Some post-op restrictions are tied to the type of hysterectomy performed: full or partial, vaginal or abdominal. There is also the fact that almost every person heals differently. (1) But overall, there are some general rules about what to expect after the procedure has been performed, without any additional complications.
During the first few days following a hysterectomy, women generally feel very tired and groggy. It is essential to have an assigned “buddy” during this time, a friend or family member who can stay close by and help with things like managing the intake of prescribed medications.
Beyond these first few days, the recovery shifts into a period of several weeks, during which a number of obvious and not-so-obvious activities are discouraged. These include sexual intercourse, swimming, taking baths, douching, and even driving. At the same time, any sort of reasonably physical activity is highly recommended. The more walks a post-op patient can take, the faster they are likely to get back to full strength.
Some of the other symptoms that follow hysterectomy are hard to guard against, such as depression and nightmares. However, as far as the sensitivity of the incision area, though this is not an absolute restriction, it is recommended that tight clothing such as workout wear be avoided for the first few weeks. The looser the clothing is the better.
While some of the above mentioned activities can be resumed after the first couple of weeks, sexual intercourse is not one of them.(2) Given the strain on the human body of both that pleasurable activity and something less glamorous like lifting heavy objects or boxes, it is recommended to wait a full six weeks before anything this strenuous.
It may even be as long as eight weeks. Each individual patient will need to heed the advice of her doctor when reviewing how everything is going at this stage. And throughout the two-month recovery stage, there should also be plenty of rest taken in between those leisurely daily walks.
(1) Endometriotis.com – Laparoscopy: Tips Before and After Surgery, Retrieved July 31, 2011 from http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/laparoscopy-before-and-after-tips/
(2) Mayo Clinic – Hysterectomy: What To Expect, Retrieved July 31, 2011 from