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sex after lumbar fusion

raygirlrraygirl Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

I am new to this site. I have had lumbar fusion just 6 wks
ago and am doing okay with some spasms and pains here and
there. I am on no drugs and am walking a mile a day and up
most of the day. My question is " Are there people on this
site who have had "fairly sucessful " lumbar fusions and
are having " normal" sex after they have recovered well.
(longer than 2-3 mos.) I am wondering if that is a reasonable
outcome if you are doing well otherwise. I know this direct
but there doesn't seem to be anything on the sites except
right after you have had the surgery. I do realize at first
you need to be very careful. Any answers?? Ha Just wondering as I spend my days recooperating. I am a very positive person who will do my exercise to remain very active. Thanks
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1

Comments

  • I haven't had a fusion. I've had 2 microdiscectomies.

    But I would guess you can get back to fairly normal sex life (but not sure what normal is for some people). My guess is the first year...you'll have to be careful. I'm assuming once you fuse, you won't worry as much.

    Hopefully those in your shoes can help.
  • Thanks for answering anyway. I probably know the answer
    but worry about it.
  • Hi raygirl,

    After my first lumbar fusion, I was embarrased but finally asked my surgeon when it was ok. I was told to let my body decide. I waited for 3 or 4 months and it was fine, but I was very nervouse as well as my husband about injuiring my fusion. After one year after the first fusion, things were back to "normal"

    I just had a second disc fused 7 weeks ago and my husband and I tried again, very conservate, but I have had alot of back pain since. (felt good at the time, but I know it was too early)

    All i can say from experience is go slow and listen to your body. It is so important to have a sex life again and I can tell you it was worth the back discomfort (hee hee).
  • I am now 5 months post op and only now really feel ready for sex. I had a slow start to my recovery though, with an infection that lasted for nearly 4 weeks, so I suppose I am really only 4 months into proper recovery. We did try earlier (Xmas!!) but then I sufferred loads afterwards. Not sure if it was the sex or the other xmas related activities. Then I went back to work and have suffered pain ever since, to the extent that by bed time sleep was all I wanted!
    The last few days though I feel I have turned a corner and we tried again with no ill effects. We were careful and my husband was very gentle!
  • They say it's like "riding a bike", but I am not so sure about that :? It was pretty humurous at the awkwardness after 3 1/2 months of celebacy (was injured pre-surgery).

    I am 32 years old, and have been "in the game" for quite some time. Without going into details, it was like my first time, and we ended up in tears laughing so hard about it. GOOD TIMES =))
  • I must admit my hubby and I tried at 13 weeks post op of my L4-S1 fusion and I did well during, but the next morning I was a bit more sore and stiffer than than I predicted. It took me a week to decide to try again. My hubby was great and took it at my speed and has been so patient with me. All shyness aside...the best position for me after I felt I was ready was on top. ;)) That way you are in control of your movement and you dont have the weight of your SO on top of you. All people are different and as it was said already, the thing is to listen to your body and you will know what is good for you. At this point I am just about back to normal for our sex life. :D Just remember that you may want to take your pain med prior to your first time just in case.
  • The pain meds are great for the females I suppose, but they don't work the same for males. The whole purpose of meds are to desensitize the nerves

    Nothing good about that!!! :W
  • Hi I am considering a fusion from a back injury 17 years ago. The doctor talked about this ejaculation something or other. Does anyone have any insight on this. I was also worried about nerve damage from injury i have started having some trouble with feeling down there at times? Is it nerve damage from injury?
  • I am one yr out of ADR and fusion but still have a lot of pain in back and legs. Now dont get discoraged from my experience because I am a special case.My sex life took a big hit after surgery,we were kind of a crazy couple (5 children) so we had to be creative. I cant stand the weight of my husband body on me and I cant hold my legs up that long due to nerve damage. So with that in mind we tried several different positions. For me the most comfortable is lying on my left side with my husband behind. We do miss being able to look in each others eyes but thats what forplay is for right? Give your body time and experiement with different positions and find the one thats right for you. You body will let you know whats too much. Some pain is just down right worth it!!! Hope this helps and is not TMI.
  • Not too much TMI - I hope you do better down the road
    somewhere and thanks for the info. We recently did
    try it and it was okay for the second time. Good Luck!
  • For those that do not want TMI, I suggest you go read a book. I am interested to get some real information, on this subject,that seems to be a topic of much avoidance.
    For those that have long time marriages and very patient spouses; all is wonderful. However for those of us that are single and young middle age;''doing it' slowly and patiently with a new lover, could easily be a recipe for a last date.
    That said, if we are not to BLT until total fusion of 6-12 months, How does one NOT B-Lean-T and have sex?
    Yes we can spoon. That appears to be all, safely. And then? The last thing I want is to hear some awful cracking sound.
    Any solutions?
  • I'll take the gloves off and go right to it! After a fusion each person is different. I'm four years post op and I still am uncomfortable with my wife on top. I had an L4-S1 360 ALIF done. I've also since developed spondy at L3-L4. Most every other position except hanging from the ceiling fan isn't bad (hehe;).

    I think bottom line is you have to judge for yourself what is going to work and what's not. If it's not comfortable, stop! No sense hurting yourself. If the person your with cares enough about you to be intimate with you, they should understand.

    There are complications with surgery and sex. Men can have whats called retrograde ejaculation. Instead of fluid coming out, it goes in reverse to the bladder. It is usually a temporary thing that gets better with time. However, fusion surgery can lead to erectile dysfunction, especially with the 360 ALIF. I found out the hard way (no pun intended) on that side effect. If you want more info on that, check this site for archived posts I did a couple years ago regarding that subject.

    Hope this helps!

    Keith
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I think the response should come from the female point of view; I just don't want to break anything. :)
  • I agree if you don't want TMI don't look at this discussion and go read your book with your fuzzy blankie...this coming from a woman who has a VERY understanding hubby who says and I quote "If you love someone you take your lumps right along with them" so coming from a married 11 years with a 10 year old daughter female the ole sex life takes a major hit with any spinal injury and surg...I asked this question even BEFORE my surgery as it had already been awhile since I could do anything but foreplay...poor hubby...I saw a comment above about not being able to feel down there...so this is what I was told by my MD and Surgeon...for me the meds I'm on for nerve pain(Lyrica) has an effect on the central nervous system and makes your nerves less able to feel hence our "kitty" is unable to purr as it would like...or it doesn't even purr at all...as for after surg I was told...NOTHING for the first 2 wks...after that experiment all I want...I am only 3 wks out and have a HUGE fear of hurting my neck...I've come a long way and fought hard to get this neck...last thing I want is to hurt it...so my hubby and I agreed to take it VERY SLOW...so as for us...the last wk has been alot of foreplay that I hope eventually leads into some bomb sex...sorry got a little excited there...before my injury we had a very healthy sex life...so we both know in our minds my new norm may be different then before but he loves me and LOVES the idea of experimenting with new ideas and positions...I've heard spooning is painless...that will be the first position we try...when I'm not chicken...LOL...good luck to all and hope it wasn't to much info!!! :) I'm not sure if you all want an update on the spooning but if ya all do just ask!!! HEHE...
  • Thank you Sarah. When I asked my surgeon, theone who lied to me from the start, saying it's a 2-3 mo. recoup (failing to mention, fusion actually takes 9-14mos.) he said I'm the first patient who has asked so many questions, acting quite annoyed and embarrassed. Isn't it his job to inform us so we don't hang from chandeliers and screw it all up again?

    Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.
  • Thank you Sarah. When I asked my surgeon, theone who lied to me from the start, saying it's a 2-3 mo. recoup (failing to mention, fusion actually takes 9-14mos.) he said I'm the first patient who has asked so many questions, acting quite annoyed and embarrassed. Isn't it his job to inform us so we don't hang from chandeliers and screw it all up again?

    Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.
  • my last operation put a stop to my sex life .i am unable to obtain an erection and even if i could i would be unable to move like you have to during sex because of the pain and constant tiredness .i have not had a fusion but have had 2 other operation on my lower back ..i am waiting for ALIF surgey sometime this year\ {UK} long waiting list ..to be honest with you ..unless there is a some miracle post surgey and subsequent recovery i cant see myself ever having sex {i am 44} male and married .back surgey has destroyed my life .we are now into damage limitation ..
    tony
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I am so sorry! Did you know all this before the surgeries? I really have this feeling that all these spine docs do not give any negative side affects, in particular to post-op sex to any of us, male or female, because they would have no business. Literally unless you were run over by a truck, no one would do this. I have a hard time dealing with my surgeon because I feel so betrayed.
    Hopefully you will 'work' with cialis! My thoughts are with you.
    Stay strong. At least you have a wife that cares.
  • have one thing in common .all they know is the technical side of the operation .the fact that you cant see pain .leaves it open to scepticism from others .as long as the consultant can say that he/she has done the job as per spec .they are happy .what they dont tell you is the amount of pain that you will be in and the reduction in you quality of life for ever after .because they CARNT ..they dont know what you and i are feeling ..i had a very good pain consultant and she was very understanding and always went out of her way to help me and she said that she had no idea whet i was going through BUT looking at all the damage to my spine she could imagine how bad it was ..but she was the exception ..on the other hand i went to see another consultant anaesthetist and he was a total bar stu ward ! all he could see was the amount of pain killers that i take and he called me a junkie and told me that i was not in pain and all i wanted was drugs !!! my wife {a health professional } who went to the appointment with me was discussed and after a few heated words we left and we went straight to my doctor ..he apologised and i never went to see the nasty consultant again ..{just for the record ..4 days after being told that i was fine and just after drugs ..i was admitted for another operation after i collapsed on the bedroom floor ..so that's how much he knew !! ..my new orthopaedic consultant has told me that after my ALIF i will be in a lot of pain and unable to have sex for life as the nerves have been permanently damaged and he has also said that the ALIF is being dont to stop more damage being done .any pain relief from the operation will be a bonus as the operation is not to reduce pain ..many people think that there operation will stop there pain but in many cases that's not the situation its mainly being done to prevent further damage ..many patients dont know that .i know that i am too far down the line now to enjoy a good pain free life and my prognosis is not good .i will just have to make the most of it
    tony
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I didn't see what type of surgery you had. I'll assume you're lower lumbar. If you're a neckie forget this.

    In some respects, yes you want a woman's opinion. Sadly the old forum content never got archived to view online for long. There were some good discussions in it that were very candid. I can tell you based on comments in there from women your age that the differences are not as big as you think. Girl parts, boy parts. They don't make the reason you hurt for the most part... Those parts maybe numb as Sarah mentions due to nerves. That should clear up, but is not guaranteed as Tony mentions.

    That said as I posted above the last time this thread got active. For some females it is the orgasm more than the BLT that causes them grief. They get horrible spasms from the rapid contractions that happen. I guess if your BF is dull and doesn't hit the spot, sort of speak, you're all set... LOL

    You really don't want him on top, especially if you are small and he isn't. That weight will hurt. If your weight differences aren't so bad you can put a pillow under that arch in your back to keep your spine as close to the right angle as possible. You might want to pass on the woof-woof style and the chandelier or trapeze ideas. That is too rough.

    When you twist too much the hardware will let you know and you will stop. You won't feel quite so frisky. So you're middle age and single and active. Good for you. You do need to chill out and not start so aggressive. So if it means you might not get that guy now. So what? There are more fish in the sea and quite frankly women have the upper hand in that department and most of you know it.

    Waiting 3-6 months before going aggressive might be the smartest move you've ever made. If you do something stupid, you have many years to pay for it. Just to keep some perspective things.

    Take that all with a grain of salt though. When I had the microd at L5-S1 I was ready the next morning. My wife went to the surgeons office with me and talked to him and his nurse quite openly. She knew exactly what I was and was not going to be doing. After the fusion at the same level I can assure you the next morning the last thing I wanted was that. A few weeks later though. Yeah, there was no way I was lasting 3-6 months. It was painful at first and let's just say spooning is of no interest to me.

    Good luck!
  • SuzzzSSuzzz Posts: 1
    edited 11/09/2014 - 5:18 PM
    raygirl said:
    Hi all,

    I am new to this site. I have had lumbar fusion just 6 wks
    ago and am doing okay with some spasms and pains here and
    there. I am on no drugs and am walking a mile a day and up
    most of the day. My question is " Are there people on this
    site who have had "fairly sucessful " lumbar fusions and
    are having " normal" sex after they have recovered well.
    (longer than 2-3 mos.) I am wondering if that is a reasonable
    outcome if you are doing well otherwise. I know this direct
    but there doesn't seem to be anything on the sites except
    right after you have had the surgery. I do realize at first
    you need to be very careful. Any answers?? Ha Just wondering as I spend my days recooperating. I am a very positive person who will do my exercise to remain very active. Thanks
    Suzzz
  • edited 08/25/2015 - 10:53 PM
    I have 13 herniated discs. I had aligned may 7, I refused their legal heroin and only take Tylenol for pain.......my pain is now only a bit worse than it was prior to surgery. My scar is healed, but hard and most pain is in legs. Hard time getting up in am and more pain at night but I feel I am fairing extremely well on no narcotics. I had l5-s1 fusion........surgery was 13 days ago n I want to try spooning already..... I have a high tolerance for pain apparently..... do I really have to wait months? Doctors xxxxx never clearly answer anything nor do they spend enough time listening...... I wonder......my spine is messed up bad too....... I'm going thru it with 13 herniations.....n my l4-5 is also herniated.... I have four children and it is hard not to push myself.......but I tell you.....I miss being able to wash my feet????

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
  • Wait a while before being intimate. IF, something goes wrong or you partner does one little thing rough you are going to pay for it. Look at it like the next time you are intimate, it will be that much more "special"!

    It would be a shame to mess up your back again just for a short moment of attempted pleasure.

    Cheers!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Have to say I am just pleased to be able to turn over in bed at the moment let alone anything else. And yes, I miss washing my feet :-D . My sister and nieces bought me a 'helping foot' to assist with this. A foot shape with suction pads on the base and bristles/brushes and pumice stone on the top for in the shower. If not able to shower some soapy water poured over your foot while you wash your feet is a relief :-) .... I attempted wet wipes on the end of my handy helper in hospital as well and a foot spray :-) . I then stand on one end of the towel with one foot and hold it tight with my hand to make a tool to dry between my toes on the other foot if nobody around to help. Its crazy things that get to you isn't it :-)
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

  • bobsgf06bbobsgf06 Posts: 1
    edited 08/25/2015 - 10:54 PM
    My first surgery and my life was turned upside down a few times in the months before the surgery. Having good sex is about the only thing keeping me from insanity right now. I do get sore from it, but its worth it to me. Post op is a week away. I will be almost 8 wks out by then. The only pain left now, is my hip joints and pain across my buttocks. Hoping its not causing any problems......

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
  • I'm a 34 yo female, I had a L3/4 fusion almost 9 months ago. It was months before I felt ready for sex. Like everybody else position, bearing weight and movement were issues for me too. We've found that a rather flat pillow under my hips and lower back tends to tilt me into the position I need to be in without bending my spine, makes lifting my legs a bit easier too. So far that's working really well for us. Mind you he is still not on top of me more sort of below me but I've experienced little to no pain or stiffness after. Sex is still not as often as either of us would like but it's working out for us. Also keep up doing your exercise and stretch everyday it helps.
  • I had the 360 fusion from l4-s1, at week two we played a little but it was way to early, I immediately regretted it. Complete lack of energy which a person really needs right then. At 3 weeks we tried again and it worked great. Tried again at 4 weeks, which is where I am now and it was fine then but next morning was horrendous. Still in pain right now. No pop or anything like that, but bad pain like a bruise kind of afterwards in my back around my pelvic bone. I think it all comes back to each individual person and taking it easy! Hope I didn't hurt anything bad, I've been assured that if it was hardware problems it would be so bad I couldn't stand it. Good luck everyone.
  • FarhanFFarhan PakistanPosts: 1
    Hey i have l4 l5 microdiscectomy when i can start?
  • I had a spinal fusion on July 19th. My husband and I have had sex 3 times since then.  I could tell I was more sore after the first time which was 2 wks after surgery. But being on top or sideways definately worked the best. My pamphlet said 2-4 weeks. I certainly hope it doesn't mess with my recovery because mornings are so awful that I wonder if I made a mistake having this done . 
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,941
    Hello Farhan !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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