The Herniabible Blog

advice from people who have had an inguinal hernia

Loss of Orgasm After Groin Hernia Surgery

This report comes from one of our survey respondents

It’s now 365 days since my right inguinal hernia repair, open using mesh. From the morning after surgery there has been complete loss of orgasm and all erogenous/erotic feeling. The doctors are in total denial. This happens more often than they care to admit. Apparently we need all the sensory nerves in order for the brain to produce the sexual high and orgasm. Pudendal and perineal nerves often yanked in removing hernia sac… pull a nerve 15% and it never comes back, except as pain. Iliohypogastric and ilioinguinal also contribute to sex feelings, especially if you are circumcised. If only I had known.

More details

During open inguinal hernia repair, the pubic tubercle is the bone landmark which surgeons use to tell how far to cut. Two centimeters in from this point is where the spermatic cord changes course and a finger is used to separate it from the floor. The hernia sac is a part of the interior lining enclosing the bowel that is forced out through the inguinal canal. Typically it adheres to the cord and must be cut free. The surgeon can only go those two centimeters before encountering the suspensory ligament of the penis.

This is a wide band that circles and encloses the penis very much like a ‘marital aid’ or constriction band. It is firmly attached to the pubic bone and is what makes an erection point up and supports it for sex. It also helps the veins close off to maintain the erection.

The penile dorsal nerves lie under this sheath and are also exposed in the area inside before the penis enters the encircling ligament. If the surgeon pokes through this area in any of the three steps (exposing the cord, dissecting the sac, or suturing the mesh to the pubic tubercle) you can end up neutered like I was. If the suture ties into the ligament you can get the often-described-but-never-explained loss of firm erections, or often described ejaculatory or erection pain.

In my State medical malpractice claims have been legislated out of existance in the name of tort reform. I cannot be fixed, there is no way to protect yourself from incompetent surgery, and no way to make the doctor pay. Lack of informed consent likewise does not exist as a legal barrier.
I CAN’T URGE TOO STRONGLY TO ANYONE CONSIDERING THIS “ROUTINE MINOR SURGERY” TO THINK AGAIN!

If you had inguinal hernia surgery more than a year ago, please consider filling in our anonymous online survey.

June 16, 2009 - Posted by | Case reports, Surgery issues | , , , , , , ,

11 Comments »

  1. I had the same kind of opperation at schouldice… the entire area felt awkward and weird after. I’m still not really used to it. Also, after the surgery the wrong ball was dropped. I was completely freaked out, and for the first little while I had ball pains when I orgasmed. Those pains have subsided, but something does remain. Pissing has never felt so good in my life! Seriously, ive gotten used to it, but every time its now like a 5th of an orgasm. Also, I had the opposite effect. My orgasms are stronger than before! Another side effect is I am pretty sure I lost an inch of penis, but maybe I was measuring slightly to the side a bit. I dunno. I guess my point is, its a risk to get this surgery, but its far more efficient and u have to consider whether u want that risk or not. Getting a different surgery increases the likelihood of a repeated hernia, whereas mesh eliminates the possibility almost completely.

    Comment by Nicolas Havens | July 15, 2010 | Reply

    • You were fortunate to get your surgery at a world-class centre like Shouldice. The complication rates for this surgery are much lower at centres where they specialize in it, because they really don’t do anything else except this, so they have the chance to get really good at it. But even so, they don’t guarantee that there will be no complications.

      Comment by herniabible | July 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Life isn’t fair. They took away my orgasm and gave it to
      you. You don’t know how lucky you are. My numbness includes
      the entire organ, skin, the glans, frenulum, the “g”spot,
      and extends up the urethra including the bulb and prostate.
      It is so unfeeling that I can’t tell when I’m passing urine-
      but have to watch for the stream. The bladder fullness
      feeling is constantly there, full or empty.

      Plastic mesh shrinks at least twenty percent in the first
      six weeks of implantation. This is not in dispute. The mesh
      is carried 3/4 inch “medial” to the pubic tubercle. In other
      words it is touching or resting on your suspensory ligament.
      If your body decides to knit it fast with scar tissue before
      shrinkage is complete, your number one will be pulled over
      to that side. I spoke with one victim whose erection is now
      so twisted from this that intercourse is no longer possible.

      For some graphic photos and descriptions of mesh hernia
      surgery, see:

      http//emedicine.medscape.com/article/1534281-print

      Check out the metal prying tools needed to perform this and
      get a clue about where the hidden hooks are poking you
      inside. Surgery is ROUGH, not gentle. [Note: if any pictures
      come up with a blank box with a red "x", put your cursor
      where the picture should be, right click, then select "view
      picture" from the menu that appears.]

      Non-sutured mesh repair is or was done at Trabucco Hernia
      Institute in Long Island, New York. The telephone numbers
      listed were out of service this date. See:

      http://drinstitute.tripod.com/

      Your cremaster muscle is either stripped off completely or
      at least slit open with electrocautery in every hernia
      surgery in order to look for another hernia. Your body wants
      to pull both testis up tightly to the top of scrotum to help
      initiate ejaculation. The cremaster is the muscle that does
      this by means of the genitofemoral nerve – another nerve
      routinely damaged in mesh hernia repair. The tone of this
      muscle sets how high or low you set, along with the dartos
      muscle that retracts the sack.

      Comment by Missing it in Maine | July 27, 2010 | Reply

    • [retry]

      Life isn’t fair. They took away my orgasm and gave it to
      you. You don’t know how lucky you are. My numbness includes
      the entire organ, skin, the glans, the “g”spot, and extends
      up the urethra including the bulb and prostate. It is so
      unfeeling that I can’t tell when I’m passing urine – but
      have to watch for the stream. The bladder fullness feeling
      is constantly there, full or empty.

      Your altered sensation only proves that, even at Shouldice,
      our most precious nerves are at risk in hernia surgery.
      This despite vehement denials by surgeons who know better.

      Without the pleasure sensations, your body soon turns off
      the whole function and you are neuter.

      more…
      [break]

      Comment by Missing it in Maine | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. Still no orgasm, no turned-on feeling.
    Note to Jonnie 256:
    The underside of testicle is where we refer the feeling of
    the epididymis. I have confirmed this on myself with a TENS
    pulser.
    Since my surgery there is no feeling in the rt epididymis
    and cord unless I place the electrode on the “bump” near
    rt lower end o my mesh, 8 inches away!

    Comment by Missing it in Maine | July 15, 2010 | Reply

  3. I specifically requested a non-mesh tension repair. Instead
    of starting the body manipulations to reduce an
    encarcerated hernia, the doctor spent 30 minutes arguing
    and harangueing me to accept a mesh implant. She said she
    hadn’t done a tension repair in 9 years and couldn’t do a
    good job.

    Plastic in the body continues to leach plasticizers,
    chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors or estrogen
    mimics.

    Comment by Missing it in Maine | August 19, 2010 | Reply

  4. Same problem here but I am a girl! My OBGYN says that there is definitely scar tissue but can’t imagine why this surgery would having any bearings on orgasm. Wants to send me to a sex therapist! I was fine until this surgery in Oct. 2010.

    Comment by Horrible Surgical Outcome | July 23, 2011 | Reply

    • I have the same problem now…and I am upset…I plan to see my OB/GYN and neurologist, next week. I am so upset that I had this to happen. I KNOW the surgeon did something inside. I once had some lower back discomfort. Oh, that’s gone, but I now cannot orgasm.

      Comment by Hacked off Female | September 9, 2011 | Reply

    • I am also female with an inguinal hernia. It has now been almost 4 years now since discovering it. It has only gotten worse, more noticeable & limiting in my activities. Which at 38 years young, is not acceptable. Especially now, not being able to orgasm!
      BEYOND FRUSTRATING to be told by a health care professional that female inguinal hernia & orgasm are not related….& that they are “not even sure you have a hernia”…….
      I’m open to the possibilities, but by what I FEEL in MY BODY I’m 98% sure that is what it is. WHAT ELSE COULD DISPLAY SIMILAR SYMPTOMS?! Anyone…..?? Anyone???!
      I have no medical insurance & to get any financial assistance with a repair surgery the condition has got to be “life threatening”.
      Although I have no extra money or savings, I’m scheduled to get an ultra-sound just to confirm that it IS a hernia.
      Really wish there was more information out there on female pre/post inguinal hernia repair! Any advice/direction anyone has would be appreciated.

      Comment by j rose | February 21, 2012 | Reply

  5. When I was two and a half [1956] I had a umbilical hernia repair. All was fine. Then in 2007, after having a total hysterectomy in the fall of the year previously, I had another umbilical repair – this time with ‘keyhole surgery’. When I awoke I was in AGONY and they had to keep me in. When I did leave the next day I could still hardly breathe for the pain – and instead of the 3 ‘holes’ I was expecting I had around 6 – and NEVER got an answer. [This was of course a mesh repair] The bruising was incredible – my whole abdomen looked like I had been run over by a truck. I felt like it too!

    I have had problems with orgasms since too – and never put two and two together and blaming the hernia repair !! I thought it was the menopause that I was plunged into having the total hysterectomy – now … I am wondering if that is true. I can seldom orgasm now, and even when I do it is much much harder to achieve.

    This last year, I had a scan of my abdomen for other reasons – and there are around 20 or more little spheres scattered around the whole area – my doctors and surgeons here have NO idea what they are and say they doubt they are anything to do with securing the mesh – as they are so oddly dispersed – from diaphragm to near my bladder !! Life is SUCH fun …. ggrr!

    Comment by TealRose | September 13, 2011 | Reply

  6. I’ll tell you something your doctor never will. When a surgeon
    cuts or injures a nerve, they call it an iatrogenic nerve injury.
    You’ll know if something’s missing as soon as you wake up from
    the surgery.

    “Give it time,” they’ll invariably say, as if you had all the time
    in the world. You don’t. While it is true that a cut nerve can and
    often does reattach (provided the ends are a fraction of an inch
    apart); it is a very slow process: it can take longer than the
    legal statute of limitations (two years in many states) for
    personal injury. Another thing you won’t be told is that a cut and
    healed nerve seldom if ever returns to its full pre-injury
    function. If things don’t start feeling normal in two weeks you’re
    going to need a neurologist, one from a different area than your
    surgeon.

    If your nerve does not re-establish conduction in some un-
    specified time (I take it to be roughly 3-7 years), the neuron
    dies. The dying neuron releases an alphabet soup of body chemicals
    which have been scientifically enumerated and studied. This brew
    begins an irreverssible die-back process which has also been
    scientifically investigated. The chemicals trigger the death of
    the next cell which releases more chemicals, and the death
    proceeds to the horn where the nerve path connects to the spinal
    cord. The process continues inexorably up the column and enters
    the brain. Each dying cell in the circuit poisons the next til it
    reaches the place in your brain where the nerve impulses were
    received and interpreted. At this point there is actual
    destruction and loss of grey matter and the process is completed.

    If the nerve happened to be one that conveyed certain pleasure
    sensations associated with your sexuality, not only will you never
    experience these feelings again, but it will be the same as if
    they never existed. This because the part of your brain that once
    experienced and conceived of the feelings isn’t there anymore.

    Now you know.

    Comment by Missing it in Maine | September 14, 2011 | Reply


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