The road to recovery after hip replacement surgery can be long and challenging. It’s no surprise that patients become eager to get back to their old lives and routines and often struggle to adapt to their new—though temporary—physical limitations.
These limitations include those surrounding intimacy with partners. While recovery can take up to an entire year, that is a very long time to wait to resume relations. And as it turns out, love really can’t wait. And shouldn’t have to.
Getting back to the business of pleasure can be an emotionally healthy way to aid recovery. You can enjoy these benefits (and great sex) while you heal. But it’s important to understand first what you cannot do, so you can instead shift your focus to positions and activities that are safe and healthy.
Of course, you’ll need to talk to your doctor for medical advice specific to your recovery, and you’ll need to get the green light from them for when you’re well enough to get back to love-making. As you and your partner resume intimacy it’s still crucial that you do not do anything beyond the scope of what your new joint can handle. Be mindful of the restrictions, because if you do not follow recommendations you may dislocate the new hip joint and find yourself needing another surgery. If you have any questions about how to move your healing body, ask your physical therapist, who will offer you techniques and exercises. And don’t be shy about asking them about sex—they get those kinds of questions far more often than you’d think.
Here is a list of physical movements you should not make with your body after a hip replacement, for anywhere from six to 12 months after surgery. By now you’ve probably had this list drilled into your head repeatedly by your doctor, but it’s important to think about the movements your healing body cannot make, and how they impact your favorite sexual positions.
So what does this mean for your sex life? Translated into sexual activities, locales, and positions, it means these are some of the scenarios to avoid:
It’s a pretty big list of don’ts, but the biggest: don’t get discouraged! This list of positions and activities to avoid doesn’t constrict your sexual activity, it just reshapes it.
Physical therapy teaches you new techniques for adapting to your body’s post-surgery changes. So why not make recovery a time of exploring new sexual possibilities, too? Good old-fashioned missionary position may be off the table (no, seriously, don’t do it on the table), but that doesn’t mean you can’t try something new. Here are six positions that may need to be adapted on an individual basis, but that should provide a great jumping off (and getting off) point for you and your partner.
As you try different positions, discuss it. Talk about what worked and what didn’t, what you liked and what you’d like to alter next time. Remember that all sex is a discussion, and requires communication and accommodation.
There’s more to considering sex after hip replacement than just the sex, however. These practical points should be considered and addressed prior to you getting undressed.
Thinking ahead of time about the practical needs surrounding your bedroom escapades can make sure you don’t kill the mood, while still doing what’s best for your recovery.
Most importantly, be patient with your partner and yourself. Intimacy is all about empathy, and if you or your partner are recovering from surgery, that need for empathy and understanding only increases. Remember, these limitations will pass. You can still enjoy intimacy… and pleasure. And until you are fully recovered, you can still have hot, passionate, steamy sex. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a position or toy that brings you and your partner amazing new ways to orgasm.
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You never forget your first time, but most people don’t remember their second. And this isn’t just about sex (although, really, it’s mostly about sex). You probably don’t remember your second day at a job, second car, second date...
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