Most patients who undergo lower-limb arthroplasty do not talk to their doctor about sex. At first, they are concerned about more important issues, and later they are simply embarrassed to raise such a delicate issue. Therefore, we decided to analyze in detail all the nuances of sexual life after replacing knee and/or hip joints.
Let’s clarify right away that you can have sex after an endoprosthetic. But you should start doing this only after the postoperative wound has completely healed. At first, you need to carefully prepare for each sexual act, having previously specified its time with your partner. And during the process itself, you must follow a number of rules and precautions.
However, this state of affairs should not frighten or cause panic. A little later, after the end of the rehabilitation period, having sex will become less problematic and will bring more and more positive emotions.
What you need to know about sex after endoprosthetic
Joint replacement is performed at the later stages of destruction of the cartilage tissue or in case of injuries, which are accompanied by severe pain and stiffness of movements in the lower extremities. By this time, the quality of a person’s life is markedly reduced, which makes him abandon long walks, heavy physical exertion, and even sex. It is not surprising that painful sensations give the patient a lot of suffering and discourage him from any desire for intimacy.
Replacing diseased joints with implants allows you to get rid of chronic pain. Soon after the operation, the person begins to move independently and feels more freedom of movement. Thanks to this, his physical activity gradually increases and the craving for sex and other areas of a healthy person’s life reappears.
A group of American scientists investigated the sex life of patients who underwent arthroplasty. Most of the people they interviewed reported that their intimate life improved dramatically shortly after surgery.
During the study, doctors obtained the following results:
- In 42% of patients, there was an increase in libido and increased sexual desire. As a result, they began to have sex with their partners much more often. All this had a positive impact on the relationship in couples.
- 36% of patients who underwent surgery noted an increase in the duration of intercourse.
- More than 50% of the surveyed claimed to have become more knowledgeable about sex, which significantly improved the quality of their intimate life.
- 90% of patients noted that their general health and sexual function improved. Higher rates were observed in men and women who underwent hip arthroplasty.
Based on these data, we can safely say that joint replacement surgery does not deprive a person of the ability to have sex. On the contrary, they help him get rid of annoying pain and stiffness that interfere with his daily life. As a result, the patient feels relief, begins to think about more pleasant things and live a more fulfilling life.
When to start having sex
There is no concrete answer to this question and cannot be. The time allowed for the resumption of sexual activity is completely different for each patient. It all depends on the general condition of the patient, the complexity of the operation performed, the presence of postoperative complications, and the severity of the pain syndrome.
Most doctors and patients themselves claim that you can have sex as early as 5-6 weeks after surgery.
As a rule, by this time the postoperative wound has time to heal, and the person himself – to feel much better. However, these numbers are pretty relative. For example, a patient will have to postpone the first sexual intercourse if, during the operation, he developed complications and had to stay in the hospital for a long time. As a result, the rehabilitation period will drag on, which is why he will have to forget about sex for a while.
When determining the date of first sex, the following factors should be considered:
- the patient’s age;
- the presence of severe somatic diseases;
- level of sexual desire;
- the amount of surgical intervention (whether the operation was performed on the knee or hip, one or both joints were changed at once);
- the rate of healing of postoperative wounds;
- a person’s sexual activity before surgery;
- the level of sexual desire at the moment;
- general well-being of the patient.
Some doctors believe that a person can return to having sex as soon as they stop using crutches or walkers. Independent movement without assistive devices suggests that the patient is in complete control of his body, knows how to maintain balance, and can withstand physical activity of a certain intensity.
Do I need to get a doctor’s approval before engaging in sex? It all depends on how confident you feel. If the wound has completely healed, the pains have practically disappeared and you understand well what needs to be done – you can safely return to your intimate life. If you have any doubts, it is better to talk about this with your doctor during one of the scheduled examinations. A confidential conversation will help you make the right decision and avoid dangerous consequences in the future.
In the period from 6 weeks to the end of 3 months after endoprosthetic, sex should be done with extreme caution. During this period, there is a high risk of harming the operated joint.
Precautions for knee replacement
People who have undergone knee arthroplasty should in every possible way avoid sudden movements in it. During intimacy, it is better to fix the knee in a certain position with soft pillows or rolled up towels. They will serve as a kind of shock absorber that softens the movement. During sexual intercourse, you also need to be careful that the partner does not press on the knee or move it.
- Kneel. In no case should you have sex in a doggy-style position, when a person with an operated knee joint rests only on his hands and knees. Also, the patient should not sit on top of the partner. When performing active movements, he will be forced to rest on his knees.
- Squat. Squats are also extremely dangerous for the operated knee joint. Therefore, women who have undergone surgery should choose other, more comfortable positions for oral sex.
- Twist the operated knee. During sexual intercourse, it is strictly forbidden to twist the knees, actively change their position and, moreover, throw your legs over your partner while lying on your back.
Before having sex, the patient needs to talk frankly with the partner and explain to him all the possible risks and dangers. He must understand that with his harsh and thoughtless actions he can harm a loved one. Therefore, both partners must be aware of all restrictions and adhere to them clearly.
After three months after surgery, the restrictions become less stringent. As a rule, at this time, people are already allowed those poses that were previously prohibited. However, positions that cause pain and discomfort in the operated knee should be avoided for the rest of their lives.
Precautions for a Replaced Hip
Sex after hip replacement is much more dangerous than after knee replacement. Abrupt movements and improper postures can lead to dislocation of the femoral head, which is extremely dangerous. Women are most susceptible to this complication.
People who have undergone hip arthroplasty need to agree in advance with their partners about intimacy. The conversation should take place at least half an hour before the planned sexual intercourse. This is necessary so that the patient can take mild pain medications, which, in turn, have time to take effect.
Advice! Never take strong analgesics before intimacy. They will completely dull the pain and prevent you from feeling that something is wrong. As a result, you can injure the operated joint without noticing it yourself.
- Bend the leg at the hip joint more than 90 degrees. From the positions practiced in sex, it is necessary to exclude doggy-style and a standing position with a body strongly tilted forward. Lying on her back, a woman should not bend her legs strongly at the hip and, moreover, throw them on her partner’s back or shoulders.
- Cross your legs. This organic is true for both intimate and everyday life. For people who have undergone hip arthroplasty, the habit of throwing their legs over the legs while sitting can seriously harm.
- Twist the sore leg, twist it inward or outward. Too much movement in the hip can cause dislocation . Twisting is especially dangerous in this regard, since it is they that most often lead to displacement of the femoral head.
Before the actual sexual act, both partners should choose the most comfortable and safe position. To avoid excessive joint mobility, it should be fixed. To do this, soft pillows must be placed under the pelvis and knees of the operated person.
When starting to have sex, you need to understand that it will take time to find a position that is painless and comfortable for both partners.
During intimacy, both partners should move slowly and carefully. It will not be superfluous to ask the operated person from time to time whether everything is in order and whether he is feeling well. Acceleration of the pace and activity of movements should also be coordinated with a partner.
Potential risks and complications
Sex after arthroplasty of the joints of the lower extremities is associated with a high risk of complications. This is due to the fact that the process also involves a partner who can inadvertently push or push in the wrong place. Even the most caring and careful close person can harm the patient, without wanting to. Unfortunately, he does not feel someone else’s body and cannot always react to pain in time.
The most dangerous sex is considered in the early postoperative period, earlier than 6 weeks from the day of surgery. It can lead to divergence of the seams, which will lead to unpleasant consequences. As a result, the recovery period will drag on, and the person will have to abstain from sex much longer. Therefore, in no case should you rush to intimacy. It’s better to wait a few extra weeks than to endure months later.
In the first months after endoprosthetic, inaccurate sex can lead to displacement of the implant parts. The high frequency of dislocations during this period is due to the fact that the muscles and ligaments are not yet sufficiently strong to hold the prosthesis in the desired position.
Dislocations of endoprostheses are treated by their reduction. If this does not help much, and dislocations become regular, the question arises of revision (repeated) endoprosthetics . In this case, the patient undergoes another operation, during which the location of the prosthesis fragments is corrected.
At a later date, high sexual activity can lead to the loosening of the components of the endoprosthesis. As a result, they lose their tight bond with the surfaces of the bones. Looseness and joint instability most often occurs in people with osteoporosis who do not take calcium supplements and osteolysis inhibitors.
The safest positions
There are several positions in which the risk of harming the operated joints is minimized. From them, you can choose one or more of the most optimal positions, which you will use in the future.
- Pose 1. The patient lies on his back with hips slightly apart. It is desirable that the pelvis is on a soft pillow, and the knees are slightly bent. You can also place small pillows or soft towel rolls under them. The partner is on top, sitting between the patient’s spread legs. He moves gently and carefully, trying not to make sudden jolts and blows.
- Pose 2. The patient is on top, comfortably located between the spread legs of the partner. In doing so, he rests on his hands and knees. The advantages of this position are that the patient can independently control the entire process and has the ability to stop immediately if he suddenly feels pain or discomfort. Unfortunately, this position is not suitable for people who have had knee arthroplasty.
- Pose 3. Suitable for both men and women who have undergone surgery. The partner stands with her back to the partner, leaning forward slightly and resting her hands on the table and the wall. The partner is in the back. He makes slow, gentle movements of low amplitude.
- Pose 4. Suitable for women. The partner is healthy on her side, and the operated limb is placed on a construction of pillows. It is very important to ensure that the limb is in a comfortable position and moves as little as possible. For convenience, the woman puts another pillow under her head, and rests her hands on the bed. The partner is located in the back, also on the side.
- Pose 5. Suitable for males. The partner lies on his side so that the operated limb is on top. The partner lies down facing him and places the upper leg between the man’s legs. The patient comfortably mixes the lower limb and begins to move gently. At the same time, a woman should not make sudden unexpected movements that can cause pain or discomfort to a man.