There are many different surgeries that can be performed for back problems. Some are more extensive than others. Various surgeries to address low back problems include lumbar discectomy, lumbar laminectomy, and lumbar fusion with or without instrumentation.

When is it safe to have sex after back surgery?

The time frame for having sex depends on what kind of  surgery you had. It’s really important to talk to your surgeon about when it is safe for you to have sex.

For awhile, recovering from your surgery is most important.  Sex probably won’t even enter your mind.  Your incision and back can be painful, you might have  muscle spasms, and your pain medicine might make you drowsy.

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There may also be numbness in the groin area because many nerves can be effected by surgery and anesthesia.

For women, this might mean lack of sensation in the vagina and clitoris which can effect the ability to reach orgasm. For men, nerve involvement may effect the ability to get and maintain an erection. If any of these issues are a problem for you, consult your surgeon for help.

All of these factors might interfere with your desire for sex. Symptoms you had prior to surgery might not be relieved right away and can last from weeks to months. Returning to sex should be slow and gradual to make it a pleasant experience. Be careful not to excessively bend or twist your back.

Once you heal, sex will become more comfortable. Waiting the time frame recommended by your surgeon to have sex after back surgery has several advantages. Your incision will be healed well enough so it will be less sensitive to touch. You will have less muscle spasms.  You will be stronger and better able to support your back.

You should initially take a passive role, assuming positions that are as natural and relaxed as possible.

Choosing positions which put minimal stress on your back are best. Using pillows to support your knees in a bent position takes the stress off your low back. A small pillow can be used under your low back to relieve pressure. If tolerated, taking pain medicine before sex, either narcotic or over-the-counter,  can make you more relaxed and comfortable.

During sex, your partner can help you to be more comfortable by controlling their force and speed, and not putting their full weight on your back.