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The Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber provides a variety of services to help patients and their families cope with the many physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment. We are committed to helping patients regain a sense of control over their lives and feel their best throughout treatment and beyond.
Many women have asked what they can do to help themselves recover after having a hysterectomy. Most of the strategies are common sense tips to overall good health. The suggestions listed below are meant to help you feel better faster and prevent complications. This can be used as a useful guide during your recovery and in the future.
Discuss this with your surgeon during your first postoperative visit, but the general rule is nothing in the vagina for eight weeks. (This includes tampons, douche products, and having sexual intercourse).
Your bowel takes time to recover from surgery. By the time you are discharged, you should be passing "gas" or flatus. This should continue once you are home. Your first bowel movement should occur 4-5 days after surgery. You may experience "gas" pain. Drinking hot liquids and walking will help relieve discomfort. You should use a stool softener such as Colace (docusate) and a mild laxative such as Senekot (sennosides) or Milk of Magnesia, which you can purchase at the drugstore. You should continue the Colace and laxative until you have stopped taking the pain medication or your stools become unusually loose.
Sometimes cancer and cancer treatment can change sexual function and desire. The Sexual Health Program at Dana-Farber provides a comfortable, supportive environment where you can talk with a health care professional about your questions and concerns.