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Is Bleeding After a Hysterectomy Normal?

Bleeding After Hysterctomy: Is It Abnormal?

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Updated June 02, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Question: I had a hysterectomy last month. I’m still having bleeding. When is bleeding normal after a hysterectomy?

Answer: Some bleeding after a hysterectomy is normal. In the 6 to 8 weeks following the procedure, some bleeding or spotting is to be expected. A hysterectomy is a major surgery and tissues may have been removed from several different areas, providing many opportunities for small amounts of bleeding.

The key with normal bleeding is that it should decrease as you heal. For example, if you were bleeding less each day during your first week of recovery, then the next day you had a significant increase in bleeding, that is abnormal bleeding and should be reported to your surgeon.

Heavy bleeding in the recovery phase is not considered normal and should be reported to the surgeon immediately. Bright red blood, which is "fresh" blood, indicates a current source of bleeding.

If you do experience spotting or bleeding during your recovery, be sure to mention it to your surgeon during your follow up visit.

Bleeding, Sex and Hysterectomy

You should be able to return to having sex 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery. If you note any bleeding after having intercourse, be sure to mention it to your ob-gyn.

Bleeding After Recovery From Hysterectomy Surgery

Bleeding after you have finished recovering from hysterectomy surgery is not normal, and should be reported to your physician. This bleeding should not be ignored as it can be a sign of more serious medical conditions. Regardless of whether the bleeding is fresh blood (bright red) or older blood (darker red), no amount of bleeding after fully recovering from a hysterectomy is considered normal. If you are experiencing this type of bleeding, call your physician and schedule an appointment immediately.

The one exception to this is the regular period experienced by some women who have had a subtotal hysterectomy. Women who have this type of hysterectomy may experience periods, though this type of bleeding is considered a less than undesirable outcome.

Everything You Need To Know About Hysterectomy Surgery

Sources:

Hysterectomies. National Institutes of Health http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002915.htm

Spotting, despite hysterectomy, never considered “normal”. Dr. Peter Gott. The Daily Herald. Accessed January 28, 2009 https://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=184007

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