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Will my joint replacement affect my sex life?

If you’re having a joint replacement operation, the pain from the affected joint may already be interfering with your sex life. The operation may improve your sex life, although it will take some time to recover and for the wound to heal. It's quite common to feel nervous about sex after an operation, but most people feel able to start having sex again about six weeks after the operation.

Following a hip replacement, you need to take care with certain movements for at least 12 weeks after the operation because there’s a risk of dislocating the new joint. These are, in particular, bending the leg up (flexion) and moving one leg towards the other (adduction). It’s best for you to be on the bottom and your partner on top. You also won’t be able to kneel for six weeks after the operation and you’ll have to keep your hips straight, so this may affect some of the positions you can use.

After a knee replacement, you won't be able to kneel for six weeks after the operation, so this may affect some of the positions you can use.

Following a shoulder or elbow joint replacement, you should avoid any forceful or extreme movements of the arm (particularly behind your back), locking it one position or taking weight through the arms. Care should always be taken after a shoulder or elbow joint replacement as the joints can remain a little unstable indefinitely.

When you have the operation your healthcare team will be able to tell you which movements to avoid. Make sure you ask if you’re unsure about anything – they’ll have been asked the same question many times before.


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