Do This – Not That: Housekeeping Tips After Hysterectomy

You’ve had a hysterectomy. You know you need to take it easy and give your body a chance to heal, but does that mean you can do absolutely nothing for 6 weeks?

No! In fact, lying in bed for 6 weeks could do more harm than good. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, you should start moving around a bit after the first few days. You should then slowly increase your activity level during the rest of your recovery.

There are, however, several tasks you should avoid until your doctor specifically clears you. They may seem simple enough, but they could be pulling on those healing and tender areas you can’t see. Or those activities may lead to other actions which will do damage.

For example, you might think a short drive around the block is okay, but what happens if you have to slam on your brakes? Besides the sudden jerking to hit the brake, your seatbelt will instantly tighten across tender areas, your body will tense, and you may be thrown forward. Or what about that small grocery bag you want to carry? What happens if you start to drop it? The involuntary motions of trying to save your stuff could strain healing tissues and may even cause you to fall.

You do need to be careful, but rather than curling up and waiting for your 6 week appointment before you venture from bed, try some of these tips:


  • Follow your doctor’s orders for you.
  • Use caution in whatever you do.
  • Listen to your body.
  • Stop before you overdo it.
  • Stick to walking for exercise.
  • If in doubt, don’t do it – call your doctor first.



  • Don’t sweep, vacuum, or mop.
  • Don’t stretch to reach something.
  • Don’t stand or sit for hours without moving.
  • Don’t lift or carry more than about 10 pounds.
  • Don’t take pain medications and then start doing “just a bit” – you could easily overdo it.
  • Don’t wait until it hurts or you’re tired before you stop.
  • Don’t do anything that causes you to strain your abdominal area – if you feel a tug, stop!


Acceptable Light Housekeeping After Week 1

  • Wiping the counter.
  • Using the microwave.
  • Very light cooking that requires no lifting and little standing.
  • Folding laundry someone brings to you.
  • Making lists of chores for others.
  • Light dusting.

It’s a good idea to clarify with your doctor what is and is not allowed for you during your recovery. Everyone is different and every doctor does things just a bit differently, too. It’s better to err on the side of caution and leave questionable tasks for others. You’ve heard it before: You only have one chance to heal right the first time, so take advantage of i


This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Do This – Not That: Housekeeping Tips After Hysterectomy

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