Now that your operation is over, your recovery period is beginning. While postoperative recovery is different for everyone, most patients experience both physical and emotional reactions to an operation. Take time to let yourself heal. This information will tell you what you should do to help yourself recover and about some of the things that you may experience after your operation.
You will be given one or two prescriptions after the procedure. They are to help your uterus return to its normal size and to prevent an infection. During the procedure, you also may have been given an injection in your thigh to help your uterus return to normal. It is important that you fill your prescription(s) when you leave the clinic and take the medications as directed by the Discharge Nurse or the Hotline Coordinator.
You may experience some of the following:
Bleeding: You may have no bleeding, some spotting or staining, or menstrual-like bleeding on and off for up to 3-4 weeks. It is not unusual to have little or no bleeding in the first few days and then to have heavier bleeding once you become more active. If you have bleeding that fully soaks through one maxi-sized pad in one hour or less, lie down with your feet up and call us.
Cramping: If you experience cramping, take Ibuprofen 200mg tabs (if you are not allergic), 2 to 3 tablets every 6 hours as needed. You can buy Ibuprofen without a prescription. If you are allergic you may use Extra-Strength Tylenol. Do not take aspirin. You can also use a hot water bottle or heating pad on your stomach for 20 minutes every 2 hours to help relieve your discomfort.
Fever: Take your temperature twice a day for the next 2 days. Call us if your temperature is greater than 100.4 degrees for more than 8 hours. Please note, taking your temperature orally within 30 minutes of eating, drinking, smoking, or brushing your teeth will give you a false reading.
Breast Discomfort: Some women get painful, swollen, hard, or leaking breasts after the procedure. This is normal. It can take about 2 weeks for this to subside. Do not overly manipulate your breasts as this can increase milk production and cause more discomfort. Place an ice pack in a wash cloth or small towel and place it on your breasts for 20 minutes every 2 hours to help relieve the discomfort. It will also help to wear a sports bra. You may also use Ibuprofen or Extra-Strength Tylenol as discussed above for breast discomfort.
Sadness: Some women feel sad or blue after their procedure. This is normal and is due, to changes in your body's hormone levels. It usually goes away in a few weeks. If your continue to feel sad, please call us so that we can arrange counseling. You can go back to your regular daily activities after your procedure, but do not put anything into your vagina until you have had your follow-up exam. This means no vaginal intercourse, no tampax or tampons (use only pads), no tub baths or swimming (take showers), and nodouching.
Your first period should begin in 4-8 weeks. It may be heavier than usual, with more cramping and possibly clotting. This is normal. Call us if you do not get your period within 12 weeks. It is possible to get pregnant before your next period, since ovulation, the time when you can get pregnant, occurs before your period. Remember to use a reliable method of birth control and to wait until after your follow-up exam (at least 2 weeks after your procedure) before having intercourse.
In order to assure that you are progressing normally, you should have a pelvic exam 2-3 weeks after your procedure. If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, please telephone us:
- Bleeding that completely soaks one maxi-sized pad in one hour or less.
- Fever greater than 100.4 F for more than 8 hours. (Remember that eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum, or brushing your teeth within 30 minutes of taking your temperature orally will give you a false reading).
- Pain that does not respond to the Motrin or Tylenol as directed above.