The pelvic area is home to our reproductive system, part of our digestive system, lots of nerves and blood vessels. Whether you have had a hysterectomy, fibroid/or cyst removal, cancer surgery, caesarean section or something else, it is possible that you have found that your sexual function has changed and you might connect that with your operation.


Symptoms can be:

  • Inadequate lubrication
  • Pelvic, abdominal, or vaginal pain or sensitivity
  • Vaginal stenosis
  • Urinary or bowel incontinence
  • Loss of sex drive


At When Love Hurts, we focus on the sexual side effects that happen after pelvic surgery, not the causes that lead to needing the surgery.

Possible causes of your pain may be:

Lubrication decrease

Troubles with inadequate lubrication often stem from low levels of estrogen.  Pain, anxiety, stress and other factors can also affect your ability to lubricate. Read Poor Lubrication.

Pelvic, abdominal, and vaginal pain 

Pain is found in different places. The location is very telling for what might be the cause. Is it triggered by a light or a deep touch, is it at, i.e. the beginning of the vagina, to the sides or in the bottom of the vagina?

One cause of pain could be Adhesions in the pelvis. These are scars that connect two pieces of tissue, sometimes pulling tissue or organs into painful positions. Sometimes felt at deep penetration or light touch. Read Scars.

Loss of elasticity in the tissues – or if the tissue is stuck – it can cause pain when moved or touched the wrong way. Vaginal pain can stem from stenosis or lubrication problems or just because the wall is stuck to the epidermis of the more in-depth skin. Read Poor lubrication.

Pelvic muscles may contract involuntarily. Read Vaginismus.


With pelvic surgery, the removal of organs, tissue or muscles can change the way the organs are placed. The change can affect the pelvic floor and result in urinary and bowel incontinence.  Read Care of Pelvic Muscles.

Loss of sex drive 

Sex drive is impacted by fluctuating hormones, your emotional state, and sense of physical well-being. When you have to undergo surgery of any kind, the stress it puts on your body can affect all of these. 


To treat your symptoms best, it is crucial that you confide in your doctor. Be specific. Their job is to help you and the more information you can give them, the better. The more they know, the better equipped they are to help.

Make sure your doctor is up-to-date on your medical procedures. Let them know when and why you had your surgery. Be specific when you describe your symptoms. Is your pain burning or stinging? Is it blunt or sharp? Do you feel like something is out of place? 

Whatever issues you face, tell your doctor so they can help you encounter them. If you experience sexual pain, describe whether it is in the abdomen, during deep penetration, or the mere thought of something entering the vagina. The distinction will make sense for a doctor.

Bring your Vulva & Vaginal Profile. Read Seeing the Doctor

Read I Have Post-Surgery Nuisances