Sex is a taboo topic even in the progressive society we live in today. The lack of discussion can leave patients wondering when they can have sex and how surgery affects their sex life.
After gastric sleeve surgery, one of the most appreciated aspects of surgery is an enhanced sex life.
Confidence, Compliments, and Sex!
Your body is the focal point of sex, making every insecurity of being morbidly obese magnified during sex.1 Losing weight, receiving compliments, and feeling more confident all tie into a more active sex life and an increase in pleasure – thus creating more connected and intense partnerships.
Weight loss is also known to boost physical attraction in relationships. In nearly all patients, libido (sex drive) increases after gastric sleeve surgery – intensifying passion, feelings, emotion, and desire.2
A downside to your sex after surgery is that your hormones change because of rapid weight loss causing your emotions to be all over the place. Mood changes are common, but this can mean your sex drive is through the roof one moment, and the next moment it is nonexistent.
How Long Should I Wait to Have Sex After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
Gastric sleeve patients must wait at least 2-4 weeks before having intercourse. The waiting time for sexual activity is similar to the recovery time set by your bariatric surgeon. Recovery varies from patient to patient, so make sure you don’t push yourself and understand your body’s limits.
Sex should be “less intense” for the first few weeks after surgery. It should not be painful or uncomfortable; if it is, it’s important to wait longer to fully recover.
Creating a Healthy Relationship After Weight Loss Surgery
Research data published in JAMA shows that people who have undergone weight loss surgery are more likely to start a new relationship, get married, and separate from their spouse/significant other.
Divorce is a staggering 80-85% for married couples with one spouse who has undergone bariatric surgery. As one spouse becomes self-confident, the other spouse becomes insecure and wants to control the relationship. This insecurity can cause issues in the relationship.3
What can you do to make it work?
Well – “Solid relationships generally last through change, and weak relationships grow apart or fail.” Patients who make sure their interpersonal relationship is genuinely strong before surgery increase their likelihood of staying together drastically. Counseling can greatly support your partnership to overcome friction or dysfunctional communication.
Remember, sex and intimacy can also play a major role in healthy relationships.
PCOS, Pregnancy, and Prevention
PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is proven to drastically improve after weight loss surgery. Gastric sleeve surgery is not a cure for PCOS, but it can make the symptoms more manageable or even completely disappear and restore a woman’s ovulation.
Bariatric surgery increases fertility making the chances of becoming pregnant higher. Therefore, patients should plan to use contraceptives, like birth control and condoms, to prevent pregnancy.
Getting pregnant in the first 12 to 18 months after sleeve surgery is not recommended. It can increase the chances of complications for you and your baby.
Using this information, you can apply it to your sex life to make sex enjoyable after bariatric surgery.