Sex After Lumbar Fusion

After undergoing spinal fusion surgery, it’s perfectly normal to wonder when you’ll be able to return to doing normal everyday activities, which includes those of an intimate nature. In most cases, patients are recommended to wait a minimum of a few days before resuming any sexual activities because the incision wound needs plenty of time to heal. However, there are several other factors to consider when it comes to sex after a spinal fusion.

Unexpected Issues Following the Surgery

The extent of the surgery you’ve undergone as well as your overall health are just some of the factors that come into play regarding post-spinal fusion sex. You may experience difficulty healing or managing the necessary post-surgery care, or there could be a few unexpected issues that make it difficult to engage in intimate activity, such as:

  • Pain med side effects
  • Discomfort at the site of the incision
  • Sensitive nerves
  • Muscle spasms

Lack of Sensation in the Pelvic Region

If your fusion was performed in the lower part of your spine, you may experience radiating numbness in that area, and it could even extend to the pelvic region. Radiating numbness may result in a lack of sensation that makes it difficult for a man to achieve an erection or a woman to reach climax, as well as other biological aspects of sex.

Position Matters

You may need to temporarily take a more passive role when engaging in sexual activity with your partner, as the fusion needs ample time to form. One of the ways to protect your spine during recovery is to alter your position. Try placing a pillow under your knees to provide extra support and take pressure off your spine. To minimize exertion in your back area, you may want to focus on controlling your speed and force.

Taking Pain Meds Before Sex

If you tolerate you pain medication well or experience few side effects—if any at all—you may have an easier time engaging in intimate activities if you take your meds beforehand. However, never increase your dosage without first seeking your doctor’s approval.

If you’d like additional tips on recovering from spinal fusion and how it might affect your sex life, reach out to the Los Angeles spine surgery professionals at The Spine Institute. Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of experienced surgeons are available to discuss your options and ensure you make the right decisions to suit your lifestyle. To schedule an in-person evaluation, please call (310) 828-7757 today.