WARNING: Some of what follows is a bit graphic. If you don’t want to read about sex, please visit another page of my blog.
People often ask me about how long they need to wait before they have sex after gastric bypass surgery. Most surgeons tell patients they can have sex as soon as they feel up to it. I tell them that the nurses would prefer they wait until they leave the hospital. J Seriously, though, unless you have some sort of complications or special medical problems, sexual activity won’t hurt you after surgery.
You’ll probably want to take it easy for the first few weeks after gastric bypass surgery and avoid particularly vigorous sexual activity. You’ll need to find a position that is comfortable for you and doesn’t strain your belly or put too much pressure on your incisions in order to be comfortable. If something causes you discomfort, stop.
If vaginal intercourse is uncomfortable for you after surgery, you can engage in other forms of sexual activity. A few people have asked me about oral sex after surgery and if it was all right to swallow fluids. It is. When men ejaculate, it might seem like a lot of fluid but usually it’s only about a tablespoon, sometimes less. If it seems like too much for you to swallow, though, of course you don’t have to swallow it all.
Some people say their sex drive increases after gastric bypass surgery. People may feel better about their bodies as they lose weight. They may have more energy after losing some weight, which makes sexual activity more enjoyable. Rapid weight loss can cause hormonal changes that affect sex drive, too.
Not everyone experiences an increase in libido after gastric bypass, though. Hormonal changes may cause your sex drive to decrease instead of increase. If you’re having trouble with nausea or other symptoms after surgery, those can diminish your interest in sex. Some people feel self-conscious about excess skin after losing a large amount of weight and that might make them reluctant to engage in sexual activity.
If you’re concerned about a lack of interest in sex, talk to your doctor. Sometimes there are physical causes for a decreased sex drive, which may or may not be related to your weight loss surgery. If your doctor doesn’t find any medical cause for the lack of libido, consider talking to a therapist. It’s common to experience mood swings and even depression for a while after weight loss surgery and that can affect your sex drive. Therapy can help.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor if you have questions about sex after your gastric bypass surgery. I know many people feel uncomfortable talking to their doctors about sex, but doctors have heard all this before. If you need information or have concerns, talk to your doctor.