Vaginal Cleaning and Moisture After Hysterectomy

You’ve had a hysterectomy. Your complete uterus with cervix was removed and now you have some questions. You’re worried about staying clean and moist. Should you douche? Will you be able to have sex?

You’re wise to have concerns. It’ll let you be proactive if necessary. But breathe easy, there’s probably nothing to worry about – especially if you kept at least one ovary.

Vaginal Moisture

There were glands in the cervix that created mucous for keeping your vagina moist and helped with lubrication during intercourse. But they aren’t the only glands that create vaginal fluid.

There are also glands in the vaginal walls that secret moisture to both prevent dryness and provide lubrication for sex. The Bartholin glands at the entrance of the vagina produce mucous which lubricates the opening of the vagina during intercourse. The Skene glands near the urethra create mucous that keeps that area moist. During intercourse, these glands also produce extra lubrication to make sex more comfortable.

There other ways the vagina can be moist as well – if there’s adequate estrogen. So if you have at least one working ovary or you use HRT, your vagina can stay moist on a daily basis and for intercourse. If you’ve reached menopause or are experiencing some hormonal imbalance issues for which you can’t use HRT, you may find your vagina is dry and you need to use some moisturizers or personal lubricants.

Vaginal Cleanliness

Just as it did before you had a hysterectomy, your vagina cleans itself. You do not need to douche or use any special products to keep it clean. In fact, douching or trying to clean your vagina will disrupt the natural bacteria and pH levels, creating problems.

When it comes to your vagina, you only need to gently wash outside the vagina with water and plain soap. You should not insert anything, including soap and water, inside the vagina to clean it. You also should avoid using scented wipes, soaps, sprays, and deodorants in the vaginal area.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you have concerns about vaginal moisture or cleanliness, talk to your doctor. Besides menopause related issues, there are some health conditions which can create some issues that may need to be addressed.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Vaginal Cleaning and Moisture After Hysterectomy

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