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Why Am I Cramping after My Hysterectomy?

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Woman with crampsI have been having cramping since my hysterectomy. It’s not my uterus, so what could it be?

One of the reasons you had a hysterectomy was because of pelvic pain. You wanted to get rid of the cramping and uncomfortable abdominal and pelvic symptoms you were experiencing during your period. But you are still having cramps even without a uterus. What's going on?

Prior to a hysterectomy, your uterus contracted each month in response to the hormones produced by your ovaries. The contractions helped shed the endometrium each month, resulting in your period. For some women, those contractions were very painful.

But the contracting uterus isn’t the only organ you might have been feeling during that time of the month. Other organs were affected by the hormones produced by your ovaries, too.

You kept your ovaries in hopes they would continue to function each month and stave off menopause. But that also means you could continue to experience ovulation and possible premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Ovulation itself can cause some pelvic pain, and during PMS there are also hormonal changes that cause symptoms.

Your bowels are one of the organs affected by the changing hormones. Remember how you experienced diarrhea or constipation during your period? Thanks to the hormones produced by your ovaries, those symptoms can continue after a hysterectomy, even though you won’t experience an bleeding.

Just as before, you can have other gastrointestinal issues along with PMS, too. These can include bloating and nausea. Any time your digestive system is off, you can experience some cramping and pain, including both diarrhea and constipation.

Some other causes for abdominal and pelvic pain and cramping can be co-existing, non-gynecologic health issues. For instance, if you have endometriosis, it can continue to cause pain and symptoms even after a hysterectomy. Interstitial cystitis (IC), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and cysts are just some of the other possible culprits.

So what can you do about post-hysterectomy cramps? Staying hydrated, avoiding junk food, and exercising can all help. If symptoms are too extreme and it's concluded that they are related to your cycle, birth control pills to prevent ovulation may help. You should also keep a symptom diary so you and your doctor can determine if there are underlying health issues contributing to your symptoms.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-21-2016 - 04:24 PM


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