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How Common is Bleeding After Hysterectomy?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Bleeding after a hysterectomy can be normal, but that isn’t always the case. Many women experience bleeding and spotting as they recover from a hysterectomy, and minor bleeding that doesn’t get worse with time usually is considered normal. Heavy, bright red blood may be an indication that something is wrong, however. Additionally, any type of bleeding from the vagina, with the exception of menstruation, that persists past about six to eight weeks after a hysterectomy may be a sign that a patient needs further evaluation from her doctor.

After a woman has a hysterectomy, she may experience some light bleeding or spotting. This is normal, as organs have been removed and bleeding may occur as the body begins to heal. Normal bleeding after hysterectomy may start out red and change over to a brownish tinge. Sometimes spotting may occur off and on rather than continuously. Eventually, it may develop a pinkish coloring and then change to resemble the woman’s normal vaginal discharge.

If a woman does experience heavy bleeding after hysterectomy, she would do well to contact her doctor right away. Heavy vaginal bleeding is not considered typical after this type of surgery. In fact, it may be particularly troubling if a woman’s bleeding had slowed down or stopped before the heavy bleeding began. Most experts agree, however, that in the absence of other troubling symptoms, it is all right to wait to notify one’s doctor of light bleeding or spotting at a follow-up appointment. Bleeding accompanied by a foul smell, pain, or fever should usually be reported immediately.

Sometimes it is not the amount of bleeding after hysterectomy that causes concern, but the length of time it continues. In most cases, vaginal bleeding tapers off during the recovery period. If a woman is still experiencing vaginal bleeding after her six-to-eight week recovery period has ended, for example, she needs to inform her doctor.

It is important to note there are times when moderate to relatively heavy, bright red bleeding after hysterectomy is normal instead of an indication of a problem. If a woman has only had her uterus removed through a hysterectomy and her cervix and ovaries are left in place, she may think she is bleeding because of the hysterectomy when she is actually having a menstrual period. Still, mentioning the bleeding to her doctor may help a woman to feel confident that all is well with her health.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon991581 — On Jul 01, 2015

I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago, and now I'm losing red blood from my vagina.

By anon968159 — On Sep 01, 2014

I had a total hysterectomy five years ago,and for the last seven months I've been cramping, and for the last three months I've been spotting?

By anon351664 — On Oct 15, 2013

I had a hysterectomy 23 years ago and today I started spotting. Why? Am I in major trouble?

By LisaLou — On Dec 13, 2011

@SarahSon - I have known many women who have had results similar to yours. I know with a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the recovery time is much faster.

Although I didn't have any major complications after my surgery, my bleeding was longer and heavier than I thought it would be.

When I went back for my first check up, my doctor wasn't too concerned, and suggested we still watch it for a few more weeks.

It eventually cleared up and I didn't have any other complications, but for awhile there I wondered if I was ever going to stop bleeding.

I kept thinking, I had the surgery to stop the bleeding, and now had the pain of recovery along with it.

If you are thinking about having a hysterectomy, I would plan on giving yourself enough time to fully recover. Everybody handles it differently, and what is quick for one person, may take longer for somebody else.

By SarahSon — On Dec 13, 2011

I had a hysterectomy a few years ago, and my hysterectomy recovery was much quicker than my mom who had hers done a long time ago.

If I had known how quickly I would recover and how much better I felt, I would not have put if off for so long.

They told me to expect some minor bleeding for a few days to a few weeks. I can't imagine that there wouldn't be some kind of bleeding after having a surgery like this.

My bleeding was spotty and didn't last very long. It was nothing compared to the bleeding I was having before the hysterectomy surgery.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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