Pelvic Floor Exercises Routine For After Hysterectomy

Learn how to start your Kegels or pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy.

This gentle routine is ideal if you’re seeking to safely strengthen your pelvic floor after your surgery. Pelvic floor physical therapist Michelle Kenway guides you through starting out & progressing your exercises. Scroll down for written guidelines & more information.

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Physiotherapist Guide To Pelvic Floor Exercises After Hysterectomy

When to Start Pelvic Floor Exercises?

Most women start pelvic floor exercises around 4-6 weeks after hysterectomy but only with their surgeon’s approval as this can vary from one woman to the next. Seek your surgeon’s approval before recommencing your pelvic floor strengthening exercises after hysterectomy surgery.

Pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy or any pelvic surgery should be pain free during and after exercising.

This video demonstrates 2 positions for returning to pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy surgery; lying down and sitting upright. Ideally commence your exercises lying down.

Pelvic Floor Exercise 1: Lying Down Position

Position your body so that you are either lying down on your back with a pillow under your knees, or
on your side with a pillow between your legs for comfort.

Lying down eliminates the downward force of gravity making this a useful position for pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy.

Lying Down Pelvic Floor Exercise Technique

Before starting out make sure you understand how to find and feel your pelvic floor muscles see

* Try to picture your pelvic floor muscles wrapping in and around your 3 pelvic openings.
* Very gently squeeze and lift inside around your 3 pelvic openings.
* Keep squeezing and lifting for a few seconds.
* Gently relax and lower your pelvic floor muscles back to resting position.
* Breathe deeply to relax your pelvic floor muscles and rest.
* Repeat this exercise again for a total of 1-3 repetitions.

Pelvic Floor Exercise Mistakes to Avoid After Hysterectomy

Some of the common mistakes made doing pelvic floor exercises include:
* Drawing in or pulling in the abdominal muscles strongly
* Squeezing the buttocks or thighs
* Holding the breath rather than breathing normally.

Pelvic floor exercises can be performed daily and kept within the range of personal comfort – avoid overdoing your exercises especially when starting out.

If you experience any discomfort during or after your pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy stop and let your body heal before recommencing. If any pelvic floor discomfort persists have this assessed by your doctor.

Sitting Upright Pelvic Floor Exercises

Doing upright seated pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy helps to encourage the pelvic floor muscles to lift upwards against the downward force of gravity. Upright exercises can be used as a progression position from lying down pelvic floor exercises.

* Sit upright on a comfortable chair ideally a dining chair rather than a soft lounge chair.
* Check you have the correct posture for pelvic floor exercises: your spine should be lengthened and you should have the inward curve in your lower back.
* Feel your pelvic floor openings against the surface of the chair.
* Squeeze and lifting in and around your 3 pelvic openings for a few seconds.
* Relax your pelvic floor back to resting position and breathe into your belly.
* Repeat 1-3 exercises in a row within your range of comfort.
* Try to avoid the mistakes listed above when doing seated pelvic floor exercises.

Progressing Your Pelvic Floor Exercises After Hysterectomy

Pelvic floor muscles become stronger when challenged to work harder. This challenge needs to be applied gradually over time as your body heals after surgery.

Techniques to progress pelvic floor strengthening:

* Doing more exercises up to 8-12 consecutive exercises (up to 3 times daily)
* Holding for longer during each exercise up to 10 seconds at a time
* Contracting your pelvic floor muscles strongly
* Doing your exercises standing upright
* Decreasing the rest between exercises
* Contracting your pelvic floor to hold up against the downward force of a cough or sneeze.

For more information about safe exercise after hysterectomy visit