The recovery from hysterectomy varies widely from patient to patient, primarily because of the different approaches used for the surgery and the different reasons the surgery is performed.
As an example, a person who has a portion of the uterus removed laparoscopically to treat chronic bleeding will probably have a much easier recovery than a patient who has an open hysterectomy used to treat cancer of the ovaries and uterus, as the surgery is harder on the body and the underlying condition causes exhaustion, pain, and significant emotional and physical stress.
Most hysterectomy patients return home within 48 hours of surgery with a prescription pain reliever. Laparoscopic patients are able to return to most of their usual activities within two weeks. Open patients typically require six to eight weeks and have significantly more restrictions due to the large incision. Open patients should not lift anything greater than 10 pounds for at least six weeks after surgery.
Regardless of the type of hysterectomy, patients should refrain from soaking in tub baths and swimming for at least six weeks after the procedure. In addition, some discharge is to be expected during recovery, but unexplained heavy bleeding or pus should be reported immediately.
Most women are able to return to sexual intercourse without pain or discomfort by six or eight weeks after surgery, but the individual surgeon will have an opinion about when is most appropriate.