How do I Manage Hysterectomy Pain?

A. Pasbjerg
A. Pasbjerg
A heating pad can be applied to the abdomen to help manage the hysterectomy pain.
A heating pad can be applied to the abdomen to help manage the hysterectomy pain.

Most women who have a hysterectomy experience some level of pain after the procedure. The amount of pain and how long it lasts can vary depending on how the surgery was performed, and may last from a few days to several weeks. There are several ways patients can manage their hysterectomy pain during this time. Typically, medication will be prescribed for immediate use after the operation. Other important pain management techniques include adequate rest and limited heavy activity, use of heat, and light exercise.

A radical hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, and a portion of the vagina.
A radical hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, and a portion of the vagina.

For the majority of patients, management of hysterectomy pain involves medication. Some women experience severe pain, especially within the first day after the operation, and may require temporary administration of narcotics. Others may require prescription-strength painkillers. In some cases, over-the-counter medication such as NSAIDs may be sufficient. In almost all cases, these drugs are only necessary for a limited period of time; some women feel much better after only a few days, and most are pain-free within two weeks.

Women who experience a large amount of discharge following a hysterectomy should consult a doctor immediately.
Women who experience a large amount of discharge following a hysterectomy should consult a doctor immediately.

Another technique that is often effective for managing hysterectomy pain is the application of heat. One of the simplest ways to use this method is to apply one or two heating pads to the abdomen. Heating pads can be easily kept in place while the patient is in bed recuperating. The warmth can help her relax and is soothing for pain at the surgical site.

A laparoscopic hysterectomy often provides an easier recovery than a traditional open procedure.
A laparoscopic hysterectomy often provides an easier recovery than a traditional open procedure.

Rest is also a critical part of minimizing hysterectomy pain. After surgery, the body needs to recover and heal from having the uterus removed, and it is important that it has adequate time to rest and recuperate. Women who have had a hysterectomy need to listen to their bodies and spend as much time off their feet as needed. It is also critical that heavy activity be limited during this time, as doing too much too soon can injure the surgical site, increasing pain and recovery time. Lifting, climbing stairs, and driving should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether.

Hormone replacement therapy can be used to balance hormones after a hysterectomy.
Hormone replacement therapy can be used to balance hormones after a hysterectomy.

Though heavy activity is not recommended, light activity can be very beneficial when dealing with hysterectomy pain. Women who wish to speed their recovery may wish to get up and begin moving about within a few days after their surgery. Walking and other limited exercise can not only help the body loosen up and begin getting back to normal, but is also usually good for improving the patient's mood.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

burcidi

I'm managing my hysterectomy cause pelvic pain and swelling with ice pack and medications. Oral pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications weren't cutting it, so I also started using a pain relieving cream. I think it has made a difference.

SarahGen

@donasmrs-- I think you just need to wait longer. Everyone's recovery is a little different. Some people can resume intercourse earlier, others have to wait longer for the discomfort to go away. If you rush, you might experience anxiety which will make future tries more difficult. So take your time and talk openly about it with your partner.

If the pain is due to lack of discharge, try a lubricant. Many women go into menopause after their hysterectomy, I did too. Both sex drive and discharge lessen because of hormonal changes. So a lubricant is very helpful.

donasmrs

What can be done for intercourse pain after a hysterectomy?

It has been eight weeks since my procedure. I had some bowel pain after hysterectomy which disappeared after a few weeks. Last week, my doctor told me that I can resume intercourse. My husband and I tried but it was very painful and I had to stop.

Is there anything I can do about this or do I just need to wait longer?

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • A heating pad can be applied to the abdomen to help manage the hysterectomy pain.
      By: nito
      A heating pad can be applied to the abdomen to help manage the hysterectomy pain.
    • A radical hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, and a portion of the vagina.
      By: Gennadiy Poznyakov
      A radical hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus, cervix, and a portion of the vagina.
    • Women who experience a large amount of discharge following a hysterectomy should consult a doctor immediately.
      By: Dragos Iliescu
      Women who experience a large amount of discharge following a hysterectomy should consult a doctor immediately.
    • A laparoscopic hysterectomy often provides an easier recovery than a traditional open procedure.
      By: Cosmic
      A laparoscopic hysterectomy often provides an easier recovery than a traditional open procedure.
    • Hormone replacement therapy can be used to balance hormones after a hysterectomy.
      By: Fernando Madeira
      Hormone replacement therapy can be used to balance hormones after a hysterectomy.
    • Pain management immediately after a hysterectomy often includes small doses of intravenous analgesics.
      By: tawesit
      Pain management immediately after a hysterectomy often includes small doses of intravenous analgesics.
    • Women should avoid heavy lifting for about two months following a hysterectomy.
      By: jrwasserman
      Women should avoid heavy lifting for about two months following a hysterectomy.
    • Estrogen cream is a form of hormone replacement therapy that can be used to balance hormones after a hysterectomy.
      By: Picture-Factory
      Estrogen cream is a form of hormone replacement therapy that can be used to balance hormones after a hysterectomy.