How to Avoid Side Effects of Hysterectomy that Every Woman Should Know

Are you suffering from gas pain, discomfort or other side effects of hysterectomy?

Many common hysterectomy side effects can be overcome at home with these simple Physical Therapy exercises and techniques.

10 Common Side Effects of Hysterectomy

Side effects of hysterectomy

Read on now to learn how to avoid and overcome these 10 common side effects of vaginal and abdominal hysterectomy surgery.

Side effects of hysterectomy can include:

  1. Constipation
  2. Gas pain and bloating
  3. Decreased strength and fitness
  4. Lower back pain
  5. Weight gain
  6. Chest problems and difficulty coughing
  7. Decreased circulation
  8. Difficulty emptying the bladder
  9. Pain or discomfort moving out of bed
  10. Fatigue

Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises e-Book

Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises e-book cover

Reduce the risk of common hysterectomy side effects and promote the speed of your recovery.

Ideal for:

  • Early hysterectomy recovery (abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy)
  • Preparing for a hysterectomy
  • Reducing the risk of common side effects e.g. back pain, constipation and gas
  • Preparing your body for return to work and regular activity.

Home Solutions

Side Effect 1 – Constipation After Hysterectomy

Constipation is one of the common side effects of hysterectomy surgery

bowel emptying video

Watch video for correct bowel emptying technique

Using the following ‘Brace and Bulge’ bowel emptying technique will help you to empty your bowels and minimize 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 relaxes your anal sphincter 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
  • Never strain to empty your bowels as straining can potentially strain your pelvic floor and your internal wound

Tips for avoiding constipation after a hysterectomy

  • Eat bowel-friendly foods  – especially those foods that usually help you to keep soft well formed bowel movements. Usually these are foods that are high in soluble fibre and not heavily processed including oats, fruit and vegetables. Avoid eating too much insoluble fibre e.g. whole grains and vegetable/fruit peels if you are constipated as insolble fibre can actually slow down bowel movements when delay already exists.
  • Keep your stool soft – avoid overloading with too much fibre and eat foods that soften your stool
  • Drink adequate fluids – for most of us this means 1.5-2 litres (~50-67 oz) of fluid per day
  • Move regularly to help promote bowel movement
  • Have a warm drink first thing in the morning and a short walk around the house
  • Take your time to empty your bowels, don’t rush
  • Don’t defer the urge – when you feel the urge to empty your bowels, 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

Side Effect 2 –  Gas Pain (Wind) 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 shift gas after a hysterectomy Gas after hysterectomy

  • Use a warm pack -make sure the warm pack is not directly on your wound and check the temperature carefully before applying to avoid burning your skin
  • Move around and change position regularly – avoid lying on one position without moving
  • 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 include 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

Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises for Avoiding Post-Operative Complications e-Book

Side Effect 3 – 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

  • Commence with short walks of around five minutes each
  • Progress the duration of your walking gradually as your condition improves
  • Follow the walking after hysterectomy 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
  • Wear quality support briefs to support your abdomen

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.

Side Effect 4 – Lower Back Pain After a Hysterectomy

side effects of hysterectomy

Lower back pain after hysterectomy is a common side effect  and can become a chronic problem for some women.

Lower back pain after hysterectomy can be caused by position of your body during surgery (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 the position that you rest in after your surgery.

Tips to reduce lower back pain after hysterectomy

  • When resting on your back use 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 lying down on the lounge – the cushions are probably soft and usually provide little support for your spine
  • Move regularly 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

Side Effect 5 – 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 nutrients and protein to promote your repair and recovery. Minimize your intake of 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. A goal of 0.5-0.9 kg/week weight loss is safe and realistic for most women.

Pelvic floor safe fat burning exercises include:

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

High impact exercises to avoid after hysterectomy surgery:

  • Running/jogging
  • Jumping
  • Group fitness classes that involve running/jumping
  • Netball/basketball
  • 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.

Side Effect 6 – Chest Problems After Hysterectomy

Deep breathing exercises after hysterectomy

Exercises after a hysterectomy video

Exercises after a hysterectomy video

After a hysterectomy it can be difficult to breathe deeply and to clear your chest effectively. You can reduce the effects of the anesthetic on your lungs and prevent chest problems by commencing your diaphragmatic breathing exercises as soon as you wake up after your operation.

Aim to do 4-5 deep breaths hourly. Breathe slowly and deeply into the base of your lungs, making your rib cage move outwards as you breathe in.

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.

For more information watch deep breathing exercises after hysterectomy now (shown above))

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’ve had an abdominal hysterectomy use a pillow or cushion over your abdominal stitches to reduce the pressure on your wound and potential discomfort.

Side Effect 7 – 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.

To avoid blood clots in your legs (DVT)

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).

Side Effect 8 – 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 minimize pain moving in bed

To move in bed and minimize 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 minimize 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 decrease 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

Side Effect 9 – 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.

Side Effect 10 – 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
  • Avoid comparing 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 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

Resuming sex after a hysterectomy can be very confronting and daunting for many women.

Sex after hysterectomy problems can include pelvic pain, decreased vaginal length, vaginal dryness, pelvic floor spasm or candida (thrush) infection.

This free guide to sex after hysterectomy provides helpful tips for intimacy after your surgery

Side Effects of Hysterectomy Summary

There are a many of potential side effects of hysterectomy surgery and women are often caught off-guard by side effects they did not expect or could have prevented.

Understanding the potential side effects helps you better prepare for and manage these side effects at home if they do arise.

Further Reading & Videos

» The Cause of Back Pain After Hysterectomy Women Need to Know

» 5 Physiotherapy Exercises for Relieving Lower Back Pain After Hysterectomy

» Successful Pelvic Floor Exercises After Vaginal Surgery

» How To Stop Bloating And Flatulence With Your Diet

» 10 Solutions for Shifting Gas After Hysterectomy

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We Welcome Your Comments


  1. Hi,I am 11 days post-op for a DaVinci Total Hysterectomy, I kept my ovaries. So far, recovery has been pretty smooth however the most recent bothersome symptom is very achey legs. I have searched the internet for several days about DVT (blood clots). I don’t have unbearable pain, very little swelling in my left ankle, no redness,or tenderness on any area of my legs (top to toe). I can’t tell if the swelling was from the actual surgery, because I was swollen and it went down and I only noticed it this morning. I do have anxiety so it’s often difficult to differentiate the symptoms. I have my 2 weeks in 5 days. What should I really be looking for while I’m waiting to see my doctor? I don’t want to spend unnecessary hours in a ER with the Covid-19 still at large.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Denissa
      First and foremost I ubderstand your health anxiety and yes it can be tricky to differentiate symptoms. If you’re worried or if the condition seems to worsen then go to the hospital. Blood clot in the lower limbs usually presents on one side. The area of the leg affected by blood clot is often swollen, painful and warm to touch and may feel warm to touch compared with the other leg. The legs can feel achey after hysterectomy from lack of movement and also owing to swelling in the pelvis which can can affect blood flow in the lower limbs. Regular intermittent walking and these exercises to prevent clots (disregard the Covid heading – the exercises also apply to post hysterectomy) are helpful in preventing them form occurring in the first place and keep the legs uncrossed when resting. I hope this helps and all the best for your recovery.

  2. Thank you Michelle for your site, it’s been very helpful! I used the Moo Technique to great success, taught my husband!
    I’m 7 weeks post total abdominal hysterectomy with ovaries preserved. I feel great mentally but I feel a throb around my vagina area close to the incision. My Dr says it will reduce but is there any additional exercise I should be doing (I already do your Pelvic floor exercises and walk daily) or I just need to be patient! I start work from home next week. Thank you

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Bisi
      Are you doing too much sitting? Have you tried using warm pack or cold pack therapy (over your briefs) for relief? Too much pressure can cause discomfort either from being upright or sitting. Also support briefs when you walk might assist and avoid overdoing the walking – better to do a couple of shorter walks than one long walk. All the best!

  3. It’s been one month since my total hysterectomy. If you overdo it can it cause diarrhea and stomach pain?

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Sandra
      This can cause abdo discomfort but check with your specialist to make sure if you’re concerned. All the best

  4. Your site is the most helpful of anything I have found and has answered many y of my questions. I had a complete vaginally hysterectomy and pelvic floor repair due to avery prolapse uterus and bladder. They did a bladder lift and sling. I have alot of fatigue and pelvic aches and hip pain. I am 4 wks out and don’t feel that much better. Also my rectum hurts and sitting is still difficult.I am just praying for time to heal me!

  5. Hi i my historactamy wss done on 8th jan 2021.i have a lot of pain on my left side of stomach.please just wated to knoe is tbis common after historactomy.


  6. Hello Michelle,
    I had lap colposuspension and rectocele repair Nov 6.
    They did an endo biopsy that came back with high grade EIN so I had a total hysterectomy Lavh and ovaries and tubes removed as well as peritoneal washing on Monday, 2 months after first OR
    I am anxious to get the results at my follow up in a few weeks. Fingers crossed.
    I bought your book Inside out after prolapse surgery and DVD inside out.
    I am off for 8 weeks due to back to back surgery and the nature if my work.
    My question is can I apply the principles from the prolapse surgery book and DVD to my postop Lavh. I am day 3 post op. Considering back to back surgeries what would you suggest in terms of exercising,post LAVH and 2 months post prolapse and posterior repair
    Wearing compression stockings, walking around my house, up and down stairs and doing breathing exercises. It was painful first 2 days and still taking pain meds. (diminishing the narcotics though).
    Thank you, love your book and website

    • Oh and as well I had fibroids so when they removed the uterus, vaginally it tore the vaginal, so needed repair

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Rosi
      You’re doing great and yes you can apply those post op exercise principles from your Prolapse Exercises book too. Rosie the best exercise for you currently is intermittent walking thoughout the day and this article on hysterectomy walking will give you some additional tips too. I suggest you commence pelvic floor training around 4-6 weeks post op (unless your specialist advises otherwise). I’ll be posting a video on how to progress hysterectomy walking this on the weekend on my YouTube channel (you may like to subscribe to the channel here if not already subscribed to catch the video). I hope this answers your questions Rosi, check the tips at the end of the article as they are important for you. Wishing you all the best for your upcoming results, try to breathe and stay in the moment if you’re able to when you feel anxious – it’s tough waiting for results!

  7. I had a partial hysterectomy 12/2020 I am just shy of two weeks into it. My legs are killing me especially the top of my knees. I also had my prolapse bladder and rectum fixed. Is this normal.

  8. I’ve had so many problems since my hysterectomy. I can’t breathe, my lungs hurt. It’s not pneumonia, it’s lasted for months. They can’t figure out what it is. I had lap surgery sept 9th, couldn’t breathe the week after. Had full abdominal hysterectomy on Nov 30th, still cannot breathe. When I lay my head down, I get the worst pain in the back of my head and it feels like my throat is closing in. That started at the end of Oct and hasn’t gotten better. Both legs are numb at the top and tender. I feel like I can’t empty my bladder completely. I’ve seen several Drs about breathing, headaches, swallowing, nome of them can’t pinpoint what the cause is. Wish i had never had cancer to have to have 3 surgeries since April. Please, if anyone reading this has had similar issues and has answers, post a comment. I’m on the verge of losing my job, my house, pretty much everything because my health has deteriorated so much. Thank you.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Ember
      Thanks for the details. I’m so sorry to read through your current issues. Can I ask what type of cancer your’ve had and when? Have you had a PET scan recently? Also is it the lying down position only that causes the back of head pain? How do you manage if semireclined?

  9. I’m 6 weeks total abdominal hysterectomy. I have a very small incision that has not healed, also I have some pressure in my belly when I move. There is not any severe pain In experiencing, however, the unhealed wound and belly pressure is concerning. I will be reaching out to my doctor today.

  10. I had a hysteroscopy and d&c on 11/13 went on 11/14 I started having thigh and calf pains by 11/15 I could barely walk the hospital did blood work with no results what is wrong

  11. I was out walking an got weak on the top of my legs three weeks after total hysterectomy is that normal?

  12. My whole inner core under my belly button feels like a heavy weight at times, since my operation 2.5 years ago. Regards, Kate

  13. I had my hysterectomy on the 10th of October and I vacuumed and bent over and pick some stuff up and a little bit of dishes not my stomach hurts so bad and I’m in tears did I tear anything I can’t get ahold of my doctor should I just go into the ER

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Yes Kristi if your pain doesn’t settle with your prescribed pain relief and perhaps using a warm pack over your belly this is a good course of action, all the best!

  14. Hi I had a hysterectomy June 2019, everything gone except 1 ovary. April 2020, I had another procedure to remove last ovary, growths on vaginal cuff and adhesions on my bowel, from previous hysterectomy. I have gained so much weight, I am always bloated, I can’t stand for too long, making dinner is painful, walking causes lower back pain, and lower abdominal pain. I want to exercise but it hurts what can I do? I also have upper back pain after I’ve been sitting for awhile, taking a few minutes to straighten up.

  15. Hi, I had an open procedure total hysterectomy on 9/18/20 in which fibroids and a very large endometriosis mass had to get removed (and adenomyosis) along with everything else except my ovaries. I was doing ok urinating normally but over the last few days I’ve had a bloating sensation in my right lower abdomen. I went from urinating a few times a day to urinating over 5 times in a few hours. I have no temp , or uti discomfort except it feels like I can’t empty my bladder plus the dull constant ache in my right lower abdomen. Should I be concerned about a prolapsed bladder this soon after surgery?

  16. Hi, I had a full hysterectomy 4 weeks ago. My groin and my thighs hurts on and over sometimes it feels like my whole leg hurts. Pain is not everyday but goes and come. Is that normal with a hysterectomy .

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Christie
      Leg and groin pain isn’t normal after hysterectomy – best to contact your doctor on this one. All the best

    • Nicole Rodriguez says

      I am having groin pain to and my thighs hurt did your doctor say why

    • I am experiencing the same thing. Thigh and leg pain after Hysterectomy. Everything I read says it’s not normal but also there seem to be so many women experiencing this. So how can it not be normal? I personally think that mine is due to lying down so much…maybe nerve pain or sciatica? I’m not sure what it is.

  17. Hello Michelle thanks for all the information is very educational. Help me to recover successfully from hysterectomy. But for some reason I started spotting again after taking blood thinner or acetaminophen for headache. At the beginning thought was my impression but the spotting stops when the pill wears off. That happens a few times. I have no idea why this is happening. I try to contact my OBGYN but she is on vacation. I will highly appreciate your opinion. Thanks an advance.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Erika
      Blood thinners do increase bleeding – this is why you’re advised to stop them pre-operatively. If the bleeding continues once off the medication then contact your doctor – is there an alternative paracetemol medication that you can take instead that’s effective?

  18. Dear sir/madam
    I wanted to ask you how to recovery big size hysterectomy form home treatment . My mother 52 years age she is a hysterectomy presents . Please help

  19. Hi I am 3 weeks after vaginally hysterectomy. Feeling very well but I do feel discomfort under ribs when sitting down. Its a horrible feeling .is this gas or discomfort as I have increase weight in tummy area ?
    What can I do ?
    Thanking you in advance

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Monica
      Gas trapped under the rib cage is a common occurrence immediately after surgery however with this symptom going on for as long as it has I suggest you contact your doctor or surgeon to have it checked thoroughly.All the best

    • I had this symptom up past 8 weeks; I am 12 weeks postop and now it’s finally gone!

  20. I had a partial hysterectomy by Davinci robotic machine 6 days ago. I also had a vaginal rejuvenation and my colon is hurting so bad it’s very uncomfortable. I know I had constipation and I have been taking Miralax and today I thought I would take a suppository and I did strain a little and now I have red mucus coming out of my rectum?? Is this normal??

  21. My ankles, legs, calf’s and things have been sore here lately just days after surgery I noticed it and I’ve also noticed some water retention or swelling in my feet and ankles should I be concerned. I’ve also been more clumsier than before….

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Jessica, if you’re concerned phone your doctor. If the swelling is in one ankle this can be a sign of DVT (a clot in the deep veins in the calf and acted on promptly). If the swelling is both sides this is much less likely and may be a result of the surgery and decreased circulation/fluid retention. In summary check with your doctor if concerned. All the best fro your recovery Jessica

    • I’m so clumsy and feel so shaky, Jessica!
      My calves abd ankles are really achey as well. Compression socks are helping.

  22. Hello, I had a lap partial hysterectomy july 15, 2020 and i wont to know would it be good for me to buy the post op hysterectomy. Pantys to help with the healing and holding of my stomach would those help with my recovery time.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi there, my apologies I’m not familiar with these briefs. Any support briefs can help support the abdomen and assist in moving with more comfort, just get the size larger than what you normally wear for comfort. All the best!

  23. This piece of information was 100% helpful in every way and I’d like to say Thank you for this!

  24. Hi, I just had complete laparoscopy hysterectomy 2 days ago, my question is can I start using a Post-Operative compression garment in my belly ?

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Juliana check with your surgeon – he/she is the only person who knows your exact procedure, meanwhile support bries that cover the lower abdomen can be helpful when moving around if well tolerated all the best

  25. Hi, I’m day 6 after a vaginal hysterectomy and I’ve been showering every day- I’d really like a bath- I know I can get in and out as my shower is in my bath so is it ok. I’ve no pain and I’m up and walking well. Very light spotting only.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      No bath – don’t risk an infection. Wait until internally healed and your doctor OK’s a bath – take care, all the best!

  26. Hi,
    I had a total lap hysterectomy 2.5 weeks ago, and I am still having a lot of lower abdomen/pelvic pain when I stand up/sit or move in bed; and it also hurts if I laugh or cough to the point of tearing up. I know that with any post-op period there will be some pain/discomfort, but should it be to the point of tearing up because of the pain? Everyone that I have spoken with including some medical staff (I work at a hospital as a med coder) says that I should suck it up since I’m only in the 2 week period.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Erica
      Everyone is different when it comes to post op pain. If you’re in discomfort contact your specialist or see your medical practitioner for assessment. This is the best way of knowing what’s happening. All the best for your recovery

  27. Christina says

    I’m day five of recovering from a total hysterectomy. Robotic/Laperscopic. This morning I woke up feeling much better with the exception of severe dizziness. Is it normal to be so dizzy five days after surgery?

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Christina – best to get to your doctor to have this checked out pronto or if it worsens get to the hospital. Unexplained dizziness needs to be checked our especially post op. All the best

  28. I had a full historectomy just 2 weeks ago…Against Dr. order,I had sexual intercourse after just 2 weeks versus the 6…I am having lower back pain,pain and discomfort in my pelvic area and a slight burning in my vagina…Will,I be ok..What should I do?

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Tammy
      In this case you need to contact your specialist for advice or if it’s faster see your regular general practitioner

  29. Hello! I’m on week 6 recovery from a TAH abdominal hysterectomy, which I have one ovary left. I’ve started walking about 3 to 4 times a week and my body has been extreme sore afterwards. 2 days I’ve walked 1 mile and want to know if I’m over doing it? Thank You

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Gabby do what feels comfortable for your body at the moment. Start with short duration walks 5-10 mins. Better to do two of these daily if you can than one longer walk starting out if you’re able to do so

  30. Hi, I had hysterectomy due to big sized fibroids in mid February. Just started work after 8 weeks but still have lower abdominal pain when I sit for so long. Also sometimes having hard to completely empty my bladder. It feels like never ending story while sitting on the seat. I have 2 questions, first is it normal the lower abdominal pain? If I start pelvic excercises, it will help in my urination issues?

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Jassi scarring can cause discomfort after the removal of large fibroids – this needs to be assessed by your doctor. pelvic floor exercises will not help bladder emptying and the cause of the delayed emptying needs to be determined by a medical assessment so that you know how to manage this issue, all the best

  31. Hi I just had a partial hysterectomy 3 weeks ago due to fibroid ‘s causing pain through my legs, My Neurologists
    Said I have pinched nerve. Am home healing gradually but I find my leg pain worsen than before I can’t stand for long and it gets numb and really hurts what should I do now, l’ve notify my family Doctor and still waiting for
    a call from the Neurologist.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Linda
      Are you able to see a Physiotherapist? This may be a condition that a Physio can treat if it’s related to your spine. Women can develop back pain and related conditions after hysterectomy. This would be a good way to proceed, some Physiotherapists are still treating during this time. All the best. Incidentally regarding pinched nerve in the lower back:sitting will be likely to make it worse, standing, walking and lying down would be preferable in this instance.

  32. Can I walk up& down the stairs after my hysterectomy

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Yes but try to limit this during early days of recovery and make sure you have someone with you when first released from hospital

  33. Hi Michelle,

    I wanted to ask you if it’s okay to stretch out my abdomen 4 weeks post laparoscopic hysterectomy. If so, what exercises do you recommend to take the abdominal tightness away?
    When I sit for too long I can feel my bladder prolapsing. There seems to be more pressure. Do you think it’s okay to start pelvic floor strengthening exercises yet or should I hold off?
    You are amazing for putting all this information out there to us ladies. Really appreciate it!

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Jen

      No stretches at this stage, let things heal. Your tummy will stretch as it needs to as you move- just take care to use good posture and stand up tall, this is the best way of stretching out at the moment. All the best for your recovery!

  34. This is the best article/advice on the internet post-hysterectomy. Thank you!
    I’m 4 weeks post and I’ve just started to get tightness in my muscles under my ribs and my sides. Is this normal?

  35. Thanks for great help, I was a bit annoyed when going back to gym circuit class. Having told the instructor, no crunches, no squats, no lounges as per Dr. Instructions. They still proceeded with general class exercises. I checked out your video and only did your safe pelvis floor exercises during the class. I guess they have to cater the the majority.
    Thanks so much.

  36. I’m 7 months out from a radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer. Everything was removed. I’ve had horrible problems with my bowels and have tried everything to get back on track. I have been hospitalized for fecal impaction and now when I am working to relieve a bowel movement I get a large “bulge” at my anus and can push it back up. This doesn’t feel normal to me. Should I be concerned about a prolapse?

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Samantha
      I’m sorry to read about all you’ve been through. This may be a prolapse but regardless in view of your history it’s important to return to your doctor and have this properly assessed. Then you can make an informed decision about the best way forward in terms of treatment. All the best

  37. Hello,
    I had an 11 hour surgery ( which was meant to be only 5 hours) on the 14th February 2020. I had stage 4 endometriosis and had to have a full hysterectomy and major excisions. I had a large endo nodule on my bowel/rectum and they had to leave part of it as it would have meant reconstructing my rectum. The surgeon said my endo was like concrete and all organs were badly stuck together. Unfortunately they cut my bladder by accident and I ended up 5 hours longer in surgery and had to go home with a catheter for 10 dyas.
    I am in week 4 now and have been experiencing 7/10 pain with cramps before I empty my bowels with each motion. It seriously feels like birthing pain.
    My question is could it be my muscles healing? Is this my new normal now? Also my bladder emptying just feels weird also.
    I have emailed my surgeon and am awaiting a reply.
    I was hoping my pain would be better after this surgery but I am so scared this will be my life now it is making me even more depressed.
    I was a very active independant woman before and I am scared that my life will be over now as I knew it.
    I also saw before an endo physio but cannot see her for another 2 weeks. I have been following all the advice you have mentioned but this bowel pain is awful.
    Thank you ,Teresa

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Teresa
      This sounds awful for you, I do think your surgeon needs to become involved sooner rather than later as he/she understands the surgery you’ve had performed. I don’t believe that the pain is your muscles healing nor should it be your new normal. It needs to be investigated. Perhaps a stool softener may help you a little in the meantime (the hardness and size of the stool can increase bowel discomfort as it passes through the bowel, especially if it’s near newly healing tissues. Osmolax or Movicol can help as it softens the stool by drawing fluid into the bowel rather than irritating the bowel so this is usually safe for most women after hysterectomy – just check with your pharmacist that it’s OK for you. Meanwhile I hope you can get seen by your doctor soon. All the best

  38. 5 weeks post-surgery now. Constipation and gas were completely unexpected, I’m now in the lower back pain stage. Have muddled through with everything, thankfully I’ve got a very very supportive husband, but help from the medical side of things could have been so much better! Even just pointing me to this website would have been amazing. I figured out some of the exercises myself but would have been great to have found this website much earlier.
    I started back to work 4 weeks post-op. Short days and lots of rest, it’s like I’ve got chronic fatigue all over again (had that for years but it has been better now for a long time)
    I support the idea mentioned in one of the comments of having a nurse/person that can be contacted with questions and can give some help before leaving hospital with things you can expect and how to deal with them.
    Thanks for this site! A shame I found it a bit later…

  39. I’ve had all these symptoms from Hysterectomy for 15 years the end he Asians to the hysterectomy on the lower abdomen are so tight that my tummy bulges over from gaining weight and yet it’s hard to breathe sometimes I can hardly eat I feel like it’s got something to do with adhesions I’ve told the doctor this for years I’ve been like this since 2004? ‍♀️

  40. I’m very grateful to be able to access this information. The information I was given by the hospital where I had surgery was a minute fraction of what I have found here, and the senior nurse I saw most of was quite blase. I understand protocols vary, and it is important to get moving early, but their encouragement to be active didn’t come with any guidelines or limits, except – three days in – that I could lift up to five kg. I wasn’t told not to reach up. I’m three weeks in to recovery and had no idea I wasn’t supposed to be doing as much house-work as I have, or standing as long as I have. Nor was I offered any advice around exercises I could do, or how to empty my bowels and also protect my pelvic floor, or how much I could walk over time. I was walking for ten minutes at a time in the hospital. Mine was a total abdominal hysterectomy, and extensive due to multiple large fibroids that had distorted the anatomy. Hospital staff knew I was a single Mum going home to parent my active son, with limited practical support.

    I have noticed that there are references on this site to a second book to follow the one I purchased – Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises for Avoiding Post-Operative Complications – A Complete Guide to Hysterectomy Recovery Exercises Book 1, but have been unable to find Book 2.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Ellen
      I’m so glad to read that you’ve managed to get through things OK to date. Yes you obviously have physical demands being a single mum and need to be physically fit to keep up with your active son. Ellen I’m so glad your book has helped you. Book 2 is in the pipeline, meanwhile this book is ideal for helping you return to exercise safely and protecting your pelvic floor Pelvic Floor Safe Exercise Book All the best for your long term recovery! Best wishes

  41. Having stabbing pains through the anus since have had a hysterectomy x please can you help

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Sathyam
      Unfortunately I’m unable to assist you with diagnosis and management. This is something to discuss with your doctor as it needs to be thoroughly assessed. All the best

  42. Hi my swelling came down so quickly and I could actually see were they cut me! Now after 2 weeks after post, my tummy has swollen and I actually look between 3 /4 months pregnant. With this I am also extremely nauseous and so constipated. What do you recommend I do. Oh yes and my blood pressure is extremely low another issue I have is daily bright red discharge with big lumps going out

    • Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Marisss
      Thanks for commenting. With these types of symptoms you should contact your medical caregiver as a matter of priority. The constipation could be contributing to the nausea and bloating however you need to get checked out medically as well as address your constipation ASAP. All the best Michelle

  43. I had prolapse/hysterectomy 14 months ago,6 months after my lower back ‘ collapsed’ and I have had severe lower backpain ever since ! It is very debilitating,what can I do to strengthen my back,and get back to living an active life?

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Gael
      The type of dysfunction needs to be determined for appropriate treatment. It would be a good idea to seek assessment and treatment from a Physiotherapist. Inappropriate strengthening exercises may worsen the condition. Good treatment is based upon a thorough assessment. All the best

  44. Can I sit in Indian toilet after hysterectomy

  45. How long should you experience back pains after a hysterectomy?? Could it continue periodically even a year later?

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Jackie
      It really depends upon the cause of the pain – if it’s jint related it could well continue if the actual cause has not been treated. It sounds as though a thorough assessment is required from a Physiotherapist. All the best

  46. I had a radical hysterectomy about 9 weeks ago for cervical cancer. Before I had surgery I was neausous all the time and now after its even worse. Is that normal?

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Rachel 9 weeks of constant nausea isn’t normal and this is something that you need to get sorted out with your doctor, all the best to you

  47. Thank you so much for these great tips, I’m on week 3 and I was feeling better last week, but I think I was trying to get back to ‘normal’ too quickly. Really appreciate all the good advice.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Yes this can happen can’t it Siobhan – as women we can tend to think we’re invincible rather than remembering we’ve just had major surgery! All the best to you

  48. Hi there,
    Would like to know if its OK to sleep on stomach two weeks after TAH.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Roz
      It’s usually most comfortable to sleep on lying on the back or side lying with a pillow supporting the abdomen if tolerated

  49. Morning , thank you for this wonderful site , so much to learn from it ,
    I had my prolapse operation a month ago with all the above little problems ,
    but now experiencing gasses from my vagina that I cannot control with a nasty smell ,
    please have you any solution to this
    thank you

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Arlene

      Best to see your Dr for a vaginal swab to eliminate the possibility of vaginal infection in view of the odour.

  50. Glad I found this site. I had TAH (total abdominal hysterectomy) on 24 September 2015 following serious E.Coli infection and Sepsis in my blood after Uterine Fibroids Embolisation I had on 7 September 2015.

    I was on admission for most of September 2015 and have found that I am still feeling drained even at 22weeks post surgery. I am also now suffering with back pain which the GP said has nothing to do with the TAH.

    What can I do or use to resolve the pain? Please help.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Wunmi

      Back pain is quite a common problem after TAH. Partly due to the bed rest, immobility, fatigue and also decreased muscle strength and postural control.

      Your treatment needs to be specific for your back condition, unfortunately I am unable to prescribe for you however I can tell you that for many instances of lower back pain, being mobile and walking is better than bed rest. I think this is a time you would benefit from seeing a Physiotherapist to help you recover completely.

      I do have 2 back mobility videos online that you may like to watch with lower back exercisesand upper back exercises

      All the best for your recovery Wunmi

  51. I had a complete hysterectomy except ovaries December 16, 2015. I am almost 5 weeks and I am still having discomfort. I have lower back pains, soreness, stabbing pain in my side, lower abdomen discomfort, and some stabbing feeling around my lower navel. I’ve also started back having a pulling feeling sometimes when I pee. Is this normal or do I need to contact my doctor before my next appointment.

  52. Good morning, I too am post op 6days, 56, and managing my day to nights. I had a stage 3 prolapse with paps tests showing changes..Thank you for being here, doing what I’ve been told. And not pushing the boundaries. After a rough start, after surgery. No pain management no IV. I was left alone crying and plating for help 8 hours after, was given panadol. I think this has made my recovery hard. As I keep having bad thoughts about why I wasn’t give what they said. Before my surgery. PCA ,IV fluids and care. I am doing what you have said here and know it will all take time. Not a fan of the drugs as they leave me dizzy. And leave the stronger ones for nights.
    Thank you again for this very helpful sight. The feeling of being alone is horrible. But now I’m not.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Andrea

      You’ve had a really tough time and yes it is very disheartening when post op care is sometimes not as expected.

      Andrea just take your time to recover and really take care not to get constipated as this is one of the biggest (often unexpected) problems women can face after hysterectomy & prolapse surgery.

      It sounds as though you’re managing things well, try to keep looking forwards things will get better soon.


      • Your kind words, are very comforting. If I hear from any other women having to have this. I will pass on your web site. To read and see that your not alone. The hospital apologized for what had happened.. I seemed to have fallen through a crack, and they will make sure no other women do. Everything is working, drinking and eating healthy foods and drinks, small walks. And resting when my body tells me.. Stickers make it hard to sit, but the wonderful “nurse on call” helped with that. Place a pad in the freezer for a hour or so, then… Wear it. Happy smile.
        Thank you again for being here.

  53. Hi,
    I had my surgery 4 weeks ago. Recently started having vaginal discharge with odor. On top of that having lower back pain in my right side all the way down my leg. Is this normal?

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Krystal

      No vaginal discharge with odor commencing 4 weeks post op isn’t normal – best to get yourself straight to your doctor or phone his/her receptionist as you’ll probably need a swab to test for possible infection.


      • I had a hysterectomy almost 5 weeks ago. Is it normal to have some bright red blood when using the bathroom or passing what looks like a clot….almost like when I had periods?

        • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

          Hi Jackie
          Bright red blood can indicate fresh bleeding and this needs to be checked out by your doctor – contact your specialist at your earliest convenience. If the bleeding increases or if you are concerned, go to the hospital. All the best

  54. Natasha sums it up makes me wonder what life will be like help

  55. I just had a Hysterectomy 1 week ago and I’ve never felt this type of pain, soreness, mood swings and overall clueless about what lies ahead. HELP!!!

  56. Thankyou Michelle for the reply. I hv joined bk my school . your guidelines are very valuable. My calf nd heel pain is not much nw. It pains only if i wear any heels.But fatigue is still there. I hv started hving iron content food to maintain my HB. Hope with time i shd be fine.I will surely do the exercise u hv suggested me. Thanks again. God bless you.

  57. Hallo Michelle u r doing a wonderful job by helping so many woman . I hd my (TLH) veginal hysterectomy six weeks bk. I hd taken off from my work place. I feel that i m recovered nw so i m joing my school day aftr. I m 41 yrs old nd hv undergone first time for any op. Though my surgeon had cleared sm of my doubts but there were still so much was going in my mind to clear . your site is really very informative. It cleared all my doubts which i culdn’t ask my surgeon. I m thankful to find your site. Aftr op, for 2 weeks i suffered a lot with constipation nd calf muscles pain. Till nw my heels and calf pains a lot and i feel fatigue if i stand for 2 hours also. I generally kp moving in my house on plain surface. I m worried how will i continue my wrk. I m teaching in a school where i need to stand for atleast 6-7 periods. Day aftr. tomorrow i hv to join bk. But i m also luking forward to meet my children and friends. Plz. Suggest me how to cope up with fatigue nd heel pain?

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Anju

      Thanks for your comment & questions.

      Fatigue is normal after hysterectomy and many ladies are surprised by how tired they feel. The body loses fitness during recovery so part of overcoming fatigue is regaining fitness and strength through a progressive walking program after hysterectomy. Taking regular breaks is important and many ladies return to work gradually doing half days or alternate days when returning.
      If fatigue persists check with your doctor – you may have your iron levels checked as some women have low iron after hysterectomy.

      Heel pain is difficult to diagnose here – treatment really depends upon what is causing the issue. Check unexplained post op calf pain with a doctor to exclude blood clot (DVT) in the calf. General advice is to avoid barefeet, wear well-cushioned shoes and stretch calf muscles. I am not sure where you live but a podiatrist assessment would be lot benefit. You may be interested in this calf stretching video for heel and calf pain that I have made.

      All the best for returning to your important teaching work Anju

  58. I am five days post op having had a vagnal hestrectomy iam really suffering with a bloated feeling and lots of gas any info on how to get rid of it thanks

  59. mwansa gertrude says

    This is such helpful information. im exactly 8 days post total hysterectomy though both overies are still intact. just scared of the unknown. Im 42. I feel my urine is less than before. im loving cold juices. my bowel movement has been good. went onto solids day after op. my nights are kind of sleepless. my son is 100%helpful. bathtimes are horribly tiresome. took a walk on sons arm yesterday and the door seemed so far away. im scared of sex again. when will i be ready, how much pain am i expecting?

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Mwansa
      It sounds as though you have a very supportive and caring son. Yes worry about sex after hysterectomy is common among women (and often their partners too).

      Mwansa I have written a full article on this issue that will provide you with far more information than I can provide in a short comment. Here is the link for hysterectomy sex postoperative guide. It answers your questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me again if you require further information.

      Kindest regards

  60. I had my hysterectomy on September 15th 2014. I am 43. Everything was removed except my ovaries. My question is this,.. is it normal for your anus area to hurt when I sit on my bum or simply lie down or walking around the house it hurts it feels like something wants to come out or something is going in. It’s strange and I did have this before my hysterectomy as well. I have had a colonoscopy all was great. Could it be constipation or something seriois? Also I have lower back pain and lower pelvic pain is this normal as well? I had no pain from the day of my surgery til today 11 days post opt. I just assumed like working out on a Monday you may not feel sore til that Friday. I guess it’s sorta the same kinda thing. I havr no bleeding at all. But i would like to say this as it may help others,.. although I kept my ovaries i had horrible hot flashes on the 3rd day and they lasted til the 7th now gone. I also was very emotional too. So if you experience this its normal as I had the same experience. And I am still very tired.Thank you for your amazing information and help. Best wishes and happy healing to everyone.

    Sweet T

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Tonya

      Thank you for sharing your experience I am sure this will help other women.

      Regarding the anal discomfort it sounds as though you’ve seen a gastroenterologist and had this cleared which is what I would suggest as first step.

      From a Physiotherapy perspective one possibility that springs to mind involves the pelvic floor muscles, or more specifically pelvic floor spasm which can cause lower pelvic pain and or discomfort in the pelvic floor muscles in and around the anus/rectum. There can be quite a number of possible causes of pelvic floor muscle spasm and you can read more about pelvic floor muscle tension here if you are interested. You might also like to read about a condition that involves pelvic floor spasm in and around the anus called Proctalgia Fujax which is described here too.

      Pelvic floor physiotherapy can assist in managing and overcoming pelvic floor spasm. This condition can be poorly diagnosed however awareness is improving.

      This is just one possibility but definitely worth you becoming more informed about these possibilities and returning to your doctor if you are unable to resolve or remain concerned.

      Does this provide you with somewhere to start Tonya?


      • Hello, I had a lap full hysterectomy leaving only my ovaries Sept 15, 2020 and I have been surprised by the healing process. I felt ok up until 4 days Post Op. I woke up in pain and feeling very nauseous. I took my nausea medicine the doc sent home which took the edge off but felt lousy. The next day I was still nauseous all day and felt lousy. I am now on day 10 and still nauseous. With this nausea I haven’t been able to leave the couch much because my body is so weak and my mouth just keeps watering giving me the feeling that I want to go vomit. Is this a normal side affect? I went back to my doctors day 8 and awaiting a blood test but I haven’t typically read that people experience nausea. The nausea pills help but make me feel like a zombie. Now as of day 9 I am also feeling weird in my vagina area. I’m feeling crampy and swollen from my vagina almost like as if something was going to fall out. Is this normal? I wasn’t anticipating feeling so nauseous during my recovery and now I have a heavy feeling in my vagina and cramping. Something just doesn’t feel right but I really don’t know what to expect or if this is part of the healing process. Any help or feedback is appreciated. Btw I love this page and all the information you give and the question forum as I don’t feel like in my case I was well informed with the seriousness of my surgery nor what to do post op. I will definitely be reading your book and watching your videos.

        • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

          Hi Autumn
          When symptoms like this start to occur after feeling initially OK they really need to be investigated as a matter of priority by your health care provider. Yes I agree with you many women are not well informed about what to expect and many women feel that despite the fact this is major surgery, it will be an easy recovery when sometimes it’s just not. Autumn I strongly suggest you contact your doctor or surgeon ASAP for a review or if you’re really concerned go to the hospital – always better to be safe than sorry

  61. What a relief! I’m three days into my hysterectomy recover. I had a robotic surgery, that removed a enlarged four month uterus, that was above my navel, cervix and Fallopian tubes. I really didn’t know what to expect after the surgery except no pushing or pulling, resting and take off from work from 2 to 6 weeks, but my doctor will let me know when I have my follow-up in two weeks. After reading your material, I understand what’s going on with my body. I’m so glad that I found your material in time so that I can process through my journey correctly and without injury. I wish the Hospital would have had a designated nurse like a diabetic nurse who educate patients how to use diabetic supplies. you get the picture? Nurse would explained and educate me (women) on such issue. Your material is very helpful and I can not wait to share with other women on how to take care of themselves following hysterectomy surgery.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Jacci

      Thank you for your comments. Yes agreed and I believe that unfortunately yours is a common experience. There is no doubt that education empowers women – we know from studies that pre operative education for heart surgery promotes overall recovery and reduces post op incidence of depression, I can’t see that it’s any different for gynae surgery. Some broad minded gynaecologists surround themselves with allied health professionals who can help their patients recover optimally and holistically with pre op education, exercise and post op support and guidance. It sure makes a difference to patient confidence and outcomes and really in an ideal world it would be standard practice.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences to help others.

      Best wishes

    • Hi, Thank you for your post. I am 12 days in my recovery. The 1st 2 days were horrible then I felt better and was sent home. At home things seemed to be well until I hit my 9th day in. I am mildly cramping, lightly bleeding, and just have no energy. I hope im not worrying too much. BMs are good. Food/water intake is good. Overall body movement & healing looks good. I’m just concerned about the slight bleeding and cramping 9-12 days after. Wondering if that’s normal? My next appt is still 4 days away. Thank you in advance for any medical advice given.

  62. Maureen Murray says

    I had a vaginal hysterectomy done Aug. 5th 2014. I’m into my 5th. week of post-op. I ended up having to keep the catheter in longer than expected after surgery. I don’t have it in now, but just about every time I have to pee I have pain at first when I start to go. The dr. said their called spasyms of the bladder. When will this pain go away? Is it normal with this surgery? I did end up with a urinary infection about three weeks ago. I’m hoping the infection is gone. I’m also having a dull pain in my stomach area the last week or so. Has anyone had this ? They only removed my uterus and cervix. Also I had a prolapse and cystecele. It took 31/2 hours of surgery to correct all these problems, but the doctor said everything went well. Just wondering if anyone out there has had this same surgery with some of the same problems I’ve been having?

  63. I had Abdominal Hysterectomy 11 weeks ago and still really struggling with a swollen belly. Belly increases in size dramatically throughout the day. Very uncomfortable moving in afternoon and evening. Bowels are fine. Why is it taking so long as it is really getting me down. Want to get into exercise but too uncomfortable.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Heather

      A couple of thoughts on this issue:
      – First and foremost mention this to your GP or specialist if you are feeling discomfort
      – It takes 3 months at least for full internal healing so while your body appears healed from the outside, changes are still taking place internally
      – The pattern throughout the day is probably due to food/waste/gas in the bowels over the course of the day so watching your diet to for gas producing foods after hysterectomy and appropriate fibre intake may assist you here too. Remember that too much fibre can cause bloating too.
      -You may also like to google FODMAPS – this information is excellent research based dietary information for bloating and food intolerances. I am not saying that this is you but this is worth reading if you are suffering bloating and abdominal distension. If you think about the combinbation of surgery, antibiotics and the effect upon gut flora post op. then there may be an increased gut flora disturbance post op. hysterectomy in some women too

      Hope this helps you a little Heather
      All the best

  64. Hi! Michelle,

    I’m so glad that I discovered your site because it has helped put my fears after post-opt at ease. You are God sent! Thanks for your wonderful service which will allow me to have a good nights sleep knowing what I know now and didn’t know a few minutes ago! Its week 6 after a VAH and I have had my fair share of complications which saw me in emergency twice in the wee hours of the morning, and an extended stay but I believed I was over the worst afterwards and bang…I was hit with constipation today! My surgeon didn’t prepare me for this side effect or any side effects and I was beginning to worry that it was an indication of something really serious. I now know that I have to watch my diet closely and no more flaxseeds for me. May God bless your work. Shirley and hugs

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Shirley
      Knowledge is a powerful thing for women in helping them self manage and cope with post-op hysterectomy side effects. With constipation being such a common post-op hysterectomy problem that it should be almost routine to prepare women especially if they are prone to it. A little advice about appropriate foods, stool softeners and bowel technique can go along way to avoiding a world of trouble and potential straining with constipation.

      All the best for your recovery Shirley!

  65. Hi,
    Im 37 and had a total hysterectomy 9 days ago. It was suppose to be a vaginal hysterectomy but apparently my pelvic floor muscles were too tight to be able to pull uterus out….after 3 kids i was stunned and didnt cope well after surgery about being cut open.
    Thank you for this information, i have had terrible bowel pains and wind and constipation so i found this article very helpful and nice to know i am not alone in my pain.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Nicky
      Thanks so much for your feedback, glad this information has helped you along with your recovery! Hope you are starting to come to terms with things and feeling better.
      All the best

      • Thank you Michelle. 4 weeks post op now, a wee bit sore and a very bloated tummy at different times of the day. I had an infection in my incision site but after a week of anti biotics its gone away. I have book marked this site just in case a friend needs information at some stage.
        Thank you again :-)

  66. Day 9 I’m really sore underneath with these stitches for a VH . How long does this go on for am really fed up with peeing being such an ordeal . Am peeing ok but it’s just the thought of going . Just wish I could go forward in time a few weeks lol

  67. Hi 6 days ago I had a VH plus anterior repair posterior repair drainage of a cyst the size of a large orange and removal of this cyst . My surgeon left in this ovary as I have only had the one for 22 years and he didn’t want to open me up . I am 56 this month . The operation went well recovered very well had a cathater and a pack the pack was some what uncomfortable like a stinging sensation but new it was coming out in 24 hours so took all the pain releif I could . It was very stressful on the ward as we were put on a day surgery ward because gyny was full so wasn’t really given proper gyni care . The physio visited once to make sure we were doing deep breathing and leg movements I had started those as soon as I was back on the ward as we are on an enhanced recovery program . No sleep all night ward far too noisy

  68. 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

  69. 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.


    • 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

  70. 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

  71. 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

  72. 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!

  73. 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.

  74. 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

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Thanks so much Kel, so glad this guide has helped you along.
      All the best for your recovery

    • Hi There. This smell and brown blood sounds like bacterial vaginosis. It’s due to an overgrowth of the normal bacteria in your uterus, and can be fixed with antibiotics.
      The antibiotics are strong and they make you feel a bit sick and give you diarrhoea. However it’s worth it to greatly reduce the pain and being able to poo easily due to the diarrhoea is also a great relief after the surgery!
      Take care and get to the doctor for a swab. M

  77. 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!!!!!!

  78. 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

  79. 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

  80. 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

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

  81. 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

  82. 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

  83. What about coughing/sneezing after prolapse surgery and a vaginal hysterectomy? What is the best way to do these safely?
    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

      Best of luck!

  84. 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

  85. 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!

  86. 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

  87. 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

  88. 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

  89. 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.

  90. 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,

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

    • 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.

    • Were you on Macrobid? I was prescribed this post op. My bladder would not empty, so I was sent home with catheter. When they removed it a few days later, I started this antibiotic for possible bladder infection. I had this reaction as well as cough, waking up with what seemed like a panic attack in the middle of the night. I discontinued use immediately.

  93. 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. 

  94. 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. 

  95. 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.


  96. 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

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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 the way my ovaries were left"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 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

    • 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.

  100. 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:
      -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.


  101. 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.   

  102. 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

  103. 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.


  104. 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…

    • Thank you for taking the time Ginger…so glad to be of help. Best of luck with your recovery, Michelle

      • I had a total hysterectomy on 4-7-16 and still have days of complete fatigue is that normal ? I also have a bruise under my belly that showed up about april 10 may23 and its still there! It hurts at times but dr says its normal. I also have a little fluid left in one of my sutures,what does that mean?I got told to not overdue ie lift anything for another six weeks.My bruise hurts when i walk to much sometimes even clothes hurt it.Hope i posted on the right section i did not mean to butt in.Im new to site

        • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

          Hi K
          Fatigue one of the most common problems after hysterectomy. Yes it’s very important not to overdo things over the next 6 weeks. No heavy lifting and just gentle walking, making sure take the time to rest to recover. If you’re worried about anything it’s important to contact your doctor too.

          All the best for your recovery

        • Hi I had my total hystercompy 3 May 2016 ten week s pre opp feeling a bit normal now. Just the tiredness is a problem. I v at to learn to slow down . Big thank you to my hubby and family for all there love x

  105. 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!

  106. 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

    • I am also an intensive care nurse-cardiac. I have a vaginal hysterectomy over a week ago…Boy, the pain has been sever. Plus I think I have a tear which is very painful. I am going to see the MD for it. The hemorrhoid and the gas pain make me want to die….if I knew it!. Overall I am recovering ok. My emotional wellbeing is better. My kids, although very young, shpw that they understand.
      Life of a woman

  107. 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

  108. 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

  109. 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

  110. 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

  111. 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!