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Sex and the Cervical Spine

abenakiaabenaki Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Ok, time for a personal adult conversation. My partner was wondering about getting back into making love after surgery and how my doctor feels about it. Maybe it is just me but I am not sure my doctor understands because he has not been here. My partner enjoys physical touch but doesn't want to be intrusive and I am not sure what is considered "exercise" that I am to avoid. Touch is nice, playfulness is nice but actually making love seems daunting to me right now and it is hard for me to relax. Yet we are in love and respect each other so it is hard to not want to please. We have talked about this but any advice out there, other than continued conversation with each othere, on maybe even how to approach making love in a meaningful way following surgery? I don't want to be selfish or over protective but I also want to be present.


  • My partner and I have wondered the same. Actually making love seems a bit risky to me right now, as I am 18 days post-op. What type of surgery did you have? I had C4-5 acdf with instrumentation.
    I'd be interested in people's advice.
  • After my second surgery , which was more than just a ACDF, my OS told me not to have sex until after my two week check up, needless to say we took things very slowly and my wife was on top, hope not TMI. It can be tough on the neck muscles, but things have gotten better now that I am about 4 months post surgery. Probably after 4 to 6 weeks my wife felt better about everything, she was always worried about grabbing my head or pulling on my neck. Good luck and take things slow and you should be fine. Just talk about it with your partner, what you are worried about and such.

  • Nevermind...answered that question today!;) Just take things slow and communicate.
  • Thanks for your thoughts. Sex is always one of those topics in this culture that seems taboo or is overdone (like the Sex in the City movie, which is a good movie). I was just looking for practical experience and I got some. Thanks for that. The risk is the part that was the hard part to me. After being in pain for so long in it tough just to risk it for intimacy yet at the same time judging risks is not always easy. Again, if you have any other thoughts they are appreciated.
  • I read your post and understand your concern. My doctor told me sex was okay whenever I felt comfortable. Still, I must wear the soft collar, no matter what. Okay, that's not fun, but don't want to risk messing anything up.

    I waited about a week after surgery and everything was fine. Definitely took things slowly and was extra careful.

    It's now almost five weeks post ACDF and I've had ups and downs recovery-wise, but sex still good!

    Good luck.

  • mark,
    i also will be having c5-7 ACDF. but did you have a second surgery? is that because of the damage the first fusion did to the other disks? i heard that happens alot. that stinks.

    please tell me about the PAIN post surgery from when you woke up.
  • Just saw my doc and all looks great. I was a bit tentative as well but you are all right. My time, my healing and creativity! It is just nice to hear that others go through the same thing.
  • I had C4-C7 ACDF with instrumentation in Dec '06 and resumed sex in 5 days. Posterior fusion last Monday Aug.25th and found no problems resuming sex 6 days post op.

    I do think position is extremely important and always listen to your body, pause if you feel any pain and communicate alot. I know for my partners each time it was frightening as they were afraid of hurting me but I've had more problems just washing my hair then having sex.

    I would advise caution as a female giving oral sex for the first months as in hindsight, I think I may have strained my neck a bit too much with this and prevented a complete fusion resulting in the posterior surgery I just had.

    Definitely going to be more careful this time but I think it's all a matter of patience and just not pushing yourself too far.

    Also, get used to your partner asking if you're ok alot and remember it's unnerving for them also as they fear hurting you. :)
  • There are all sorts of ways to "have sex". You just need to find the ones that work for you and your partner. ;)
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