NAH Joint Replacement Program

Sex after shoulder replacement surgery

As mentioned in your Joint Replacement Guidebook, our goal is to help you live pain-free with greater mobility and improve your quality of life. This includes sex! It is important to protect your new joint while it is healing. After surgery, sex may be uncomfortable or bring up questions. Sex should only be considered when your orthopedic surgeon gives you permission. This may take around six weeks or longer. 

It is important for you and your partner to communicate. There are different ways to be intimate, explore these options as well. A few tips for you: consider taking a mild pain medication prior to sex, consider stretching your muscles, use plenty of extra pillows for support, pick a time when neither of you are tired, and most importantly, know your limitations. Shoulder patients must keep your shoulder in the immobilizer for protection until cleared by your surgeon. Let your partner take the more active role after surgery. If there is too much discomfort on your shoulder, try a different position. Use the chart below to find positions that may be comfortable (the immobilizer is represented as the black “L” shape in the illustrations). Start slow, be gentle on your new joint, enjoy yourself and talk to your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns.