Hip replacement surgery is a common procedure that involves removing your damaged hip joint and replacing it with an artificial one.
Following surgery, you may have to change the way you do some activities to protect your new hip. Our joint reconstruction specialists are often asked whether it is safe to engage in sexual activity following hip replacement. Board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Blais recently answered some frequently asked questions about sex after hip replacement on Healthline.
Sex after hip replacement
Many patients find sex more enjoyable and less painful following total hip replacement.
A 2017 systematic review found that of 1,694 patients, 44 percent reported improvements in sexual satisfaction and a 27 percent increase in sexual intercourse frequency post hip replacement surgery.
“Sexual activity after total hip replacement should be more comfortable as your hip will be more flexible and less painful,” said Dr. Blais.
In fact, Blais says most people should be able to return to intercourse within 3 weeks after the surgery, with full activity possible in 8 weeks. However, individual return times may vary and depends on wound healing and range of motion.
It’s recommended that you talk with your doctor before re-engaging in sexual activity following hip replacement.
Positions to avoid after hip replacement
After surgery, avoid positions that require your hip to move in maximum ranges of motion. These can include:
- hip flexion
- internal and external rotation
Don’t move your knee across the body’s midpoint and avoid raising your hip past knee level.
Blais recommends avoiding positions where the hips are flexed past 90 degrees because this can increase the chance of dislocation, especially if the force is applied to the flexed legs. “The majority of the risk for dislocation is borne by the women as they are typically more flexible, to begin with,” he said.
What could happen?
Your hip is a ball and socket joint that involves a wide range of motion, including rotation, flexion, and extension. If any movements are extreme, you may experience pain or increase the chance of injuring the area.
“There is a risk of dislocation of the hip or disruption of the surgical incision with vigorous activity of any kind in the first 6 weeks as the soft tissues around the hip are healing and muscles are still weak,” Blais explains. However, the risk of injury after 6 weeks is minimal.
Talk to your doctor
Don’t shy away from asking about sex when visiting with your doctor prior to surgery. But if you haven’t had the conversation, your first post-op visit is a great time to go over a realistic return date to sexual activity as well as safe and unsafe positions.
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following during sexual activity:
- sudden or sharp pain
- sensation of tearing or popping
- pain that continues after sex
You can read the entire Healthline article here.