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What causes shortness of vagina post a hysterectomy?

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Posted on Mon, 25 May 2015
Question: I had a hysterectomy in 2006.
After my hysterectomy the pathology revealed 1/8" of pre-cancerous cells. I then saw a surgeon that specialized in obstetrics then changed in his career to oncology. He said I could just watch it with diligent pap smears or I could see another physician specialist that he could refer me to and perhaps help me make a decision since he as well specialized in gynecological oncology surgery. I agreed. When I went to him he left the decision up to me about watching or going in again to make sure there wasn't something my original surgeon had missed. I didn't want to wonder my whole life so I agreed. The surgery was done out of town at XXXXXXX Methodist in Bedford, Tx. where thankfully all of the tests were benign. This was a huge relief, but I did not really understand about the vaginal cuff and what it really meant. Mainly, my focus was whether or not there was something missed. I have emotionally been scared to death to even have sex since then. It wasn't til this last 6 months that I reunited with my very first boyfriend and needless to say I was relaxed enough emotionally to allow a long missed intimate togetherness. Well, he cannot hardly penetrate me and the sex is soooo painful. The last time we were together he said it felt like there was something sharp inside of me (as far as he could get in about 4 inches max!!! All of my pap smears have still been clear all these years so I am on my knees thanking God and for my surgeon. I spoke with a friend nurse and she explained what had been done to me and that because of my lack of intercourse it would take some time maybe even up to a year and with the aid an artificial penis to stretch the muscle tissue etc. I have been doing this for about a month every night and noticed some more room, but none in length. I am so saddened and getting depressed more and more. I think it doesn't affect me, but it does. What can I do? One person said corrective surgery and I nearly flipped. However if there is no other way I may consider. Why am I so short in depth and is there any hope for this to change?










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Answered by Dr. Sameer Kumar (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
post hysterectomy vaginal shortening

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
THANKS FOR the query to HCM,
Your primary concern being shortness of vagina post hysterectomy and the pain accompanied during intercourse. Well it is to be understood that during complete hysterectomy a part of vagina as close to the cervix also tend to get removed during surgery and then after the suturing the vaginal cuff tend to heal by fibrosis as any injury would heal, thereby leading to scarring and often some shortening as well. This cannot be avoided though. The pain probably is due to the dryness in the vagina owing to atrophic vaginitis in absence of adequate oestrogen levels in the body .
The use of artificial penis can help the vaginal muscles to loosen up but under no circumstances would increase the length of vagina.
you can opt for corrective vaginal lengthening surgery but at your age and previous surgical history , the morbidity associated with the procedure stands higher.
So it is suggested that you may use oestrogen creams thrice a week to allow the atrophy to subside and shall help assist in healthy painless intercourse.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Sameer Kumar

OB and GYN Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1699 Questions

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What causes shortness of vagina post a hysterectomy?

Brief Answer: post hysterectomy vaginal shortening Detailed Answer: Hello, THANKS FOR the query to HCM, Your primary concern being shortness of vagina post hysterectomy and the pain accompanied during intercourse. Well it is to be understood that during complete hysterectomy a part of vagina as close to the cervix also tend to get removed during surgery and then after the suturing the vaginal cuff tend to heal by fibrosis as any injury would heal, thereby leading to scarring and often some shortening as well. This cannot be avoided though. The pain probably is due to the dryness in the vagina owing to atrophic vaginitis in absence of adequate oestrogen levels in the body . The use of artificial penis can help the vaginal muscles to loosen up but under no circumstances would increase the length of vagina. you can opt for corrective vaginal lengthening surgery but at your age and previous surgical history , the morbidity associated with the procedure stands higher. So it is suggested that you may use oestrogen creams thrice a week to allow the atrophy to subside and shall help assist in healthy painless intercourse. Regards