Do you know what to expect following a hysterectomy? No, neither did I. I expected it to be painful and life-changing and although I was well prepared physically and mentally, I wasn’t prepared for some of the things which followed and the after-effects of the surgery. I am writing this blog to help you understand what to expect following a hysterectomy.
There were are few things that caught me off guard:
Going To The Toilet
The pain of going to the toilet – it is dangerous to force bowel movements following a hysterectomy. Ensure you take laxatives if you need to and find yourself a small box or stool to rest your feet on which ensures your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
Infection Following A Hysterectomy
Infection occurs in around 10% of women who undergo a hysterectomy, most commonly in the incision, the vagina, and bladder or inside the abdomen. Very rarely, infections can progress to an abscess, which is a collection of bacteria and pus that must be drained. If you feel any strange sensations, or notice anything untoward in your urine or wounds, ensure you contact your GP or consultant to check out your symptoms.
A horrible coloured discharge which resembles dried blood or appears to be the tail end of a regular menstrual cycle is another possible sign of infection. Ensure you contact your GP or consultant for advice.
After around three months, my consultant had advised that it was OK for me to return to sexual relations. The fear of causing more damage to already tender areas was what caused most of my anxiety. When I asked my consultant about it, he gave me some good advice. Listen to your body. It will tell you when It’s ready. For me, it was around six months post-op. Everyone is different but ensure you listen to your body.
When my consultant told me I had to start walking the day after my hysterectomy. I thought he’d gone stark staring mad. What happened to a few weeks of bed rest and breaking yourself in gently? None of that. But, I’m grateful he did make me walk straight away. I began with 2 minutes a day for the first day, then gradually increased it by a minute a day. Once I had built myself up, which was around a month. I then started working with a personal trainer. Going back to basics but I’m fitter now than I was before my surgery. I highly recommend this if you can afford it, if not, start to walk with friends or family.
Having to undergo three surgeries, I was very concerned that my mental health would also suffer. I had previously been ill with stress, anxiety and depression. Knowing I couldn’t let that happen again, I made sure I did my meditations (you can download my free one from my book here) and kept a gratitude journal to keep my thoughts positive. Read more about using writing to help you heal here.
Once my recovery was complete, I wanted to find a way to help others understand what to expect following a hysterectomy so as well as writing this blog I also wrote my first novel. You can read more about why I wrote it here.
I wish you well with your journey and If you would like further support and to work with me, please book a discovery call here or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org