Pelvic Floor Exercises After Hysterectomy – Physiotherapist Guided Video Routine

Have you had a hysterectomy?

Do you want to start pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy?

This Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist video teaches you how to safely recommence pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy surgery.

Pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy can help to restore pelvic floor strength and function after surgery.

Video suitability: Exercise information for women after pelvic surgery

Duration: 9.32 minutes

Please scroll down below this exercise video for exercise guidelines and progressions.

Guide To Pelvic Floor Exercises After Hysterectomy

Pelvic floor exercises can be recommenced with your surgeon’s approval after surgery.

For most women this is approximately 4-6 weeks after hysterectomy however this may vary from one woman to the next according to the surgeon’s preferences, surgical procedure and overall hysterectomy recovery.

Pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy should always feel comfortable and pain free.

Exercise Position 1: Lying Down


Commence pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy lying down:

  • Position yourself on your back with a pillow under your knees, or
  • Lie on your side with a pillow positioned lengthways between your legs.

The lying down position eliminates the downward pressure of gravity on your pelvic floor making this a useful position for women starting out with their pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy surgery.

Lying Down Pelvic Floor Exercise Technique

Lying down pelvic floor exercises

Lying down pelvic floor exercises

Before starting out make sure you understand how to find and feel your pelvic floor muscles.

  • Visualise your pelvic floor muscles wrapping around your 3 pelvic openings.
  • Gently squeeze and lift these muscles in and around your pelvic openings.
  • Keep squeezing and lifting for a few seconds.
  • Relax your pelvic floor muscles back to resting position.
  • Take a deep breath into your belly to help relax and rest your pelvic floor.
  • If you choose, you may repeat this exercise again for a total of 1-3 repetitions.

Avoid some of the common mistakes with pelvic floor exercises such as drawing in your abdominal muscles strongly, squeezing your buttocks or holding your breath during your exercises.

Repeat these exercises daily according to your level of personal comfort.

If you experience any discomfort associated with your pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy cease your pelvic floor exercises. Allow your body further healing time before recommencing and if pain persists discuss this with your doctor.

Exercise Position 2: Sitting Upright

Sit upright on a chair, stool or exercise ball.

Upright pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy can help you train your pelvic floor muscles to lift against the downward force of gravity.

Exercising in this upright position is a useful progression from lying down pelvic floor exercises; the upright position adds strengthening and real-world functioning components.

Seated Pelvic Floor Exercise Technique

Seated pelvic floor exercises

Posture for seated pelvic floor exercises

  • Ensure the correct posture for pelvic floor exercises: lift the crown of your head, raise your chest forwards and maintain the inward curve in your lower back.
  • Feel the location of your pelvic floor muscles against the surface you’re sitting on; in and around your 3 pelvic openings.
  • Start by gently squeezing and lifting in and around your 3 pelvic openings.
  • Keep squeezing and lifting inside for a few seconds.
  • Relax your pelvic floor muscles back to resting position.
  • Take a deep breath into your belly and rest briefly before your next pelvic floor exercise.
  • When starting out repeat these seated exercises up to 1-3 times in a row.
  • Avoid drawing in your abdominal muscles strongly, squeezing your buttocks or holding your breath during your exercises.

How To Progress Pelvic Floor Exercises After Hysterectomy

Your pelvic floor muscles will strengthen when you gradually provide them with ongoing challenge to work harder.

Gradually progress your pelvic floor exercises by:

  • Doing your pelvic floor exercises standing upright
  • Increasing the number of repeated pelvic floor exercises up to 8-12 consecutive exercises (up to 3 times daily)
  • Increasing how long you contract your pelvic floor muscles during each exercise up to 10 seconds
  • Increasing how strongly you contract your pelvic floor muscles with every effort
  • Decreasing the amount of time you spend resting and recovering your pelvic floor muscles
  • Contracting your pelvic floor muscles to hold against the force of a cough or sneeze.

Key Points For Successful Pelvic Floor Exercises After Hysterectomy

To ensure successful pelvic floor exercises:

  • Identify your pelvic floor muscles before starting out
  • Start your pelvic floor exercises gently
  • Keep your pelvic floor exercises pain free
  • Progress your exercises gradually over time for ongoing pelvic floor strengthening.

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with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
Michelle Kenway

Learn how to strengthen and train your pelvic floor with expert guidance in the privacy of your home, on the bus, wherever you can listen to your audio.

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Comments

  1. My doctor said the pelvic floor exercises not going make any difference after hysteractomy…is this true?

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Louisa
      Thanks for your comment – I’m not sure what difference your doctor was referring to after hysterectomy however we know that pelvic floor exercises are very important for maintaining continence and pelvic floor support in women life long. Women who’ve had pelvic surgery are thought to be at increased risk of pelvic floor problems. Some studies have suggested that after hysterectomy women may be at increased risk of pelvic organ prolapse however this remains to be confirmed. I would be inclined to ask the doctor what specifically he/she is referring to in order to make an informed judgement.
      All the best
      Michelle

  2. Hi Michelle, I began watching your pelvic floor video using the subtitles with no volume however, you should know that the subtitles made no sense whatsoever, they were not related in anyway to your video. Hopefully you are able to rectify this issue as your site offers valuable advise to women seeking help recovering after a hysterectomy.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Hi Maxine

      Many thanks indeed for the valuable feedback – all fixed now! Hope you enjoy the new subtitles.

      Michelle

  3. Message: Hi Michelle – Great information!! Just had a hysterectomy & bladder repair two wks. ago. Can I return to golfing after 8 or 12 wks. or is golfing a high core exercise? I usually only golf 9 holes and push my cart. I can’t seem to get a proper answer online. Please advise. Brenda

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Hi Brenda

      First and foremost make sure you have your surgeon’s approval to return to golf. It will be a good idea to ask him/her at your post-operative appointment. Golf played socially isn’t really an intense core exercise. You haven’t mentioned whether you have an abdominal wound in which case hitting off with a big swing should be avoided so that you don’t strain your wound. When first returning it would be a good idea to use a buggy rather than carry your clubs around for the 9 holes and try to keep the number of clubs you carry to a minimum to keep the weight of your golf bag light.

      All the best for your recovery Brenda
      Michelle

  4. Hi Michelle – I have found your site really useful, thank you for all the information and visuals. I had a total hysterectomy 2 weeks ago. I have begun walking and doing my pelvic floor exercises. I have an electronic pelvic floor exercise devise as well as a manual pelvic floor toner recommended by my GP.. when is it safe to begin using these?
    I also want to build back up to running but I can’t find anything about how to progress to running. Would you suggest a progression similar to the walking one?
    Thank you

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Hi Ally

      You will need to wait to check with your specialist regarding his/her preference for when to commence using your exercisers and definitely not before your 6 week check up. Ally there are no guidelines on returning to running after hysterectomy and it’s something to be carefully considered in view of the potential increased risk of prolapse with high impact exercise after hysterectomy. Complete internal healing takes around 3 months so up until this time the most appropriate exercise is progressive walking and cycling when you are able to cycle again (one again up to surgeon’s discretion). You may like to read this article on interval walking too for after 6 weeks post op when you may be able to start to return towards fitness.

      All the best for your recovery
      Michelle