Sex after your operation

Having genital surgery changes the way you have sex, and maybe how you experience sex as well. You have to discover all over again how your body works sexually. Your sensitive spots remain intact and often you can still have an orgasm.

Neo-vagina and neo-penis

You will get a vagina, a penis or a mini penis also called a micro-penis. These are called neo-vagina or neo-penis. ‘Neo’ means new. A neo-vagina or neo-penis looks almost the same as the penis or vagina of people who are not transgender. Your future penis or vagina will also feel and work in more or less the same way. But there are differences:

  • You cannot ejaculate with a neo-penis.
  • A neo-vagina produces very little or no moisture, so you need to use a lubricant for sex.

Two types of penises

Trans boys or men who want a penis operation can choose between two types of penis surgery. One is called ‘metoidioplasty’, the other ‘phalloplasty’. With a ‘meto’, your clitoris is transformed into a mini penis that retains a lot of sexual feeling. With a ‘phallo’, you get a penis of normal dimensions, using skin tissue from your arm, leg or abdomen’. With a ‘phallo’, your clitoris is ‘concealed’ in the shaft of your penis.


After surgery, it takes a while for everything to recover. At first it looks a bit ’strange’: it’s swollen up and the stitches are still in. The complete recovery of your vagina or penis takes at least 3 months, usually even longer. You have to adjust to your body, before it’s completely yours. Take your time and explore.

Help with choosing

For some transgender people it’s as clear as can be: they want gender reassignment surgery (a sex-change operation). This is more difficult for others. It’s important to discuss it thoroughly with your doctor. They may also refer you to a mental health professional who can support you in the decision making process.

Not satisfied?

Are you not completely satisfied with the result? Maybe something can be done about that. Many transgender people undergo another minor intervention afterwards; corrective surgery to remedy minor inconveniences.

Not everything can be changed.  As a trans male, for example, you will never ejaculate with your own penis. This might make you feel sad sometimes, and less able to really enjoy sex.

  • Remember, all boys and men are different, including those who are not transgender. Not being able to ejaculate with your penis does not mean you are not a ‘real man’. It does mean you have an unusual past. There’s nothing wrong with that.
  • The same applies to trans girls of course. Girls and women are all different. That your vagina isn’t able to get moist does not mean you are not a ‘real woman’. You are just a girl or woman with an unusual past.
  • Does it continue to bother you? Have a talk with your doctor.

Certain operations are more likely to have complications. This means that something went wrong during surgery or during recovery. If this happens to you, it can take longer before you’re completely happy with your body, or it may be difficult to enjoy sex. It a good idea to seek help with it.