There are several surgeries which can be performed to address lumbar spine 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 resume sex after spine surgery?

The time frame for resuming sex depends on the type and extensiveness of the surgery. Talk to your surgeon about when it is safe to resume sexual relations.

For awhile, surgical recovery can present challenges for resuming sex. The lower back and incision can be painful, muscle spasms may occur, and there may be side effects of pain medication.


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

For women, this may mean lack of sensation in the vagina and clitoris which can effect the ability to reach orgasm. For men, pelvic 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 may interfere with the desire for intimacy. Symptoms experienced prior to surgery may not be relieved immediately and can persist from weeks to months. Resumption of sexual activity should be gradual to minimize recurrent symptoms and enhance comfort and pleasure. Care must be taken not to excessively bend or twist your spine.

Once you heal, sex will likely become more comfortable. Waiting the time frame recommended by your surgeon to resume sex after lumbar spine surgery provides several advantages. Your incision will be healed well enough so it will be less sensitive to touch. Muscle spasms will have subsided. Your muscles and soft tissues will be stronger and better able to support your spine.

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 spine are best. Using pillows to support your knees in a bent position takes the stress off your low back. A small pillow may be used under your low back to relieve pressure. If tolerated, taking pain medicine, either narcotic or over-the-counter, before sex can increase your comfort.

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.