Hysterectomy recovery exercises and information to help you:
- Return to exercise safely
- Reduce the risk of hysterectomy side effects
- Recover your strength and fitness
- Return to work and regular activities
Hysterectomy Recovery Videos and Information
Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises e-Book
Learn Physiotherapy exercises and techniques that ensure your hysterectomy recovery and avoid post-operative complications.
By Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway
This illustrated e-Book is easy to read and includes exercises for:
- Post hysterectomy walking program
- Relieving gas pain
- Improving circulation
- Easing lower back pain
- Moving in and out of bed
- Returning safely to activity after hysterectomy
Hysterectomy Recovery Time
Complete hysterectomy recovery time is approximately 3 months for internal healing. This healing time can vary according to factors such as the type of hysterectomy procedure and post operative complications should they occur.
Appropriate exercise after hysterectomy can reduce recovery time and prevent some of the common side effects and complications.
While you may feel quite recovered after 6-8 weeks, your body is still healing internally for the next couple of months. During this time you may be prone to internal strain of your wound or newly repaired internal tissues. This is why it’s very important to carefully balance rest with a gradual return to exercise and activity.
Exercise for Side Effects of Hysterectomy
Some of the common side effects of hysterectomy can be relieved or prevented through appropriate exercise.
In the early stages of hysterectomy recovery walking exercise can address some of the short-term hysterectomy side effects including:
- Decreased ability to breathe deeply
- Circulation problems
- Gas (wind) and/or bloating
- Lower back pain
- Weight gain
When to Return to Exercise after Hysterectomy
Ask your doctor when it’s safe for you to return to general exercise at your postoperative checkup.
Most women start a program of gentle daily walking while in hospital and continue a progressive walking program after discharge.
Medical approval to resume gentle exercise is usually at around 6-8 weeks after surgery. This may vary from patient to patient so it’s important to check with your doctor first before returning to general fitness and strength exercise.
When you return to general exercise, do so gradually. The first 3 months following surgery is not the appropriate time for intense abdominal exercise, heavy resistance training or advanced Yoga stretching. If you do start a new form of exercise, stick with beginners level and advise your instructor about your recent surgery so that your exercises can be modified accordingly.
Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises
Early Recovery Exercises
The focus of initial hysterectomy recovery exercise is to prevent physical deterioration and minimize the risk of of side effects.
Exercises in the initial recovery phase include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Circulation exercises
- Mobilizing out of bed
- Exercises in bed
Initial 6 Weeks Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises
Exercises at home are an important part of your overall recovery. These exercises help you minimize the risk of longer term hysterectomy side effects such as lower back pain and pelvic floor problems.
- Progressive walking after hysterectomy
- Deep abdominal core exercises
- Pelvic floor exercises (Kegel exercises)
- Mobility exercises in bed
Returning to General Exercise after Hysterectomy
When your doctor has given you approval to return to general exercise, the preferred exercises are:
- Pelvic floor safe strength exercises
- Low impact fitness exercises e.g. walking or cycling
- Gentle flexibility exercises
- Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)
- Appropriate core exercises (for deep abdominal and spinal muscles)
Unsafe Exercises to Modify During Hysterectomy Recovery
These exercises include:
- High impact exercises e.g. running or jumping
- Intense core abdominal exercises e.g. sit-ups or abdominal curls
- Heavily loaded resistance exercises e.g. heavy weight training exercises
- Abdominal resistance exercise machines
- Intense abdominal stretching exercises e.g. some Yoga poses e.g. Cobra