Sexual Relations After Total Hip Replacement

Hip Replacement Sexual Precautions

If you’ve had a posterior incision (along the back of your hip on your buttock), precautions must be taken to prevent hip dislocation.

Precautions include:

  • Avoid bending at the hip more than 90 degrees
  • Avoid moving the operative leg across the midline of the body
  • Avoid rotating the toes of the operative leg inward

Positioning restrictions must be followed strictly for 4-6 weeks after surgery.   Sexual relations can resume approximately four to six weeks after total hip replacement and should be approved by your surgeon.  Restrictions must be kept in mind when resuming sexual activity.

If you’ve have an anterior incision (in the groin area), you don’t have to be as concerned with dislocating your hip.  However, you should still wait approximately one month to have sex to allow your incision to heal completely.

Recovering from surgery can present challenges to your sex life.  Your hip can hurt, pain medicines might make you drowsy or uninterested in sex, it might be difficult to get in a comfortable position, and you could be nervous about dislocating your hip.

Waiting 4-6 weeks after total hip replacement to resume sex provides several advantages.  Your incision will be almost completely healed and less sensitive to touch.  Your hip muscles will be recovered enough to control your movements and position of your leg during sex.  Your hip will be more stable with less risk of dislocating during sexual relations.

Once you are ready to resume sexual relations, several measures can be taken to enhance intimacy. 

At first, you should take a passive role, assuming sexual positions after a total hip replacement that are as natural and relaxed as possible.

Usually, both men and women find the missionary position most comfortable.  The person with the new hip should be on the bottom.  This position limits motion in the new hip,  helps limit pain, and avoids expending a lot of energy.  If you’re a woman, keep a slight bend in your knees with your feet on the bed.

If tolerated, taking pain medication, either narcotic or over-the-counter, prior to sexual relations may enhance comfort.  Pillows can be used to support your operative leg, particularly when the side-lying position is assumed.

During sexual relations, your partner can help you stay within a safe range of motion, control the amount and speed of movement, and avoid putting full weight on your hips.

Sexual Positioning…