Sex after breast reduction

Sex after breast reduction

17th Apr 2021


Breast reduction surgery is recommended and performed on women who struggle with daily activities and suffer from constant pain in the neck, back and shoulders because of the excessive size of their breasts. While the breasts are indeed one of the most important symbols of femininity and sex appeal, it can be common for women with excessively large breasts not to feel very sexy or alluring due to the other issues associated with having breasts that are too large for one’s anatomy. This is the reason why after undergoing a breast reduction surgery, some women might notice that they are more inclined to engage in sexual intercourse. However, there are a few things you should know about the recovery after breast reduction surgery and when it is safe to have sex.

Overview of breast reduction surgery

The procedure is performed to eliminate the excess of glandular tissue that is present in the breasts. The procedure requires the administration of general anesthetic so the patient can feel no pain or discomfort during the operation. After the anesthesia takes effect, the plastic surgeon will start with incisions on the breasts. Usually, there will be three types of incisions performed during a breast reduction. The incisions need to give the plastic surgeon access to the glandular tissue, so they will be placed around the areola’s edge, in the inframammary fold, and vertically from the areola to the inframammary fold. Once the incisions are made, the plastic surgeon detaches the skin envelope and removes the excess of glandular tissue. Then, the remaining part of the mammary gland is re-centered and elevated to a higher position on the chest wall to correct the sagginess that is often present when breasts are overly large. After this, the incisions are sutured and the patient is ready for the recovery room. 

The hospitalization is very short compared to other types of surgical procedures. In a matter of a few hours, patients are discharged from the medical facility and free to go home. 

Recovery after breast reduction surgery and sex

Even if patients can return home on the same day in most cases, this doesn’t mean they can quickly jump back to their previous lifestyle and perform daily activities just like before the surgery. In some cases, patients are not confronted with too much pain or discomfort after the procedure, but again, this is not a sign that all activities should be resumed immediately.

Breast reduction, even if performed for aesthetic purposes only, is still a complex and major plastic surgery, and the recovery period is very important for the success of the procedure. The patient needs to adopt the correct post-op behavior to ensure good results and to avoid potential complications.

An experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon will advise the patient to take two weeks off from work. During these two weeks, the patient should try to resume daily activities slowly and gradually, making sure to avoid intense physical activities, heavy lifting, and sleeping on the tummy. Smoking should also be avoided during the recovery period as it can delay the healing process.  Taking care of the incisions is part of the recovery process and ensures achieving good-looking and barely visible scars. 

In the first few days post-op, the breasts will be swollen, bruised, and sometimes painful. Because the procedure often targets the nipple and areola complex as well, the nipples can also feel overly sensitive or exactly the opposite—numb. The area of the breasts is rich in nerves, so different changes in sensation can occur in the breasts after undergoing surgery. 

Some women mention a pain in the breasts after sexual intercourse even before undergoing the procedure. This can occur as a result of a rather harsh treatment of the breasts during sex. In other words, pain can occur if the patient is not very gentle with the breasts. 

When it comes to sex after breast reduction surgery, there are different aspects we need to discuss. First, it is a good idea to wait until you feel completely recovered from the surgery before having sex. Then, you should consider how to be very careful with your breasts during sex so as not to cause injury, delay healing, or experience pain.

During sex, cardiac activity is increased, and all muscle groups participate in this activity. For some people, intercourse can be an activity that will make them tired and sleepy. This is normal. However, when this happens too soon after undergoing surgery, the patient can experience other unwanted side effects.

During sex, the breasts can increase their volume and even become slightly harder. This happens because of the stimulation of the nerves and can be very different from one woman to the other. If you have experienced changes in the breasts before undergoing surgery, the recommendation is to wait a bit longer before engaging in intercourse during the recovery period.

Generally speaking, the recovery period is no more than two weeks. This means that patients need to take two weeks from work to allow the body to recover from the surgical trauma. This doesn’t mean that after two weeks the breasts are completely recovered and the final results are present. 

The plastic surgeon might recommend you to wait at least a month before engaging in sexual intercourse after breast reduction surgery. In some cases, it could be more; it all depends on how the recovery process is going and whether the incisions have healed completely. Also, keep in mind that during the first few weeks post-op, patients are advised to wear a special post-op bra non-stop. This means including during sex. The swelling and bruising that naturally occur after the surgical trauma can be present for a few weeks, but they can last for months in some cases. The surgeon might recommend ice packs and Arnica Montana supplements, but the healing process will take its course, and it is different from one patient to the other. 

When engaging in sex for the first time after breast reduction surgery, it is important to avoid intense pressure to the breasts to avoid pain. Also, make sure not to lie on your tummy or the breasts as this is a form of pressure that must be avoided for a month or more so as not to cause wound opening. Also, the results will be more aesthetically pleasing if you allow nature to take its course and the healing to be complete before putting pressure on the breasts. Make sure to ask your partner to be gentle with your breasts and stop at the first sign of discomfort to avoid unwanted complications.

Aside from the physical aspect, there is also the emotional part of engaging in sex. While some patients might feel great and experience an increased level of self-esteem as soon as the procedure is done, it might take a while for others to get used to their new breasts or for the side effects to subside. Make sure to feel good about yourself and ready to have sex before actually doing it. The results of your procedure will be long-lasting, so there is no need to rush into anything when your body is not ready yet.


Sex after breast reduction surgery can usually be considered a month from the procedure. But, in the end, it depends on patient to patient and how the healing process is developing. After surgery, you will need to visit the plastic surgeon for follow-up consultations. These are scheduled a day or two after the procedure, a week after, and again after a month. Make sure to see the surgeon for the follow-up consultations and ask when sex would be possible if this is a concern for you. Some patients want to resume sexual activity as soon as possible, while others will want for the final results to occur before being ready for sex. 

Each person is different, and there are no hard rules, aside from putting too much pressure on the breasts. This is to be avoided for at least a month after the procedure or according to the plastic surgeon’s instructions. 

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