Sexual Relations After Total Hip Replacement

Hip Replacement Sexual Precautions

Once undergoing total hip replacement, 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 six weeks after total hip replacement and should be approved by your surgeon.  Restrictions must be kept in mind when resuming sexual activity.

Postoperative recovery can present challenges for resumption of sexual relations.  Your operative hip can be painful, there may be side effects of pain medication, positioning can be difficult, and there may be fear of hip dislocation.  All of these factors may interfere with your desire for intimacy.

Waiting six weeks after total hip replacement to resume sexual relations provides several advantages.  Your surgical wound will be healed sufficiently so that there is less sensitivity along the incision line.  Hip muscles will be recovered and better able to control the movement and position of your leg.  Soft tissue healing will have occurred, stabilizing your hip and reducing the risk of dislocation.

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

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

Both men and women initially find the missionary position favorable, with the person with the new joint on the bottom.  This position minimizes motion of the hip, limits pain, and decreases energy expenditure.  For the woman, keeping the knees slightly bent with the feet on the bed works best.

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…