Sex after hernia surgery

The most common type of hernias in men is inguinal hernias in which a part of protruded tissue pushes through the inguinal canal and into the scrotum. 

While in females, the femoral hernia is the most common type of hernia. In femoral hernias, the protruded tissues is pushed through the femoral canal at the top of the thigh. 

Can you have sex with a hernia?

Be it femoral or inguinal- having sex with a hernia is really difficult. One is unable to enjoy sex as the bulge caused due to these hernias causes obstruction and even in some cases, extreme pain. In some cases, surgery becomes the only way.

You’ll expect some soreness and swelling after a few days following the procedure. This is in disregard of the type of hernia you are suffering from or any type of surgery you opt for. 

You will feel fatigued for a week or two due to the influence of the anesthesia. It is actually quite normal if you don’t want to have sex at all. 

According to the International Journal of Urology, almost 16 percent of patients complained about sexual dysfunctions after hernia surgery.

Depending on certain factors, Pristyn Care doctors recommend avoiding sex from a couple of days to a few weeks. These are-

  • Location of the hernia
  • Type of repair surgery someone is opting for
  • Age and general health for the patient
  • Whether there were any complications during the procedure 

After a laparoscopic procedure for inguinal hernia, usually, there aren’t any restrictions on sexual activity. It is quite normal to feel some discomfort around the incision site for one or two weeks. 

In males, the scrotum can get discolored, tender or swollen after an inguinal hernia repair. But doctors prescribe resuming normal activity, including sexual activities, within a week as the swelling is likely to subside by that time.

Depending on the general health of the patient, your body might take longer to recover. 

In general, it is OK to have sex after the surgery, as long as you are in the mood for it and not troubling you in any way. 

Why Hernia Surgery Affects Sexual Activity?

According to a research study, having an inguinal hernia and undergoing surgery for the same may impact sexual activity.

During the hernia repair, a mesh is placed near the weakened area to provide strength. The body can identify this as a foreign object and can cause inflammation or irritation. In such cases, consulting the doctor is the best option.

But it is important to make a note here that after an inguinal hernia repair, not every person experiences sexual dysfunction. It mainly depends on the location of the mesh after its implant.

Does the type of hernia surgery affect sex life? 

Hernias are mainly the following types, depending on the location where it has developed-

  • Inguinal- Inner groin
  • Ventral-Abdominal wall
  • Incisional-Abdominal incision/scar
  • Umbilical-Belly button
  • Hiatal- Upper stomach/diaphragm

The location plays a major role in recovery. This is so because if the hernia develops in the groin or diaphragm, you need to be more careful as these places are not accessible directly. 

The type of hernia surgery also affects hernia recovery. For instance, if you have undergone an open surgery you’ll require more time to recover as the incisions made are larger which results in major bleeding. In the case of laparoscopic hernia repair, you’ll recover faster as the doctor makes small incisions near the hernia. 

Is erection still possible after inguinal hernia surgery?

Banana to show erection

Although the inguinal region is close to the testicular structures and nerves that control sexual urge, the surgery doesn’t interfere with an erection. Yes, it is a fact that there will be bruising or swelling near the scrotum, penis or testicles for a couple of days after the surgery.

But it has nothing to do with controlling your libido. There is almost no chance of any injury to the blood vessels, nerves or sperm tube going to the testicle. 

Will it hurt if I have sex?

Pain is a common side-effect that is felt by patients after a hernia repair. This is nothing major to worry about as this can be due to the incisions made and the body’s response to the mesh placed near the hernia.

If you have an inguinal hernia, you might not feel like having sex at all because of the post-operative swelling of the penis, testicles and muscles involved during sex. Another reason could be as this can be very painful or uncomfortable for a while. 

Discuss with your doctor. Follow the recommendations for an easy and fast recovery.  When you feel you are ready, choose a position that doesn’t put enough pressure on or irritate the incision. 

Stop it immediately if you experience any pain or a pulling sensation near the incision site. During sex, if you feel even the slightest tingling, it means the wound hasn’t fully healed and requires more time to heal completely. Hence, it is best to refrain from having sex. 

Can I be active during sex?

One of the most important instructions that doctors prescribe after hernia repair is avoiding any strenuous activities for some time, including vigorous intercourse. 

Whether you’ll be active or not, completely depends on your body. Hence, listen to its warnings. When you’ll be overdoing it, the body will react immediately. The incision site becomes sore, swollen when you start pushing yourself.

How long after hernia surgery can you have sex?

After the hernia surgery, especially inguinal one, there can be some discomfort when you have sex for the first time. In such cases, let pain be the guide. Although there is no restriction after the hernia surgery regarding when can you resume sexual activity,  it is wise to discuss with your doctor first regarding the same.

Any suggestions I should know?

It is essential that you discuss openly with your partner about any concerns. Whether you are comfortable indulging in it or not. 

discussion with partner for sex after hernia surgery

Other than discussion with your partner, try the following suggestions-

  • Be creative in your way. Choose a position that doesn’t put weight, rub against it, or strain it. Give a second thought about the incision area and any swelling that you might have.
  • Initiate with gentle movements then gradually move to vigorous activities. 
  • Hold a pillow close to the abdomen to provide support during sex.
  • To create the right angle without having to strain, use a wedge pillow.
  • Go for oral sex. 
  • Be prepared to discuss, innovate or stop if you feel necessary. 

Few More Words From Pristyn Care

It completely depends on the patient’s will how fast he/she wants to recover. Hence, it is important that you discuss openly with your doctor. 

In your follow-up appointment, talk with the doctor about your inability for sexual satisfaction or pain while having sex. 

Although there won’t be any major problems after a laparoscopic repair, you can consult with our Pristyn Care doctors to know more about sex after the hernia surgery.

Also Read: Facts Everybody Should Know About A Hernia

Pristyn Care Provides Best Hernia Treatment in:


How long should one wait before having sex after hernia surgery?

There are no major restrictions on sexual activity after hernia surgery with laparoscopic technique. However, it is best to wait for 3-4 weeks to perform any strenous activities including sex.

Can hernia surgery cause erectile dysfunction?

There is no sufficient evidence that can relate hernia surgery with erectile dysfunction unless there is any problem with the mesh placed.

Should I continue having sex after hernia surgery if I have pain?

No. Don't indulge in sex it is painful. Talk to your doctor without further delay.