What to Know About Exercise After a Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy can be stressful and painful. While it’s possible you’ll have a variety of emotions about the surgery, how you react after the surgery is vital in order to prevent unwanted effects such as pelvic organ prolapse.  This is why so many doctors recommend exercise after hysterectomy. But what exercises should one do?

What Happens After a Hysterectomy

You may be battling a wide array of issues after the surgery such as mood swings, hot flashes and a decreased sex drive, among other symptoms of menopause. For some women, pelvic organ prolapse causes an issue that treatments like hormone replacement therapy are unable to address. It’s estimated that between 30 to 40 percent of women who undergo a hysterectomy will develop this condition. It happens when the organs in the pelvic region, including the bladder, shift their position due to a weakening in the pelvic floor.

Women who’ve had a hysterectomy become more susceptible to this condition due to areas of the pelvic region being removed and reattached, which can leave this area weak. The bladder, rectum and other areas of the pelvic region have a space remaining after the surgery, which allows the organs to slip out of place. Once they become dislocated, you could suffer from a number of uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms such as urinary leakage. This particular condition also can cause pain during sex.

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Importance of Kegel Exercises 

Kegel exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. By strengthening these muscles, it can help to prevent prolapse. Moreover, it has the potential to begin to reverse the pelvic organ prolapse from your surgery. As soon as you know you need a hysterectomy, you should begin doing kegels on a regular basis. Once you have the surgery, you’ll need to wait about a month before you can begin doing kegel exercise after hysterectomy. You should consult with your surgeon on the exact length of time after your surgery when you can begin doing the exercises because every woman is different.

After you find the right muscles, you should tighten the muscles for five seconds to begin with and then release for five seconds. You should repeat four times in a row. Start off slow at first since the area is sensitive. As you continue to heal, keep increasing how long you tighten the muscles for. Additionally, you should slowly continue to increase the number of repetitions you do in each set. It’s important you continue to do kegels, no matter how long it is after you’ve had the surgery, because you’ll always be at risk for developing pelvic organ prolapse.