Do This – Not That: Gas and Constipation after Hysterectomy

It’s not uncommon to have gas and constipation issues following a hysterectomy. Anesthesia can cause sluggish bowels; pain medications can be constipating; the lack of activity doesn’t promote bowel activity; and there are usually dietary changes before and after a hysterectomy.

It may be a few days before you have a bowel movement after your hysterectomy. Initially, stools may be hard and tough to pass. You may also have some gas issues.

Whether it’s bowel issues or gas problems, you can find yourself uncomfortable. You may even experience pain, especially in areas that are still tender from healing.

To help you prevent and cope with gas and constipation, here are some simply do’s and don’ts that you can follow during your hysterectomy recovery.


  • Drink lots of water.
  • Walk, walk, walk.
  • Chew gum.
  • Try some Moving Recipes from Hyster Sisters.
  • Eat foods high in fiber.
  • Drink warm liquids like prune juice and coffee.
  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Add bran, nuts, and seeds to your meals.
  • Eat oatmeal regularly.
  • Stay upright as much as possible–but do rest.
  • Lie on your left side.
  • Avoid gas producing foods.
  • Use stool softeners.
  • Ask about non-constipating pain medications.


  • Don’t get dehydrated.
  • Don’t take pain medications unless you need them.
  • Don’t eat a diet high in fat.
  • Don’t eat a lot of junk food.
  • Don’t eat a lot of diary products.
  • Don’t drink a lot of alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
  • Don’t forget to chew your food thoroughly.
  • Don’t eat too quickly.
  • Don’t lie down immediately after eating.
  • Don’t use a straw or suck on hard candy too often–you can swallow air.
  • Don’t eat a few larger meals, instead eat smaller amounts more often.
  • Don’t ignore the urge to go.

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: Gas and Constipation after Hysterectomy

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