Sexual activity after hip replacement surgery

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You have had or are about to have a total hip replacement done by a posterior approach, you may wonder if this will keep you from engaging in sexual activity. In most cases, you may resume sexual activity 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery.

This information contains guidelines for resuming sexual activity. Share this information with your partner and talk to him/her about your concerns. If you or your partner have questions after reading this information, please discuss them with a member of your healthcare team.

Resuming sexual activity after a total hip replacement

You will need to give your new hip time to heal. For this reason, do not engage in sexual activity for the first 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery. This will give your hip time to heal and will reduce the chance of dislocating your prosthesis. Unless your surgeon gives you other instructions, after 4 to 6 weeks you may resume sexual activity when:

  • You feel comfortable doing so
  • You are able to move your hip without pain
  • Sexual activity does not cause pain
  • Your incision has healed completely

Precautions when resuming sexual activity

To reduce the chance of dislocating your hip, only certain positions are recommended for sexual activity after a hip replacement. Some positions are considered safe when the male has had a hip replacement; some are safe when the female has had a hip replacement, and only one position is considered safe when both partners have had hip replacements.

For all positions:

  • Do not bend your hip more than 90 degrees
  • Keep your ankles at least shoulder width apart and your toes pointed comfortably outward
  • Do not cross your legs at the ankles or knees
  • Do not let your affected leg turn in or point out excessively
  • Do not twist your hip or pivot on your affected leg
  • Be sure that anything you lie on or lean against for support is sturdy
  • When lying on your back, you may be more comfortable with a pillow between your legs or under your thighs

If you have any questions about other positions not shown, please contact your healthcare team.

Resuming sexual activity after a hip revision surgery

If you have a hip revision, your surgeon may recommend that you wait longer than 8 weeks before resuming sexual activity. Ask your surgeon what is appropriate for your situation. When your surgeon determines it is safe for you to engage in sexual activity, follow the guidelines for sexual activity after hip replacement, as discussed earlier in this piece.

When to contact your health care team

Contact your surgeon or seek immediate medical care if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms of hip dislocation:

  • Sudden, severe hip pain
  • Change in leg length
  • Your leg turns in or out without the ability to turn toes straight up
  • Obvious deformity of the hip joint, for example, your hips don’t look the same
  • Inability to bear weight on your leg (if previously able to bear weight)
  • Increased numbness or tingling in leg
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