We connected with Ashley DeLeon, MD at the Crane Center who wanted to shed some light on some of those embarrassing questions you’ve been too shy to ask.
Here are 5 things every patient and their partner should know.
1.The Early Bird: In the case of sex after vaginoplasty, the early bird does NOT get the worm. So, wait a little while. This is a big operation with a lot of moving parts and your body needs time to heal properly. Healing is essential for you to thoroughly enjoy the interaction and will also help to prevent any complications from occurring from premature intercourse. Typically, Dr. Leon tells patients to wait at least twelve weeks after surgery before trying out their new equipment. In addition, refrain from receiving oral sex until they are three months out as well.
2. The Big O: Here’s the good news, you can have orgasms as early and often as you would like after vaginoplasty! Let us remind you there are multitude of ways to reach an orgasim while following the rules above! Masturbation via clitoral stimulation – whether it be your (or someone special’s) CLEAN hands, vibrator, etc – there are ways to gently stimulate yourself and follow the doctors orders.
3. The Size Queen: Two common questions are, “can I tear my canal during penetrative intercourse, and will my vagina be large enough to accommodate a penis? Final answer: As long as you wait the appropriate time to heal and are dilating diligently to keep your canal open. Vaginal canals are typically 12-15 centimeters in depth which is around 5-6 inches. Make no mistake, this is the average size of a cis female’s vaginal canal and also the average size of a cis male’s penis … despite what many want to believe.
4. The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil: After a one-stage penile inversion vaginoplasty, the vaginal canal is lined with skin. This is the same skin everywhere else on your body such as your arms, legs, etc. This is different than the mucosa-like tissue you have lining your rectum and that cis females have in their vaginas. Mucosa produces natural lubrication. Skin does not. Therefore, it is imperative to use lubrication when inserting anything into your vaginal canal! And make sure you choose water-based lubricants, not silicone! Silicone is notoriously difficult to clean out.
5. Deliveries in the Rear: Okay, now to the last point … anal sex. Dr. Leon recommends waiting for twelve weeks until you are completely healed before receiving anal penetration. The vaginal canal is created literally millimeters away from your rectum, same as cis females. Whether you were familiar with anal sex prior to vaginoplasty or not, it will feel different after surgery. Start out slow, even for those who have significant prior experience with anal. You should always start smaller, use lots of lubrication and see what feels good!
Sex after vaginoplasty can pose challenges no doubt, so it’s helpful to be knowledgeable going into it. Don’t forget to ask questions, ask for tips and tricks from other trans women too, and most of all be safe and enjoy yourself! If you want more info contact the Crane Center.