexual effects of the surgeries. Most also did not initiate the discussion with their doctors about sexual effects of surgery.

"If it was going to happen, the doctor probably initiated the discussion," Schaffir said.

The researchers also gauged women's reactions to certain issues based on whether they were referred for surgery by a private attending physician or a medical resident practicing in the Medical Center clinic.

More than half of patients seeing private doctors agreed that their physicians spoke to them about how the surgery could affect their sex life, compared to just 19.5 percent of pat
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Contact: Jonathan Schaffir
Schaffir.1@osu.edu
614-293-9899
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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