For many women, a hysterectomy can be a dreaded operation. Although it's usually necessary, a hysterectomy leaves a woman in pain for some days as her body goes through the healing process. If you're in this situation, or wondering what you can do when the time comes to recover from your hysterectomy, follow these steps.
Take it easy. You don't want to engage in strenuous activities like jogging, swimming or weight-lifting as you recover from a hysterectomy. Your muscles and wounds need time to heal. Even picking up objects (including your children) puts you at risk of opening your wounds. You'll just have to put your feet up for a few days and leave the housework to the family, much to their chagrin.
Refrain from sexual activities for at least 4 weeks. This may seem excessive, but you need to abstain after a hysterectomy while your body heals. Having sex too early can cause organ displacement and also runs the risk of infection. (You should probably prepare hubby for this before your hysterectomy, so he has time to process it.)
Work through the hormone changes. When you have a hysterectomy, you lose hormones that your body is used to having around. With your hormones in flux, you will experience mood swings and bouts of depression. Know that this is regular and try to do small activities that keep you positive and happy as you recover from a hysterectomy.
Start with some simple exercises. As soon as you can, it's important to start moving after your hysterectomy. Of course, you don't want do anything too strenuous. Some simple stretches and easy walks, upon your doctor's approval, will jumpstart your recovery after your hysterectomy.
Meet up with other women. You don't need to go through the recovery process on your own. There are lots of other women who are probably experiencing the same thing as you are right now. Get in touch with friends, family and other acquaintances that have been through, or are going through, the recovery process. They can offer great support and encouragement to you. And they also offer a true perspective on what you can expect as you recover from a hysterectomy. (If you don't know anyone who has had a hysterectomy, there are online forums full of women looking for support and friendship as they recover as well.)
Take your time. Everyone recovers from a hysterectomy at a different pace. Don't let anyone tell you how you should be recovering. Listen to your body, don't take on more than you can handle and go at your own pace. This will ensure that your body is not pushed beyond its comfortable limits as you recover from a hysterectomy.
A hysterectomy is a life-changing operation for women, but it doesn't have to be a difficult one. You simply need to take things slow and don't put too much stress on your body. Along with encouragement from family and friends, you should have the resources you need to lead you through a healthy recovery.