Preparing for your Hysterectomy

Together in Surgical Menopause

Plan ahead
We understand that going into hospital can be very daunting. Planning ahead for your hospital stay and recovery can help reduce stress.

  • Take some time to think of any questions to ask your consultant, such as, expected date of discharge.
  • Make arrangements at work, put your out of office on.
  • Arrange transport to and from the hospital.
  • If you’re a parent make childcare arrangements, it’s okay to ask for help.

  • Pack your hospital bag. We found it helpful to include the following items:
  • Loose comfortable clothes
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Essential toiletries
  • Reading material
  • Phone charger
  • Earphones
  • Earplugs
  • Eye mask
  • Hospital wards can be noisy and busy. It can help to switch off from these surroundings with an eye mask and using earphones to listen to something which will relax you.
  • You may need your bank card to purchase wi-fi because in some hospitals there is not a good mobile phone signal, so you may need wi-fi to message your family/friends.

    We've created a useful checklist that you can download here.

  • Useful bits ‘n’ bobs for recovery
  • Comfortable and loose nightwear
  • Poop stool and stool softener
  • Grabber stick
  • Support pillow, a V or a long rectangular one can support your body and help make you more comfortable
  • Sometimes the most important thing you can do is RELAX
  • Now is the time to binge watch Netflix, listen to podcasts, read, crochet – whichever floats your boat.

  • Get your home ‘recovery ready'
  • Prepare some easy meals that can just be popped in the oven
  • Stock up on any household essentials
  • Get up to date with cleaning, washing and ironing
  • Pop clean bedsheets on, there’s nothing nicer than fresh bedsheets when you return home from hospital!
  • Move any items that you use regularly to waist height, bending down can be quite uncomfortable initially. It can be helpful to keep a small table of useful items next to your bedside in the first couple of weeks.

  • It’s good to talk
    Talk through a recovery timeline with friends and family to help manage expectations
    Perhaps pop a list together of anything you may need additional support with, it’s okay to ask for help!
    Highlight that the surgery isn’t an instant fix, stress that recovery will take time
    Signpost them to useful information

    Things to ask your consultant before your surgery
    If you are having your hysterectomy under the NHS, you will usually be provided with a printout of what to expect after your surgery in the initial 6 to 8-week recovery period.

    Whilst it is important to discuss how long you expect your physical recovery period to take, it is just as important to arm yourself with information regarding your long-term recovery and health following a hysterectomy.

    Your consultant should be considering if and what type of HRT you will need following your hysterectomy. This should include the use of local oestrogen. Many young women who enter surgical menopause due to an oophorectomy (ovaries removed) benefit from both systemic and local oestrogen as well as testosterone hormone replacement. (More about HRT here)

    You may be worrying about the impact of a hysterectomy on your sex life. You are usually advised not to have penetrative sex for around 6 weeks following your surgery but this can vary depending on your own circumstances and type of surgery. You can read more about what to expect during your recovery here

    If you are having a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with Bilateral Oophorectomy we advise that you ask your consultant about being referred to a menopause clinic for the long-term management of surgical menopause.
    Unfortunately, it is likely that you’ll be discharged back to your GP following surgery. Regrettably, many GPs are not trained in menopause let alone the more complex issues surrounding hormone insufficiency in younger women brought about through surgery. There are not enough NHS menopause clinics in the UK but it is possible to be referred out of area. We highly recommend that you ask for a referral to a menopause clinic following your hysterectomy, especially if you have had your ovaries removed.

    You can search for your nearest clinic on the British Menopause Society website

    Having a hysterectomy is a major operation and we would recommend that you consider counselling beforehand and post-surgery.

    Click here to download our Preparing for your hysterectomy info sheet

    Click here to download our Hospital bag checklist