How to Avoid Side Effects of Hysterectomy – What Every Woman Should Know

side effects of a hysterectomy

Side Effects of Hysterectomy

Side effects of hysterectomy are often unexpected and can in some cases even delay hysterectomy recovery.

The following Physiotherapy information, exercises and techniques can help to avoid and overcome some commonly experienced side effects of a hysterectomy. This information applies to recovery from vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy.

Potential Side Effects of Hysterectomy

The side effects of hysterectomy include:

  • Constipation;
  • Gas pain and bloating;
  • Back pain;
  • Decreased fitness;
  • Weight gain;
  • Chest problems and difficulty coughing;
  • Decreased circulation;
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder;
  • Discomfort; and
  • Fatigue.

Constipation After Hysterectomy

Constipation is one of the common side effects of hysterectomy surgery. Using the following ‘Brace and Bulge’ bowel emptying technique will help you to empty your bowels and minimise the risk of straining:

  • Sit and lean forwards;
  • Rest  your hands or elbows on your knees to support your upper body;
  • Keep your back straight;
  • Make your waist wide and say “MOO”, your abdomen should bulge forwards at the same time (this opens up your anus to help you empty);
  • You may wish to support your vagina with some toilet paper or a pad in the early days following your surgery; and
  • Never strain to empty your bowels - straining can potentially injure your pelvic floor and strain your wound.

You can view this ‘Brace and Bulge’ bowel emptying video now to help overcome bowel movement problems.

Tips for constipation after a hysterectomy

  • Eat bowel-friendly foods after your surgery – especially those foods that usually help you to keep soft well formed bowel movements. Usually these are foods that are high in fibre and not heavily processed including: fruit and vegetables and whole wheat/multi grain products;
  • Drink adequate fluids – for most of us this means 1.5-2 litres of fluid per day;
  • Move regularly to help promote bowel movement;
  • Try a warm drink first thing in the morning and a short walk around the house;
  • Take your time to use your bowels, don’t rush;
  • When you feel an appropriate urge to empty, head to the toilet and don’t defer this urge;
  • Some specialists advise their patients to take mild laxative remedies during post-operative recovery, speak with your medical care giver for appropriate advice regarding laxative consumption after hysterectomy.

Wind Pain or Gas After Hysterectomy

Wind or gas pain after hysterectomy can be one of the most uncomfortable side effects of hysterectomy, especially when recovering from abdominal hysterectomy surgery. Wind pain usually settles for most women a couple of days after surgery.

Tips to alleviate gas after a hysterectomy:side effects of hysterectomy

  • Move around and change position regularly – avoid lying on one position without moving.
  • Warm packs on the abdomen (never placed over your wound).
  • Knee rolling exercise lying on your back and moving your knees together to one side of your body and then the other (avoid rolling too far to avoid straining your wound)
  • Consume warm drinks including peppermint tea.
  • Decrease your intake of wind producing foods – these are the cruciferous or green vegetables such as cabbage and beans, in addition to other foods you know that can give you wind. Dried fruits and prunes can cause gas in some women.

side effects of hysterectomyPelvic Floor Recovery is a must-read for all women seeking expert information to avoid and overcome side effects of hysterectomy by Australian Physiotherapist Sue Croft.

Back Pain After a Hysterectomy

Back pain after a hysterectomy is a common side effect. This can be due to the position your surgery is performed in (with your legs held up in the air while you are under anaesthetic). Other causes of back pain after hysterectomy include decreased movement, unfamiliar hospital bed or even the position you rest in after your surgery.

Tips to reduce back pain after hysterectomy:side effects of hysterectomy

  • Rest flat on your back with a pillow under your knees to decrease pressure on your back.
  • Alternatively lie on your side with a pillow between your knees to support your body.
  • Avoid spending too much time lying on the lounge – remember the cushions are probably soft and often provide little support for your spine.
  • Move in your bed (sliding alternate heels towards your bottom or small knee rolls from side to side with your knees together).
  • Taking regular short walks.

Decreased Strength and Fitness

It is almost inevitable that you will lose some strength and fitness during your recovery period. Regular appropriate walking exercise that is gradually progressed during your recovery will also help you to maintain some fitness and physical strength.

Walking after a hysterectomy

  • Ideally commence with short walks of around five minutes each;
  • Progress the duration of your walking gradually as your condition improves;
  • Follow the walking guidelines set down by your specialist;
  • Most women can increase the time they walk by about five minutes per week;
  • Take things slowly and don’t overdo it. If you feel uncomfortable after walking, you may have done too much and you may need to reduce how far and how fast you walk;
  • Walk slowly on flat surfaces wherever possible for the first six weeks; and
  • Wear quality support briefs to support your abdomen.

Please refer to Walking After a Hysterectomy Guidelines for more information about post operative walking.

As you recover you will gradually be able to increase the speed of your walking too, usually after the first six weeks of your hysterectomy recovery.

Fitness and strength exercises to promote hysterectomy recovery

If you intend to return to a fitness or strength training program when you have your specialist’s approval – you need to be very careful about the exercises you choose and the techniques you use in exercise classes and in the gym. There is evidence to suggest that women are at increased risk of vaginal prolapse after a hysterectomy.

For practical strength and fitness workout exercises and instructions for exercising safely and protecting your pelvic floor after hysterectomy surgery refer to Inside Out – the essential women’s guide to pelvic support (by Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist and Professor Judith Goh Urogynaecologist). This user friendly hand book is full of illustrations, exercises and techniques for fitness classes, gym programs, Pilates and Yoga classes and many more to help you return to exercise safely and with confidence.

Weight Gain After Hysterectomy

Weight gain after a hysterectomy is not an inevitable side effect of hysterectomy surgery…

Unfortunately with decreased mobility and being house bound after hysterectomy surgery, some women are inclined towards weight gain during their recovery. The key to maintaining your weight during hysterectomy recovery is a combination of eating sensible well balanced, low fat meals in addition to progressively increasing your general exercise walking program as you recover (see above). Choose foods that are high in fibre to minimise constipation and give you a sense of fullness in addition to protein to help your body repair and recover. Minimise processed foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates such as cakes, pastries and many take away foods.

After your six week check-up with your specialist you may be keen to commence some weight loss exercise and once again ensure that you are fully informed regarding the most appropriate exercises to help you manage your weight.  A goal of 0.5-0.9kg/week weight loss is safe and realistic for most women.

Fat burning exercises that place minimal pressure on the pelvic floor:

  • Stationary cycling  (recumbent cycle is ideal);
  • Walking;
  • Treadmill walking (flat not inclined);
  • Water walking;
  • Cross trainer; and
  • Low impact dancing.

High impact exercises to avoid after hysterectomy surgery:

  • Running/jogging;
  • Jumping;
  • Group fitness classes that involve running/jumping;
  • Netball/basketball; and
  • Competition tennis or squash.

Weight loss exercise after a hysterectomy also includes strength training exercises. Strength training can help you increase your lean muscle, decrease your fat and increase your strength and endurance after a hysterectomy. For detailed guidelines and strength training exercises designed for women after vaginal surgery refer to Inside Out – the essential women’s guide to pelvic support (by Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist and Professor Judith Goh Urogynaecologist).

Chest Problems After Hysterectomy

Deep Breathing Exercises After Hysterectomy

After a hysterectomy it can be difficult to breathe deeply and to clear your chest effectively. You can reduce the effects of the anaesthetic on your lungs and prevent chest problems by commencing your diaphragmatic breathing exercises as soon as you wake up after your operation. Try to aim for four to five deep breaths every hour. Breathe slowly and deeply into the base of your lungs, making your rib cage move outwards as you breathe in. This technique is demonstrated in your free hysterectomy recovery training video. Practice your deep breathing exercises regularly during the first six weeks of your hysterectomy recovery, especially when you are spending quite a bit of time lying down.

How to Cough After Hysterectomy

It can also be daunting to cough after a hysterectomy for fear of straining your stitches and pain, especially during recovery from abdominal hysterectomy. To reduce the pressure on your vaginal wound and your abdomen, sit rather than stand when you feel the need to cough. If you are recovering from a vaginal hysterectomy use your hand over your pad to support your vagina when your cough. If you have had an abdominal hysterectomy, use a pillow over your abdominal stitches to reduce the pressure on your wound and potential discomfort.

Circulation Problems

After a hysterectomy the circulation or blood flow in your legs is reduced. This can increase your risk of a blood clot in the deep veins in your legs — what is commonly known as a DVT (deep venous thrombosis). Simple calf muscle exercises will help you improve your lower leg circulation when you are recovering.  With your legs straight bend your ankles up and down ten times every hour, especially when you are resting and not walking. These exercises are also demonstrated in our hysterectomy recovery training video. Slide one heel at a time towards your bottom along the bed, bending your knee and then straighten your leg. Perform a couple of these heel slide exercises every hour.

Circulation Tip: Avoid crossing your legs, especially during the first six weeks of recovery from abdominal hysterectomy or vaginal hysterectomy. Crossing your legs decreases the blood flow in the veins of your legs, increasing the likelihood of a DVT (blot clot in the deep veins of the calf).

Pain or Discomfort When Moving

You are likely to feel more discomfort moving during recovery from abdominal hysterectomy than vaginal hysterectomy owing to your abdominal wound.

Technique to Minimise Pain Moving in Bed

To move in bed and minimise discomfort try to keep your head down on the pillow, slide your feet one at a time towards your buttocks and then lifting your bottom up off the bed. This technique uses your buttocks not your abdominal muscles and most women find that they can move easily in bed with minimal discomfort and also minimise downward strain on their vaginal wound. Try to avoid sitting up forwards using your abdominal muscles immediately after your hysterectomy as this uses your abdominal muscles and will increase downward pressure on your internal stitches and your pelvic floor.

Technique to Get Out of Bed After Hysterectomy

Most women are moved out of bed the first day following their hysterectomy surgery. If you can get out of bed using the following technique it will help you reduce the strain on your wound and descrease discomfort, you can also watch How to Get Out of Bed After Hysterectomy video now:

  • Bend your knees and slide each heel one at a time towards your bottom so both knees are bent.
  • Roll onto your side like a log, by bringing your arm across your body and keeping your knees together. Try to avoid twisting through your abdomen especially during recovery from abdominal hysterectomy.
  • Once you are on your side, push your body up sideways with your lower elbow and your upper arm as you lower your legs over the side of the bed.

Bladder Problems After a Hysterectomy

Using your bladder is not usually a major problem after hysterectomy surgery. Sometimes however the flow of urine can be slowed or even fully obstructed due to internal swelling and bruising from your surgery. Often a catheter (or thin tube) is used to drain your bladder and this is usually removed after the first day or two following your surgery according to your surgeon’s instructions.

How to promote bladder emptying after catheter removal:

  • Avoid drinking too much too quickly on the morning your catheter is removed.
  • Sit on the toilet and lean forward with your hands resting on your thighs.
  • Bulge your abdomen forward as you empty the bladder - never strain.
  • If you feel you have not emptied fully stand up, rotate your hips and then sit down and try again. This simple strategy can help you fully empty your bladder.

Watch How to Empty Bladder video now in our free video series.

Fatigue after Hysterectomy

One of the most commonly reported side effects of hysterectomy surgery in the post operative recovery period is fatigue. You will probably find that you become tired readily and this is usually the case over the first six weeks after a hysterectomy. Some women will already have low iron stores leading up to their surgery, further increasing their fatigue with small amounts of activity. If you remain fatigued following recovery, you may need to get your iron levels checked with a blood test.

Tips for overcoming fatigue after hysterectomy surgery:

  • Take the time to lie down, rest and recover every day, especially over the first six weeks
  • Sit rather than stand when you have the opportunity, especially over the first six weeks (this will also reduce the amount of pressure on your wound when compared to prolonged standing)
  • Eat regular balanced meals
  • Exercise in manageable intervals and amounts and rest after your exercise
  • Break up your tasks or activities into small manageable amounts
  • Return to activities gradually as you feel well enough
  • Try not to compare your rate of recovery to that of anyone else – many factors will determine your recovery time after a hysterectomy which takes a total of three months for full healing for most women
  • Don’t expect too much of yourself
  • Recruit the help of family members and friends – remember they can’t see your wound and they may not understand you tiring easily
  • Discuss your return to work plans with your employer – some women find that a graduated return to work helps them ease back into work
  • Most importantly listen to how your body feels - you are the best person to know whether you are doing too much and whether or not you need to take extra rest.

Sex after Hysterectomy

Sex after hysterectomy can be confronting for many women. This hysterectomy sex postoperative guide  teaches you how to avoid discomfort and pain with sex after hysterectomy and overcome problems related to sex and hysterectomy including vaginal dryness, pelvic pain, increased pelvic floor muscle tension or candida infection. Often both women and their partners share hysterectomy sex-related concerns.

Side Effects of Hysterectomy Summary

There are a many of potential side effects of hysterectomy surgery, and some women are caught off-guard by side effects they did not expect or could have prevented. The better you understand the potential side effects, then the better you can prepare for and manage side effects if they do arise. There is a great deal you can do to avoid or minimise unwanted physical side effects of hysterectomy surgery and improve your overall hysterectomy recovery.

Inside Out Book and DVD Saver PackABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michelle Kenway

Michelle Kenway is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and author of Inside Out – the Essential Women’s Guide to Pelvic Support. The Inside Out exercise DVD and book show women how to strengthen the pelvic floor and exercise safely after hysterectomy and prolapse surgery with pelvic floor safe exercises.

Comments

  1. You are totally awesome! This is the best information I have found yet! Thank you very much for coming up with this website. You are helping untold numbers of women, including myself. (Although I wish I had heard of you before my hysterectomy. I am 7-1/2 weeks out now and no one told me you can prolapse from a hysterectomy). I am going to pass your website on to my hospital and doctor here in the U.S.

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Nancy
      It seems that with pelvic surgery we can interefere with the normal support mechanisms for our pelvic organs including our bladder and uterus. This means that with decreased support these organs can fall down and prolapse. We see many ladies who have had past hysterectomy who then return years later for prolpase repair. I think it’s really important that women undertake safe, appropriate exercise for their pelvic floor after a hysterectomy and also make sure that their pelvic floor muscles are in the best possible shape too. I am so glad to hear this article has helped with your recovery Nancy!
      Michelle

  2. Thank you for the summary. I am in my second week of recovery and I was feeling fatigued and emotional . This information helped me understand what to expect and what to do to better understand and prepare myself for the weeks and months ahead. Thank you !!

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Marlene
      I am glad to hear this hysterectomy information has been helpful for you. I think that hysterectomy is such a common place operation these days that sometimes we forget that there can be an enormous amount of emotion and at times social isolation after the surgery that others just don’t always recognise. Our uterus is tied up with strong emotions from childbirth, mothering, nurturing and even femininity and to lose this can be very upsetting at a deep level for some women. Also the fact that a hysterectomy is a surgical procedure which can leave you feeling very fatigued all combines to making this an emotionally demanding time for many. I wish you a speedy recovery to good health and wellbeing Marlene. Michelle

  3. I found your web site through a search on Youtube, and am very happy to discover such helpful information. Three weeks ago I had a vaginal hysterectomy and vaginal vault suspension; I had a grade 4 uterine prolapse, cystocele, & rectocele – at age 53. The surgery lasted four hours, and aferwards I felt like an elephant had trodden on me. The pain, fatigue, and emotions have been an experience not to be repeated! Your information was particularly helpful about how soon I could return to my karate school and all the exercises involved. I see now how important it is to support my pelvic floor during this recovery time. Thank you from Michigan, USA!

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Catherine
      Yes I agree with you completely the prolapse surgery is physically and emotionally demanding and often not discussed nearly enough amongst women to help other women. I am so glad the videos have helped you. Good luck with your recovery and wellness for the future! Michelle

  4. This information has been awesome! I just made a week after my abodominal hysterectomy and honestly, it’s had a few bumps but none that I hadn’t been prepared for. It’s also important for women to do some type of daily devotional for mental strength training. I’ve had a few meltdowns this week and still have a little anxiety regarding just “hanging around” for the weeks ahead. I’ll definitely be utilizing these exercises as I’ve already been getting 3-4 walks throughout the house a day. Best of wishes to us all as we take on this new milestone of womanhood!

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Emily
      Yes the mental and emotional part of healing from gynae surgery such as hysterectomy is in my mind just as important as the physical side for many women. It is interesting some women sail through without a second thought and others feel deep emotions before and after the surgery. There is no right or wrong approach, every woman is different and every woman will have a different emotional response after pelvic surgery. I think you are correct in devoting time to your emotional wellbeing. Stay in the moment, know that you will get well again and this may help with your anxiety. Looking foward can create anxiety, stay in the moment and take your recovery slow and steady. Wishing you wellness, health and happiness. Michelle

  5. I’m a P.T. student from K.S.A , I have a presentation about “the role of P.T. in hysterectomy” next week and this website is so so helpful for me, thank u so much , I hope that our Prof. like the presentation and give me a full mark :D
    :) regards for all workers on this website <3

  6. Thanks so much for your site. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy (ovaries, tubes, uterus and cervix) 3 weeks ago and was completely depressed by the notion that I would be essentially housebound and helpless for as much as 6 weeks — I’m a registered nurse in an intensive care unit at the local hospital, and not used to sitting around staring at the walls. By watching your videos and reading your site, I have kept a reasonable level of activity, and my doctor says I am at the ‘top of the curve’ when it comes to my recovery. Thanks so, so much for telling me what I COULD do, instead of what I COULDN’T!!

    • Pelvic Exercises says:

      Hi Mona Thank you for your comments. Yes I understand what you have been through with your TAH, it’s such a difficult time and underrated in my mind from what I see women endure afterwards. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me this feedback. It really helps me to keep motivated to help women like you who are helping so many others in your important work when I can do something to help your recovery. Best wishes for a health recovery Michelle

  7. Heather says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I have found your website and videos very encouraging . My abdominal binder arrived today and I have been wearing it and it certainly has given me a sense of support especially when walking. I am 3 weeks post op and I wish I had found the site a little earlier. I like information about the progressive introduction of exercise and I feel that today was a good day, having got out of the house and managed a walk with purpose( a coffee at the half way mark). Thanks heaps.

    • My pleasure Heather, I am so glad to have helped you with your recovery. Enjoy your walks and your coffee! Wishing you a speedy recovery!
      Michelle

  8. It distresses me to visit medical websites such as Mayo and find NOTHING about fatigue or the fact that full healing takes THREE months. I’ve been beating myself up and/or wondering if something else was wrong with me. Thanks for your straightforward, organized and helpful presentation! Women usually know what women need…

  9. I have just found out that I have to have a hysterectomy and it has come as a total shock to me. I have always kept active and healthy but nevertheless, have a prolapse. The advice and comments on your website have really helped to put everthing into perspective. I now know what to expect and how to best recover with appropriate exercise and care. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Sally

      Yes I agree it is very confronting at times to be told you require a hysterectomy and or prolapse surgery. It’s all so intertwined with many emotional female factors too.

      Thank you so much for your kind feedback and wishing you the best for your surgery and recovery.

      Michelle

  10. hi, i am really scared ! i have a prolapse and am going into hospital on 19 nov 2011 for a hysterectomy .. dont know what else to say .. . julie

  11. Hi, I'm day 5 of a vaginal hysterectomy with posterior and anterior repairs.  Like others this came as a shock but was brought on by a massive weight loss which caused a prolapse and damage to my bowel / bladder.  Two days after surgery, I also had a severe urinary infection and needed anti-biotics.  All I can say that it is uncomfortable, you need to be careful, you'll feel emtoional for no reason at all, you may lose your appetite, feel bloated but it will pass. I have had good / bad days and know there is a long journey ahead but it's really not as bas as I imagined it would be, even the pain.  It's too early to say how it will end but I am positive that I made the right decision so please don't be scared.   

  12. Hi. It's 3wks after my total abdominal hysterectomy  as a result of a massive ovarian cyst which turned out to be grade 1a ovarian cancer. I wish to tell others facing a complete abdominal hysterectomy not to be scared of the op as its not as painful as you might expect. I had good pain management of drugs in hospital and on my return home. I do feel very tired and sore inside my tummy but am now managing to go short walks daily. My only concern is that after 3wks I still feel a little discomfort passing water and my bowel has not yet returned to normal, but then I haven't been told how long recovery time will be for this problem.

    • Bowel problems after hysterectomy

      Hi Lynda

      Thanks for your comments and question.

      First and foremost check with your surgeon regarding any ongoing post operative bladder/bowel discomfort. He/she should also be able to advise you when this will cease, espcially in view of your particula surgery. The surgery may have been more extensive than a standard hysterectomy and your surgeon is the best person to speak to.

      Women sometimes describe some discomfort with bowel movements after a standard hysterectomy which usually settles down over the first six weeks post op.

      It can be helpful to keep your bowel motions well formed, yet soft. Softer bowel motions can be a little more comfortable to pass post hysterectomy. This can be achieved with foods such as:
      Vegetables
      -Fruit, especially stone fruit
      -Bran and fibre rich cereals in moderation (too much can have the reverse effect)
      -Some fibre supplements

      Some Australian doctors routinely place their patients on medication post hysterectomy to keep their bowels regular and avoid straining, particularly during the first 6 weeks. I am not sure whether this is the case world wide.

      You may also be interested in “How to move your bowels” our free online video.

      All the best for your recovery Lynda and a speedy return to good health.

      Michelle

  13. hi, imruby i had my hysterctomy last nov.8,2011 my operation was good but two days after hospital discharge i experienced palpitations, my OB said it could be my thyroid so i had it checked and the result is normal.  I went to a cardiologist who also said that ia don't have a heart problem.by the way my ovaries were left intact.it"s been 6 weeks now and i still have this problem.  i was given propanolol by my cardio seems to help but stil i am not convinced that this is the exact answer to my problem.my Ob said that probably this is just "stress". Please I need help is thre anyone who had experienced the same thing????hve you foud the answer???what meds did you take??

    • Hi Ruby
      Heart palpitations after hysterectomy or any surgery is a medical issue that you should discuss with your general practitioner as a matter of priority and further referral to a cardiologist obtained if he/she deems this appropriate. It is never normal to experience heart problems such as palpitations post operatively.
      Kind regards
      Michelle

    • my palpitations started in earnest after menopause, about age 52. I was diagnosed with SVT. This is a condition which is EXTREMELY hard to diagnose since you have to have an episode and be hooked up to an EKG. I was original put on several different meds, and I would not advise Digoxin since I had a bad side effect after three years on it. See a cardiologist and insist on a monitor you wear for a month.
      I’ve basically had this condition since my 20′s just never knew what it was.

  14. This site has been a great help. I had a TLH six weeks ago. I am still very tired, and experiencing some pain in my thighs and lower back.  I also have had more headaches – migraines since the surgery. I have my overies, everything else removed.  The doctor said I am not allowed to go back to work yet will have follow up in two weeks. Just wondering if it is normal to still be off and still sooo tired?

    • Post hysterectomy fatigue

      Hi Roni

      Excessive post operative faigue and feeling unwell is something that your doctor needs to assess – there are indeed many possible reasons for postoperative fatigue.

      Fatigue is one of the very common side effects of a hysterectomy, Some women report feeling unusually tired for the first 6 weeks and even longer. The body is recovering from major surgery and often associated blood loss particularly if periods have been heavy preceeding hysterectomy. Women heal and recover at different rates so your rate of recovery may not necessarily match that of others known to you.

      The main thing is that you get medically assessed on an individual level and all being well, promote your recovery with rest, appropriate graduated exercise and good dietary intake.

      Wishing you well with your recovery, Michelle.

  15. Hi Michelle
     
    After finding myself extremely bored yesterday, and because I'm feeling more human (had a total vaginal assisted hysterectomy 25.01.12), I decided to get my act together and surf the net to find out more information on the best time to resume exercise e.g. squash.  I've been given the usual info about not doing anything for 6 weeks, but was horrified to read on your site that strenuous exercise shouldn't be resumed for 3 months.  Well that blew my bladder repair recovery time (kato sling procedure done about 10 years ago) out the window as I went back to competition squash and netball 6 weeks after surgery.  WHOOPS!
     
    A few years ago I over did things with squash and boot camp (yes I'm an adrenalin junkie) and managed to hurt my back, which was far worse than child birth let me tell you. CT showed that I'd prolapsed a disc which was pressing on a nerve (also showed 2 old prolapses).  Anyway, to cut a long story short I did pool walking and eventually yoga to rehab my back.  I haven't done yoga for a while now as I tend to take up my time playing squash 3-4 times a week (more if I can get a leave pass from home).  Just love those endorphins!
     
    Now that I've bored you silly and given you a bit of a medical background, I was wondering whether I could pick you brain about Bikram yoga, which I discovered just before Christmas.  If your into exercise and haven't tried it before, give it a go, it's awesome.  I know when I receive your book it will outline what is good and what isn't, but would it be possible for you to have a quick look at the different poses that are done in Bikram and let me know which, if any, I should avoid indefinitely.  Also, is a single situp done between each pose in the mat phase okay to do or should I skip this?
     
    As you may have gathered I love to exercise, and at 43 I still have a lot of years in me yet, but I'm very conscious (now that I have a few more facts) of the need to look after my insides and all those lovely bits that like to drop, so any information you can give me would be fantastic.
     
    Last but not least, I must say that I was very disappointed at the amount of information my gynaecologist gave me with regards to post operative information, it was just lucky that I have had previous repairs done to fill in the gaps.  I do, however, work as a medical receptionist so perhaps he thought this sort of information would be more accessible to me than the average person, who knows!  So, I was wondering whether it would be possible for me to pass your details e.g. website, name of book etc to the doctors I work/ed with, as well as my gynaecologist (who is absolutely gorgeous I might add)?  Do you have a leaflet of some sort that I can give to them so that patients can get access to "all the information" on post operative recovery?
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Karen.

  16. I am due to go in for a hysterectomy as they have found a cyst on my overy they said I would be getting a full one I’m trying to educate myself for the aftercare however I don’t know where I can get the abdonmal belt can for support can u advise please I have found this site fab and will keep using it for reference xxx

  17. priya nugara says:

    I 1ill be 53 in april 2012 and I am thinking of having a hysterectomy done because of the severe pain i have during periods. I also have fibromyalgia so the pain and fatigue is extreme. I also have a surger for stress incontinence and vaginal prolapse surger so i was thinking of doing the hysterectomy too. But after reading the side effects etc., i am scared to have the hysterectomy done. Pls give me some advice whether i should or not. I am very scared of any kind of surgeries, i have undergone a surgery in my whole life. Pls. help. thanks.

    • Is hysterectomy right for me?

      Hi Priya

      Your medical specialist is the best person to give you advice regarding whether or not to have a hysterectomy. In the case of electing to have a hysterectomy you are wise to be as best informed as you can before making your decision. Remember that articles such as this one list many possible side effects that can occur after a hysterectomy. In no way does this mean that all women suffer all these side effects. In fact some women experience minimal side effects post operatively. Post operative recovery and possible side effects will vary from woman to woman according to many factors.

      So in your case what can be said is to become as informed as possible so that you can weigh up the long-term benefits for your health and well being against any potential risks or side effects. You can also take action in many cases to avoid some of the more common side effects. Your surgeon is the best person to assist you in doing so as he/she will understand your individual circumstances.

      Regards
      Michelle

  18. Just had surgery on the 12th and went back to hospital on19th with kidney infection. I'm still on antibiotics and started having pains in my right side again. I have felt miserable for weeks have cold or bronchitis from hospital too.  Not happy. 

  19. Had a laproscopic vaginal assisted procedure to remove uterus and ovaries 4 weeks ago.  I felt fantastic after a week.  I began walking day one.  At day 13 I did a long walk and felt great, repeated that the next day and the day after feeling great.  The next day I was not feeling so well, the following day the same, the next day I awoke to cramping and vaginal bleeding.  Needless to say I was scared and couldn't believe my eyes.  Off my feet for a day took care of the problem.  Went back to work on days 28 and 29 part time (a few hours each day) and now know why they give you a full 6 week period to recover.  I am very sore and had a small amount of spotting.  Needless to say I will be riding out the next week and half and wlll not return to work until that period of time is complete.  My suggestion to anyone is TAKE THE TIME GIVEN FOR RECOVERY.  THERE ARE GOOD REASONS FOR IT.  I have done nothing other than walk and two short work days but now have no choice but to SLOW DOWN.  Slow and steady wins the race.  There is no place for competition in recovery or pushing to get better.  Not with this type of procedure. 

  20. I'm having trouble with smells and tastes really bad.  I'm now in my third week of recovery from a complete abdominal hysterectomy and I have no idea where this comes from.  I can't stand to smell certain foods cooking and I can no longer drink coffee.  If I smell something cooking that doesn't agree I have to run outside just to beathe and escape the odor.  I smell alot of chemical smells that I have no idea where this is coming from.  I can't eat anything sweet as it really makes me nauseas.  Please help!!!   What is going on? 

    • Hi Rosanna
      You need to speak to your doctor about the issue of altered smell and taste after abdominal hysterectomy. Some women do feel unwell with the antibiotic medication presrcibed post operatively, and this can cause nausea. This is by no means the cause in your situation, you are best advised to phone your specilaist or seek an appointment with your regular medical practitioner. I am most interested to hear the cause if you care to reply back.
      Regards
      Michelle

    • Christine says:

      Hi Rosanna,
      I am 4 weeks post op from full abdominal hysterectomy (they had to take everything). My husband came to visit on day 3 and had coffee with him. I had to ask him to take it outside as I felt immediate nausea and I still have not been able to drink coffee. This happened to me every time I was pregnant so I am assuming it is hormonal due to being plunged into menopause. Some other odors  affect me but not as much as coffee. I will be asking my gynocologist at my check up in a few weeks. Good luck with your recovery.

  21. I had a full hysterectomy over a year ago. I had vaginal w/the microscopic cuts in stomach. I was 54 yrs old & after being examined I was told it might be difficult to perform vaginally just so I was aware. Both Drs explained most women my age everything has dropped which does make it easier to get to. Nothing had dropped inside me from what they said and also I am very small inside. I was told if all went well I would be in hospital for a day or so & then a few weeks I would feel really totally back to normal. The surgery was performed & I was in my room late afternoon. I did not want pain meds. Later that evening I asked for something not narcotic. I was given something like Aleve. Then next morning I was ready to go. Removed IV, cath, etc. and I got dressed & walked around the floor & then went downstairs & outside walk'g around. My Dr. said she would discharge me but she told me I could not life over like 5#'s, no pull'g, stretch'g or over doing. She said, I know you so you have to be good & listen to me, O.K.? Went home got some good rest and took it slow & felt fine. I followed orders  – - for awhile. I did do things 1st some weeding & felt O.K. so I decided since it was the last wks b4 my return ck-up to lift restrictions I was all right to lift them myself now. I was pulling a heavy machine arm which includes sort of stretching. I did this one day for hours employee didn't come in & I had big order to get out so I did the physical work. My back started to hurt but I kept work'g wanting to finish this order due out. When I finished I knew I had done too much & by that time I was in real pain. I went home, took Advil & went to bed. My back was really hurting. During the night it seemed to get worse & pain carried into the next day. I was scared at that point thinking I did some real damage. I stayed in bed taking Advil & hurting for the weekend. I want to mention here I have a very high tolerance to pain so when I say I'm in pain I am in real bad pain. Also I don't take any pain med's unless I have to. I have taken them right after operations but never do I want any prescriptions going home. I walked around with a smashed/broken ankle for 3 days. My husband took me to emergency room – OK I went. Dr looked at it said, it's not broke but we'll take x-ray. He came back & said, lady how are you walk'g on that? Wrote a lot here but wanted to make clear my pain tolerance.  Anyway, went to my Dr. and she said after exam I did not do damage. My back was inflamed. The pain in my back in at the end of my spine. I had back labor & afterwards would always get this same horrible back pain a day or so b4 period. Very intense dull pain. This is the same pain. Since this time it has cont'd. I thought well I'll be careful try not to do too much physcial work. And probably from gaining all this weight thru menopause. It didn't seem to get any better & I couldn't ignore it anymore. I went to family Dr here & to physcial theropist a bunch of times – did the excersizes but doesn't help. It has cont'd to get worse along with pain in legs. Finally I just couldn't take this pain any more I called the Drs I had were surgery was done. Spoke with RN & she said, it has nothing to do with the operation you need to go to pain management. I said, listen – yes it does . . . She then said well you may have a problem with whatever falling – you know what I mean. I said, I don't think so. I have no trouble or any of the signs or symtoms of any of that. And if I did I would go to the Drs who use alternative methods to avoid surgery. They have gotten a lot of attention because their methods are wk'g & avoiding surgery & mesh. The Dr who actually did the surgery is no longer at that location I do know where she is & considered contact'g her. Then I was told about Dr who left this facility & went on her own to practise somethg called I think functional medicine. It's very expensive & have to pay out-of-pocket which is no problem but. For a consultation it's $475.00 without really disclosing what happens after. So here I am suffering from this back pain that just will not go away & b4 sitting down taking frequent breaks would go away but now that does not work & taking high doses of Advil & lay'g down if I don't take breaks fast enough I am in pain for hours & it doesn't seem to help at all. I'm totally frustrated here. I have excellent medical insurance & I'm not wealthy but I can pay a fair amount out-of-pocket I just want to know what to do. I live in a very rural area so the surgery I went to Dartmouth Hitchcock in N.H. I am a little over an hour from Boston Medical Ctr. Harvard Medical near there. Can you help me, suggest what and/or which directions I should go in? Suggestions for resolving this. Also any books, information to read to enlighten/educate myself more. I searched on-line & there are 100's of woman suffering from the same lower back pain (end of spine) who had hysterectomy. None of the many postings I read did any of these women find help. A large percentage were told it had nothing to do with the hysterectomy.

  22. This website is really informative It’s 5 weeks now since I did my surgery this is a world of Imformation I wish I had took the time out to do my research, this website would have been a plus but anyhow I’m glad I find It now I’ts like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow thanks to the person or people who put all this Info together It’s well appreciated us women tks!

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Thanks Emma, hopefully now that you bare well on the road to recovery some of the safe return to exercise info may come in handy too
      Wishing you well,
      Michelle

  23. Its been 9 days since my hysterectomy due to a prolapse womb and period problems. Felt really good for the first 7 days and had been doing a slow exercise on my air walker. Now it feels like something inside my Virginia has prolapsed. Is this possible? Or is it the stitches making it seem like this? I have had no other problems apart from wind and passing stools which is still painful.
    Could it be that I am imaging this or should I contact my surgeon?

    Look forward to your rely.
    Regards
    Joanne

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Joanne
      With any unusual post op change after a hysterectomy it is best to contact your surgeon for a review.
      Best of luck
      Michelle

  24. had my hysterectomy 1st nov going back to work tomorrw i do 2 jobs a couple of days ago i did some shopping in the village time i got home i was in pain in my stomach it was one of those days where no one is around to help you pains eased of quite a bit now but still niggley and have back ache could it be serious

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Sheila
      What you descibe is not unusual – some women feel a bit of discomfort when they first return to a bit more activity than usual, and this usually eases up after rest. If you are concerned, if your physical discomfort persists or if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding then you should contact your surgeon for a review. Remember that post op. hysterectomy it actually takes 3 months for the internal wound to fully heal, and sometimes even though you feel (and look) OK, this can be a little deceiving so take things easy during your recovery, especially during the first 6-8 weeks post op. and return to activity gradually.
      Best of luck
      Michelle

  25. Deb Commons says:

    Just want to say what a fantastic and helpful site this is, i’m so glad i found it. I had a TAH a week ago for removal of a large fibroid. I am i think recovering okay, but feeling a little overwhelmed. I am amazed at how little i was told about what to expect after surgery, like others on this site, I didn’t realise it would take at least 3 months to recover. Anyway, thanks to you i am ending my Fernwood membership & will go to local indoor pool (after 6 weeks) to swim & participate in water aerobics.
    Wishing everyone who undergone this procedure safe & speedy recoveries, lets all just take it easy, again Thank You, Deb

  26. I’ve just started looking at your website and have watched one of your videos on pelvic exercise (which I found on YouTube).

    I had a total laparoscopic hysterectomy (I have kept my ovaries) 5 weeks ago. I wish I knew about this website then! I have had antibiotics for a UTI (as I went to the doctor because I’m suffering incontinence). Unfortunately the incontinence hasn’t gone away (but apparently the UTI has) which is when I started looking for pelvic exercises. It’s made me emotional, but I’m hoping the incontinence isn’t permanent!

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Rachel
      Some women do have problems with their bladder control after a hysterectomy, and yes a UTI doesn’t help things either! If your specialist has given you the go ahead to start pelvic exercises, then they can really help with post op. incontinence.

      The key is to start with very gentle contraction and relaxation, usually lying down is a good position and progress your pelvic exercises gradually in terms of how long the exercises are held and how many exercises are performed. It’s also a good idea to make sure that there is a good rest between each exercise (up to 45 seconds) and that they are always pain free. Sometimes ladies overdo things by doing too much too soon – this is an important time to listen to your body and progress accordingly. This video on pelvic floor exercises after surgery may also help you.
      Hope things go well for you Rachel
      Michelle

  27. Janie Beckhouse says:

    Hi Michelle
    Thank you for providing the comprehensive information I required post vaginal hysterectomy & anterior repair 21.01.2013. Having never really mastered the ‘long holds’ with pelvic floor exercises I found your video very helpful and now feel it is something I can build up to. Also I was reasonably fit before surgery using the cross trainer daily for 30mins & weights, sit ups etc about 3 times a week. I have been walking a little further each day for about 10 mins at a time without discomfort. I will discuss with my surgeon but would you think that it is safe to get back on the cross trainer 2 weeks post op?

    My main issue now I think is back pain due to inactivity. Thanks again for your excellent site

    Cheers Janie

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Janie
      Yes best to discuss with your surgeon about return to cross trainer – he/she may have specific reasons for you waiting until after your 6 week check up. Thanks so much for your positive feedback – glad to be able to help!
      Michelle

  28. Hi Michaell. Thanks for your help.
    3 months ago I had a hysterectomy because my uterus was large, had fibroids and pelvic congestion, wanted to ask if you can recommend some exercises for the pelvic floor, my urologist told me I could do kegel exercises but I read they were not safe, that it could make the problem worse because I have Pelvic floor problems, I had it before surgery but was never diagnosed, because the symptoms I had I did some research and the internet. now I still have symptoms and would not want any prolapse in the future because the symptoms have increased, can please you advise me what exercise to do until I can visit my Dr because I’m abroad and I have no insurance, thanks. Also is there any natural supplement that can help ? such as omega 3, primrose oil, collagen or glucosamine.

    Thank you very much

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Erika
      If your Urologist has given you approval to go ahead with Kegel exercises, then this video may help you with commence with Kegel exercises slowly and gently after surgery. The exercises should not cause you any discomfort during or after your exercise session.

      I hope this gives you some idea of how to go about your exercises, if not see if you can contact a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist for assistance.
      Kindest regards
      Michelle

  29. What about coughing/sneezing after prolapse surgery and a vaginal hysterectomy? What is the best way to do these safely?
    Thanks,
    Anita
    p.s. your book is great and I would like to watch your videos while I am healing but I can,t seem to get them on my kindle,any suggestions?

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Anita
      Good question! I have 4 suggestions for sneeze/cough after prolapse surgery or hysterectomy:
      1. Manually support (use your hand over your briefs to support your pelvic floor)
      2. Use ‘The Knack’ with every cough or sneeze during recovery and beyond. Here’s the video on how to get The Knack – excellent technique for preventing descent of the pelvic floor for prolapse
      3. Keep your cough or sneeze small, try not to vocalise too loudly and when sneezing try to keep your toungue against your palette and make the sound ‘id’ rather than ‘ah’ choo – sounds crazy but it works a treat
      4. Take regular medications that help you avoid or control these problems, if prone to hayfever have your antihistamines at the ready, if you are prone to ches problems or develop a cough get a cough suppressant post-op. The last thing you need to be doing is uncontrolled coughing after surgery – coughing is important for chest clearance however when it becomes spasmodic it it problematic for the pelvic floor.

      My videos should show on an ipad for easier viewing during recovery. I need to put some thought into this – thanks for prompting me to think about this issue.
      Best of luck
      Michelle

      Best of luck!
      Michelle

  30. Michelle, what would I do without you? Your advice and suggestions have helped me so much. I am 3 days out of a laproscopic vaginal hysterectomy and as much as my gyno is a lovely and caring man his post op exercise/ movement advise was virtually nil. There was also no physio advise at the hospital, not even how to get out of bed properly. So many women must be suffering unnecessarily and having prolonged recovery time because of lack of information. I will heed your advice and plan to make the best recovery possible. Thank you very very much.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Leanne
      Thanks so much for taking the time to send this feedback, especially when you are not feeling well.
      Best wishes for your recovery
      Michelle

  31. 6 weeks after my hysterectomy and still have Swelly Belly.How can I avoid this or how can I manage it?. Anyone else having this trouble

  32. Please help!! I am 4weeks post op , I had a vaginal hysterectomy due to having endometrial cancer. I have been on iron tablets since I came out of hospital and For the last 10 days I have suffered terribly from constipation and now severe cramps from wind I have tried different medication however it seems to be getting worse rather than better , what should I do? ? Has anyone else suffer ed to this extreme .. this is worse than the initial pain after the operation !!!

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Lesley
      Constipation is a very commonly experienced side effect after hysterectomy so you are not alone. Many factors cause this including: effects of anaesthetic, decreased movement post op, pain relieving medications containing codeine. First contact your specialist’s rooms and seek an appointment or recommendation for appropriate medication. Some Australian gynaecologists recommend osmotic laxatives for the first 6 weeks post-op. but this can vary so speak with your doctor. This article on constipation and prolapse includes principles to manage constipation and applies to post op. hysterctomy too https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/constipation-and-prolapse/

      I hope this helps you a little Lesley, wishing you all the best
      Michelle

  33. Thank you for your wonderful website and information! I’m 10 weeks post TLH and still have spotting whenever I empty my bladder or bowels. I’ve had two silver nitrate treatments and almost done with 2nd round of antibiotics. Another follow up appointment tomorrow. Is this bleeding part of the normal recovery process with antibiotics? Does my body just need more time to heal? Should I get another opinion? I don’t have diabetes or anemia. I have taken it very slow with exercise.
    Thank you!!

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Rose
      Unexplained post-op bleeding needs to be reviewed by your gynaecologist, from what you say it sounds as though you have been back for review. Some post op bleeding after hysterectomy is normal but this is usually scant and usually decreases and stops during the first 4-6 weeks recovery. Concern can be related to the colour of bleeding also – bright red can indicate fresh bleeding which should be investigated. If you are still bleeding at 10 weeks post op. then speak with your gynaecologist.
      Best of luck
      Michelle

  34. hi thanks for everything. do we continue to live with hysterectomy side effects (after 3 years)

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Kensie
      I think it depends on the side effects and if they were related to early menopause with the case of removal of ovaries and womb. The immediate short term side effects should really abate within 3 months. It would be worth seeking medical investigation for onging problems.
      Best of luck
      Michelle

  35. Hello I’m 6 days post op abdominal hysterectomy (Fallopian tubes, uterus and cervix) just thought I would share my experience so far!
    Day1 operation 2pm back to my room 5pm woke out of recovery in excruciating pain so I was given tramadol through my bung took a while to kick in. I had my own pethadiene pump for the first 12 hours + tramadol and panadol. Didn’t sleep well very uncomfortable.
    Day2 Catherter still in and rather dark with alot of blood in it! tramadol, panadol 4 hourly still in a fare bit of pain!
    Day 3 still in a lot of pain and doctor came into access me and realised I’ve had a rare but not common reaction to tramadol so I change to voltaren and panadol I also suffer from fibromyalgia which really slowed my recovery process down!
    Day 4 still had a catheter in feeling ill and a bad case of dioreah (thanks to the drugs) they decide to change me to nurofen and panadol 4 hourly and I’ve started feeling good.
    Day 5 discharged from hospital still with the catheter in still having trouble sleeping due to being so uncomfortable but slowly getting there.
    Day 6 still have the catheter in :( feeling my muscles and nerves doing there thing and mending its a strange feeling still finding it very difficult to get in and out of bed/recliner chair finding it really hard to stand up straight still have a small amount brounish colour discharge (like the last part of a period) with a slight strange smell!! bored out of my brain. Luckily my Bowles have been fine since the dioreah attack sneezing and coughing is the scariest thing!!!!!!

  36. Hi
    You have *got* to get this site and its associated videos to the nursing staff and hospitals around Australia. It is by far the most comprehensive yet simple to navigate site I have seen. I am relatively young and very early post op but clear headed enough to worry and question my decisions pre and post hysto. This guide reminded me succinctly to take it one day at a time and that every movement counts towards recovery and control. Thank you.

  37. I just wanted to say thank you so much for your site and the clear information you give. It was far more detailed than what I received from my doctor. I also want to thank the women who shared their experiences, it helps to know what people experience. I had a hysterectomy 2 weeks ago and I feel okay for the most part. Trying not to overdo things when you feel okay is part of the challenge, but after reading the comments of some of the ladies and you, and know it takes 3 months to really heal and to give myself that time.
    Thanks

  38. Hi Michelle
    Thank you for your valuable help on this website. It is really excellent and so informative. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy about 10 weeks ago. I am doing as best I can but find that I have gone into total menopause immediately after the surgery and cannot have HRT due to family medical history. I have all the usual symptoms, hot flushes, panics, etc., etc., but the worst is that I absolutely cannot sleep, not even for just an hour or so, and at this stage I have had to resort to taking sleeping tablets at night. Can you recommend any more natural treatment or aids to help sleep. Thanks

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Kate
      It sounds as though you are having a awful time! You make mention of family history precluding the use of HRT which makes me think you need to be very careful with what you do use in terms of natural remedies as some natural remedies do influence hormones so be guided by your doctor on this and avoid taking anything you have not receieved medical advice about.

      Have you thought to try any mindfulness training/relaxation – there are many great relaxation CD’s available. There are also meditation and relaxation classes available in many places that teach breathing strategies for panic attacks, overall body relaxtion and body awareness. I wish I could help you more here Kate – this is one for your doctor.
      Best of luck
      Michelle

  39. I really need help. I had TAH in September 2013. It’s already more than 3 months since my operation but I still have discharge everyday from dark brown to very light yellow then turns bright red once in a while. My doctor said it’s because of granulation tissue and undissolved sutures so in December 2013, I underwent electrocauterization of granuloma to resolve this problem. My discharge was already becoming whitish but then suddenly it became bright red again on December 21 and slowly turning brown as days went by. To make things worse, I have dry cough for a few days now and every time I cough, there is dark brown vaginal discharge. Please help me. It’ Sunday today I cant go to my OB.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Mylene
      This is an issue for your doctor to asses and treat, I sincerely hope everything turns out well for you soon
      Michelle

  40. Wish I’d seen this site before my op, vaginal hysterectomy & prolapse repairs. This was 6 weeks ago and I’ve been feeling very tired, sleeping badly and have had a yellow discharge and now after everything in the toilet department being ok, I have got a really bad pain when going for a wee (not burning) and I’m constipated. I had a spinal block for my op and even after asking the theatre nurse, the anesthetist and the surgeon to put me to sleep they still did it this way, worst experience ever!

  41. Hi Michelle
    I just had a robotic radical hysterectomy on January 20 I haven’t had much pain but I do fill alot of gas I don’t no if this is normal. I have a little tube on my right side that drains liquid and I also came home with a catheter they get removed in 2 days.I have a question what foods should I stay away from while I am in recovery and how long will it be before I am able to have intercourse with my husband again.?

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Dora
      Many women do have alot of trouble with gas after hysterectomy so this is not uncommon however if you are concerned phone your doctor. This article about gas after hysterectomy teaches you about the foods and drinks to avoid and other techniques for managing gas after hysterectomy I hope this helps you out.

      For most women intercourse is permitted around 6-8 weeks after hysterectomy however this can vary according to the procedure, overall recovery and your doctor’s preferences. Best to wait until your posterative check up at 6 weeks and ask your surgeon then to know exactly when it is safe for you.

      Wishing you all the best
      Michelle

  42. Love the mini videos on your amazing website. But I can’t see anything about enjoying sex after hysterectomy. What I mean is that I am (enjoying sex) but am now concerned whether this also may be doing potential damage. I know most of what you say relates to downward pressure. But what about upward pressure!?
    Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Milly

      Thanks so much for your question, I actually had to look to find this myself! This Hysterectomy Sex Postoperative Guide should give you the information you are looking for. I will make it more easily found on the site now – thank you for prompting me to do so.

      Let me know if you have any further questions
      All th best
      Michelle

  43. Lucille Benoit says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Like many here, I am grateful to have found you site. I am 3.5 weeks post surgery. Complete hysterectomy was done to remove a large cyst which had taken over my girl parts :)

    My recovery has been amazing and I continue to be grateful to my body. I was released from hospital after two days and have had minimal issues with pain. At this point I am off all pain meds.

    Last evening, just before bed, I experienced sharp pain on the left side of my abdomen. I was worried that suddenly something was wrong. I remembered that I had been stretching a bit to fix a slide door that had come off its track. The pain has subsided this am and I am thinking that I likely over stretched which caused the pain. Is this possible?

    I am not used to asking for help, but this I believe is a reminder that my body is still very much in the healing stage and I need to respect it.

    Lucille

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Lucille

      I hope you are doing well – stretching too far through the abdomen during recovery after hysterectomy can cause discomfort. The first 6 weeks post op are really a time for maximum protection to promote internal healing and then another 6 weeks for most women for full healing. It is always wise to check any unexplained post hysterectomy discomfort with your surgeon.

      All the best for your recovery
      Michelle

  44. Like most here on this site I am glad I found it. Had TAH on the 4th of March. Don’t have health insurance so avoid the ridiculous waiting list paid for it. Due to cost involved my hospital stay was only 3 days which I felt could have done with a day or two more. Being home is good but you tend to do more than you should and I guess like Michelle has said previously that because no one can see your wound and from your general appearance that you look well people assume you could or should do more.
    My problem is that I need to go back to work on the 24th of March which is only 3 weeks after surgery. Feeling uneasy about it as I am still quite sore especially around my wound and not to mention my back is still giving me trouble.
    I will try to take it easy and listen to my body as others have suggested but feeling anxious.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      H Raeleene
      Three weeks is early to return to work after TAH – I am not sure what your job involves or if you have managed to get a graduated return to work with reduced hours or even some additional rest breaks? All things that might help you al little.

      Just wondering if you have you thought about triyng out some large support briefs to provide some wound support for your return to work? Support briefs or bike pants can help to reduce that drag that contibutes to abdominal discomfort and support the lower back too. Make sure that the briefs don’t have a thick wide waist band that cinches the waist and can increase pressure like a tight belt – choose a pair with thin elastic around the waist too.

      Hope this helps you out a little Raeleene
      All the best
      Michelle

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