Life after Hysterectomy—a Recovery Road Map

December 2014

It’s amazing the difference a year can make. This time last year, I was living in total misery. Every period brought heavy spotting and mind-numbing cramps, and uterine fibroids were a common occurrence. Then, six months ago, my doctor recommended that I have a hysterectomy to relieve my symptoms.

If you’re considering a hysterectomy, I would tell you what my doctor told me—recovery takes time, but life after hysterectomy can be a much more pleasant one. Think of recovery as a journey, and this article as a road map to recovery. Here’s what you can expect at different stops along the way:

Week 1 
Once your surgery is over, you’ll be encouraged to take a walk around as soon as you can. This will prevent DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, a condition where a blood clot forms in a deep vein. You will experience some pain, but don’t worry—you’ll be given medication to manage it.

Weeks 2 through Six 
For several weeks following surgery, you’ll likely experience light bleeding and spotting. This is normal—and it will eventually stop. You will be discouraged from placing anything in your vagina for the first 6 weeks of recovery. This includes douching, having sex, and using tampons, but you can still use pads to combat spotting and discharge.

Week 6 and Beyond

  • If your hysterectomy leaves your ovaries in place: If you haven’t started menopause yet, your ovaries will still produce estrogen, the female hormone that regulates many processes in your body.
  • If your hysterectomy removes your ovaries: You’ll experience the common symptoms of lowered estrogen, which resemble the symptoms of menopause. You might experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and sleep problems.

Long term, you may feel sad that you will no longer be able to have children. On the other hand, you may feel relieved that your symptoms have improved, allowing you to lead a more normal, comfortable life. Some women will also feel a change in their sexual response and pleasure. It varies from person to person, but you may experience orgasm differently following a hysterectomy, or simply find sex more enjoyable without the worry of getting pregnant.

If symptoms like fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic problems, heavy periods, or pelvic pain have you considering a hysterectomy, sit down with your doctor to discuss the ways a hysterectomy can be performed and what your life might be like post-procedure. Life after hysterectomy can be great—especially once you know what to expect on the road to recovery. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today. We've been helping women work through their personal health issues for nearly 20 years. 

This is a public forum, by which BDWH provides general information to patients and prospective patients. You should not post any personal or identifying information on this Blog. The information that appears on this Blog does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a Healthcare Professional.

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