Wife Has Lost Interest
Q: My wife isn't interested in sex after her hysterectomy. What can I do to help her? -- Stan, 49
Dr. Susan: It's important to consider how interested your wife was in sex prior to the hysterectomy. Some women are lukewarm to begin with, and then after this operation that messes with their hormones, they lose all interest. Those women who have a healthy sex drive usually don't give up on sex after a hysterectomy. What your wife needs to do, after she's completely healed physically, is to see an understanding gynecologist to talk about her hormone levels. Supplemental hormones may help, and there are numerous kinds to learn about and try, including teensy amounts of testosterone, which is most responsible for the sex drive of both men and women. If that proves to be a dead end for whatever reason, then you may both want to see a counselor to figure out if there are some psychological issues getting in the way of your wife's feeling affectionately toward you. That may be the case if she simply refuses to even try to resume intimacies. The best way to help your wife is to take the pressure off, while being more affectionate than usual. You know, massages, hugs, asking what she likes most in and out of the bedroom. Of course, I'm sure you know that as women get older, the old standbys can cause more irritation, so check into soothing products. There's going to be a period of transition and compromise, and I suggest the two of you talk openly about how to work things out for the pleasure and comfort of both of you. You owe that to one another.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.