Although not a viable option for healthy women, for women with certain gynecological ailments, hysterectomy can effectively relieve vaginal dryness and improve sexual health.
Vaginal dryness is often associated with the increasingly common medical procedure hysterectomy (the surgical removal of the uterus). Hysterectomy typically results in lowered levels of estrogen as well as other changes in the body that can lead to sexual health problems, especially vaginal dryness.
However, a recently published report led by Julia Rhodes et al. presents some contradictory evidence, proposing that in some women hysterectomy can actually boost overall sexual health and well-being and reduce vaginal dryness and associated discomfort.
The doctors led a two-year investigation as part of the Maryland Women's Health Study, interviewing 1101 women before hysterectomy and at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after, observing frequency of sex, dyspareunia, orgasm, vaginal dryness, and sexual desire.
The bulk of the patients reported improvements in each category. Interestingly, although subjects who did not previously experience vaginal dryness did report this issue after hysterectomy, women suffering from vaginal dryness prior to the operation experienced relief afterwards. One investigation found that about a little less than half of women (44%) suffered from worsened vaginal dryness after the procedure, while the majority (56%) noted a similar or increased amount of vaginal lubrication.
The subjects in the study experienced other improvements as well, including more frequent sexual intercourse, less soreness during sex, and more frequent orgasms. The mechanisms behind this boost in sexual function are unknown, but the relief from gynecological problems after hysterectomy possibly assisted by improving overall health and quality of life. The cessation of menstruation and freedom from pregnancy may also contribute to sexual wellbeing.
Only women suffering from uterine or other gynecological ailments will benefit from these positive effects of hysterectomy, however. Otherwise healthy women experiencing vaginal dryness will not find relief from the procedure.