We can probably all agree that there is much that is more uncomfortable than constipation. Unless you have just had stomach surgery and you’re facing constipation after a hysterectomy. If you have found this article we can probably agree that constipation after a hysterectomy is really uncomfortable, due to the fact your stomach has just been cut open in some way, and your internal organs are shifting. Yikes.
If you want to fix constipation after a hysterectomy the good news is that we have a few ideas of what might help you, based on my real life experience and personal hysterectomy story (hey, I’m Rachel!)
The really quick answer is that upping your fibre intake before surgery is going to help you with constipation after a hysterectomy. The slightly longer answer is how you should go about doing that.
Personally, I didn’t struggle much after my surgery but that may have been because I was aware of constipation after a hysterectomy and what I needed to do. I also knew about taking magnesium for constipation and have always been pretty regular.
But I am not here to brag. I want to help you with getting those bowels moving again after your hysterectomy surgery.
My key summary to sort constipation after a hysterectomy is:
- Prepare by eating lots of fibre before your surgery
- Try taking magnesium citrate before bed
- Stock up on fibre gel type drinks so you have something ready
- Raise your legs a little when you’re trying to go
- Focus on your breathing and don’t push too hard
- Drink lots of water
- Gently hold your stomach when trying (this tip has been lifted from NHS)
For more detailed info on these tips, keep scrolling. You probably have time as I am willing to bet you are sitting on the loo whilst reading this!
How do you get rid of constipation after a hysterectomy?
Sorry if this is too late for you and you have had your surgery but I need to include this for any one who has yet to have their op. A few days before your surgery you want to start thinking about increasing your fibre intake and increasing it a little.
Go for brown bread, rice and wholegrains and make sure you are eating 5 portions of fruit a day, at least. My favourite high-fibre fruits are raspberries and apples.
- Take magnesium citrate before bed
Magnesium citrate (citrate in particular!) is good for constipation in general so it would be a good idea to add this to your diet if you’re feeling constipated after a hysterectomy. We sell magnesium here and on Amazon, and we get lots of feedback on magnesium for constipation.
It’s only £9.99 for a pack of 60, so well worth having in.
- Stock up on the right meds
I was organised ahead of my op and I knew from various people that you can get constipation after a hysterectomy is quite common, so I knew I needed to get some high fibre sachets in.
They always tend to work for me pretty quickly when I need them so even if you don’t use them, it’s nice to have them just in case.
I have always used fibre gel, you pour it into water, give it a mix and drink. Follow the instructions and they should make you feel better pretty quickly.
- Raise your legs a little
If you’re struggling with constipation in general my top tip is to put your heels onto the toilet seat so your stomach is a little squished, however if you are constipated after a hysterectomy you probably won’t be able to do this. That’s where a little step comes in. I find those ones kids use to reach the sink a perfect height but anything that height works. An upturned laundry basket is also a good example of something that might work for you.
- Focus on your breathing
Bear with me on this one. I learnt it during hypnobirthing, it’ a technique they teach to push the baby out by breathing and you are meant to practise on your number tows. It genuinely does do something! I am not going to pretend I pushed my baby out by breathing but I did find it useful on the loo. Focus on the outbreath and very gentle pushes with each breath.
- Drink lots of water
You are going to be spending alot of time on the sofa unable to move as much as normal so it is natural that your water intake may slow down a little. Don’t let this happen! If you are struggling with constipation after a hysterectomy you really need to make sure you are drinking lots of water. Invest in one of those ridiculously oversized bottles and fill it up before spending the day binging on your fav netflix show.
- Gently hold your stomach when trying
Very gentley, place your hands on your stomach. This wouldn’t have worked for me when I was recovering from a laparotomy but mof your hysterectomy was keyhole and you’re constipated it could work.
How long does constipation last after hysterectomy?
If you follow the tips above hopefully it will not last longer than a day. It varies for everyone though, try to relax. It will come eventually.
First bowel movement after hysterectomy
You’ve just had major surgery and your internal organs are shifting into new positions. Depending on if you had laparotomy or key hole will depend on how cut open your stomach was but my opinion is the first poop after either are not pleasant.
So if you’re wondering about the first time bowel movement after your hysterectomy I am going to teach you a method I picked up after one of my many surgeries.
Firstly, let’s assume you are ready to go, have followed all the tips above and are not constipated after your hysterectomy.
The first tip is to breathe it out. Focus on the outbreath and very gentle pushes with each breath. I did hypnobirthing when I was pregnant and they taught this method to get a baby out, and it has been with me ever since.
The second tip is to raise your legs slightly. You know the steps kids stand on to brush their teeth? Rest your legs on that.
Don’t force it, try and relax. Drink lots of water and make sure you’re eating fresh fruit and your first bowel movement after surgery should be okay!
In my experience it was not painful, so I hope it is the same for you!
Hopefully this has been helpful for you, as ever my inbox is always open [email protected]