Q: Why do I have cramps after a hysterectomy?

You describe cramps, not unlike menstrual cramps, after masturbation. Orgasm includes contraction of pelvic floor muscles, and it sounds like you're experiencing some spasms of those muscles. Radical hysterectomies often require tissue removal or dissection surrounding the uterus and ovaries. It's likely your spasms are caused within nerves and muscles that are still healing.

I suspect this will improve with continued healing, but using an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen may help relieve the pain. If, three months or so after surgery, when most healing has taken place, the spasms and pain persist, a consultation with a pelvic floor physical therapist may be helpful. They can assess the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor and often remedy persistent pain.

Continue that healing work! I'm hopeful the pain will resolve itself.


Dr. Barb DePree
Dr. Barb DePree

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12 Responses

Dr Barb
Dr Barb

July 19, 2019

Vicki, these symptoms are cause for concern. Please visit your provider to address them.

Vicki
Vicki

July 19, 2019

I’m 7 months post op-kept my ovaries. I’m having horrible muscle spasms and labor contractions when I walk. I push like I’m in labor, I cramp and have burning and tingling up my sternum that shoots me out of my sleep. The spasms go all the way up my abdomen I cant move without pain and sitting in a car is impossible.

Dr Barb
Dr Barb

May 28, 2019

Catherine, unfortunately I can’t really answer how long symptoms like this may last. Healing is a varied event that is difficult to predict. If there is bleeding in the area, that can cause pain, until that blood absorbs there will likely be continued discomfort. Please do follow up with your provider if you continue to feel pain so they can help you manage your pain and recovery.

Catherine
Catherine

May 28, 2019

I had a laparoscopy for my hysterectomy on monday may 20th exactly 7 days ago. Last night i began to feel contractions like if I was in labor. Worst feeling in the world. With xtra dosage of meds n heating pad slowly did the pain go away but this lasted hours. This morning as soon as I woke up the pain came back. My doctor said its spasms and common but my question is how long will they last. I can’t take anymore of it. There’s a reason a had epidurals wirh my children. How can I prevent from getting these spasms.

Dr Barb
Dr Barb

March 15, 2019

Trish, I really don’t know what the cause of your pain might be. I assume the hysterectomy was done in an attempt to alleviate the pain, so presumably it was not uterine in origin. A post-operative visit/exam would be important to make sure there is no obvious surgery related issue. Then I think an assessment with a pelvic floor physical therapist would be an important consideration.

Trish
Trish

March 15, 2019

I had severe cramping and lower back pain prior to a total hysterectomy (kept cervix) which was performed on Feb 6, 2019. So I’m 5 weeks out. I am having severe cramping and it feels like it did before hysterectomy. I can’t hardly work due to the pain and I have a desk job. I had a colonoscopy about 3 months ago as well. All was good. I have been diagnosed with IBS years ago. Could this be where the pain is coming from?

Dr Barb
Dr Barb

March 05, 2019

Denise, Given your history, it would be worthwhile to have an evaluation by your health care provider. Don’t be shy about describing your symptoms! More information will help him or her understand what’s causing your discomfort and determine what therapy would be beneficial.

Denise
Denise

March 05, 2019

I am almost 5 years post op from a partial hysterectomy in 2014. I am also a cervical and vaginal cancer survivor! I am experiencing a lot of menstrual cramping and vaginal pain every month. I just don’t know or understand what’s going on?

Dr Barb
Dr Barb

February 15, 2019

Jenny, it’s difficult to say why you may have cramping. If you are premenopausal and there is still ovarian function then this wouldn’t be a big surprise, but if you are postmenopausal it is less likely. The next step should be a pelvic exam to determine if there is anything going on to contribute to the discomfort. It can be pelvic floor muscles, it could be GI related so make sure you see your provider to try to determine what might be going on.

Jenny
Jenny

February 15, 2019

I had a partial hysterectomy Nov. 13 of 04. I’m having a lot of cramping. Could I be having trouble with my Ovaries now?

Dr. Barb
Dr. Barb

October 23, 2018

Autumn, it isn’t too surprising that intercourse wasn’t completely comfortable this soon after surgery. That doesn’t necessarily mean there was any harm done, 6 weeks following surgery a lot of healing has occurred and it isn’t likely you can cause any ‘damage’. The cause of pain after surgery can be from an array of possibilities and likely just the healing process that will improve over time. An exam by the surgeon would be helpful to carefully assess to make sure there aren’t other factors that may be causing pain, and that it is just in fact a healing/time related matter.

 Autumn
Autumn

October 23, 2018

I am finally 6 weeks out of a complete robotic hysterectomy and was intimate with my partner last night but this morning I’m experiencing major cramping and pain, my partner noticed I still have some stiches left over from the surgery and I’m now wondering if we caused any damage or if pain is normal

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