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Hysterectomy and weight gain

Many women complain about gaining weight after a hysterectomy and they often put it down to the surgery itself. However, it is entirely possible that weight put on after a hysterectomy is simply down to not modifying the amount eaten to take account of the hugely reduced amount of exercise being taken and comfort eating.

It is unfortunate as well, that the majority of hysterectomies take place when women are entering a phase of life where it is more difficult to shed the extra pounds due to changes in the metabolism.

If a woman has an abdominal hysterectomy, she may also appear to gain weight simply because of where the scar is situated, which can seem to create a sort of ‘pouch’ effect. The swelling in this area does go down in time, but the abdomen will never be completely flat again.

183 thoughts on “Hysterectomy and weight gain

  1. I’ve had my histerectomy in 1998. They only took out my womb. I was fine back then. But April 2015 they removed 1 ovary and both my tubes together with a cyst and a hugo tumor and growths. Since then i have gained 14kg’s and I am still gaining. I still have swollen feet every month and i weigh 2-3kgs more for a couple of days every month. My breasts are also very tender. Is this normal?

  2. Hello. I am 52 years old and have had my period since I was 11. My history has been that of extremely heavy periods (8+ days), cramps so painful that I could not work for 2-3 days during menstruation, painful, troublesome PMS, painful breasts, recurrent abdominal pain. I read on the Internet that 99% of women go through menopause when their mother did, or at least other women in their family. That has not been my case, at all. I have had cysts on my ovaries, endometriosis on some of my other organs, and most recently, flooding and clots of blood, and adenomyosis. I have suffered long and hard, and at many times, have been beyond reproach. Mothers and doctors do not discuss these problems to the women they know, or treat. The gynecologist told me that I should stop my periods soon, and that was when I was 48! That was 4 and 1/2 years ago. When I went to my first appointment with a specialist, she said that she wished I would have seen her 10 years ago, because if I had, she would have considered a hysterectomy. She said, since I am “so close” to going through menopause, it would be “silly” to do it at this point. What the doc’s don’t tell you is this: That they have NO IDEA when you, or anyone else will actually stop their period. They may tell you that it will be “any time,” but that may mean that it could be next month, or 10 years from now. They may also avoid telling you that even when you do stop bleeding, and have a year under your belt of being period-free, it doesn’t mean that you won’t start bleeding again after menopause. As long as a woman has a uterus, bleeding is ALWAYS a possibility. And try to get a hysterectomy from one of these UCLA doc’s when you no longer have period!. They will probably say that I should have come in 20 years ago and that its too late now! My most recent appointment with the specialist included arguing with her on my behalf in order to advocate for myself on this situation, and not once did she tell me what BENEFITS I could expect if I did have a hysterectomy. Now it stands that she has told me that if I “WANT” a hysterectomy, that she will perform one. She has already sent me to a vaginal rehabilitation person for pain and pelvic floor disease, an acupuncturist, offered me birth control pills (when I was young they said NEVER to take these after the age of 35), shots to stop ovulation, a DNC, and a uterine “ablation.” Some I’ve tried, and some I haven’t. What a farce! Now she has left the decision up to me, and I am doubting my own feelings about it, thinking, “what if I do it, and there are other things that come up from the surgery?” Also, “was she right all along?” “Will it affect my sex life, give me problems with prolapsed bladder/bowel, not being able to hold urine, and the dreaded of ALL THINGS TO ME: WEIGHT GAIN?” I have to say that I do not put much faith in physicians at all. I used to trust them implicitly, now I think that many of them aren’t sure what they are talking about…that’s why they call it a “PRACTICE.” This website scares me, if only for the fact that Linda Parkinson-Hardman keeps telling the people who write in that there isn’t any reason that they should gain weight after a hysterectomy, and if they do, it will strictly be due to over consumption of food, and lack of exercise after the procedure. Those are NOT the only reasons that there could be unwanted weight gain. There are many women out there who are militant about what they eat, how much they exercise, etc. As some of these women have said, “I exercise the same and eat really healthy.” Personally, I do not believe that they are all liars. I also do not like the attitude, “don’t worry about the weight gain. Everything will be ok.” Or, “eventually, some of the weight might come off.” I know from experience that that for me, none of those work. I remember gaining weight from several anti-depressants such as Paxil, Celexa, Seroquil, oh, and my personal “favorite,” Remeron. I can tell you that if you were a little depressed before you took any of these, you will be five times as depressed after you look at the scale and see that you have gained 30 pounds. The doc’s will say the same thing: “The percentages are low for weight gain,” or, “It’s all because the meds stimulate the appetite and you are eating more.” I am a former anorectic, and I do have body-dysmorphic disorder. I know what goes into my mouth and how many calories I can eat in order to stay at a certain weight. When I was taking those meds, I promise you that I was restricting like heck, exercising regularly, and still the weight did not come off. More recently, I had to stop taking a steroid nose spray because I gained 10 pounds in 6 months. Of course the doc said, “people don’t gain weight from a steroid in nose spray form.” Hogwash. That’s what it is! I saw an endocrinologist today and she told me that people do, indeed gain weight from this. The doc’s wonder why our body-fat percentage goes up after we gain a ton of weight on a medication, and they don’t seem to be too concerned that our weight is not a reflection of what we eat. They don’t even say anything about inexplainable weight gain, contributing to high blood sugar, or diabetes. Another doc once told me that there is no reason my feet should be a larger size after I deliver a baby. After my second child, I swear that my shoe size went up 1-1 and 1/2 sizes, and it wasn’t just the width! Another lie from a doctor. I do realize that my comments can seem somewhat severe, but all of this is what actually happened. I am not sure where the other people who wrote on this site live, but I think they may live in Europe, but if not Europe, somewhere other than the United States. I live in California, and I had to look up the meaning of gaining “a stone.” Apparently that means 14 pounds, according to my computer. I am 5 feet, almost 2 inches, and when I became an adult I weighed 95 pounds. That was probably not enough. But most of my adult years (other than during weight-gaining medication times equaling about 3 years, or pregnancies), my regular weight was from 108-113 pounds. I would allow myself to get up to 115 at times, but anything higher than that, it was restricting and exercising until it came off. On meds, this didn’t work. I am wondering if it will work after menopause or a hysterectomy. I have no problem with anyone being obese, or overweight, or gaining a few pounds, etc. But it’s not for me. My dad eats like a horse and never gains weight. I have known women who died at the same weight as they were when they were young. I do not accept that women have to become overweight or fat because of meds, menopause, or surgeries. Being a depressive, if given the choice of living the remainder of my life as a fat person, or death, I choose death. I just don’t feel like myself, or a human being when I have gained a bunch of weight, and cannot move around like I have been able to in the past. My physicians and hospital are through UCLA. It’s supposed to be 5th in the nation. Apparently not as good as other countries, such as places where the people live who write into this site. I know this because many have had surgeries for similar problems that I have, or for less. Unbelievable. Enough said.

  3. Hi all, i’m 9wks after having a full hysterectomy,I had my ovaries and everything taken away,I’d like to share my story as I know other woman who have gone through this will understand,I suffered many years with pmts bad monthly etc,I had a hysterectomy to cure the problem,for the first 3 weeks I wasn’t suffering any anxiety etc,after the 5th week I started with anxiety hot and cold sweats feeling nervous not feeling myself at all,I took tibilone for 2 weeks but felt much worse so I stopped them,I started to feel better but now I’m on the 9th week and now I’ve started to feel anxious hot and cold sweats,I really don’t want to go back on hrt if i can help it,I know this may sound silly but is the change like pmts where these feelings come at certain times because a few wks I’m ok and then bam the feeling gs come back ??any information would be very much appreciated :) x

  4. Hi ladies, I’m so pleased that I found this site! I had a full abdominal hysterectomy on 30.9.15 and am due to return to work tomorrow after 6 weeks off. I’ve not had any post op advice and no sign of my follow up appointment with my consultant. I was discharged from hospital after a one night stay with paracetamol and ibuprofen. They didn’t mention HRT. I’ve had to see my GP twice recently and I’m trying HRT gel as the Estradiol tablets made me feel very sick with awful headaches. I’ve put 10lbs on so far and my pouch is sore and very swollen. I’ve asked for an extra week off work as although I’m walking each day, my job involves running around a huge office block which I don’t feel ready to do yet! I’m tired all the time from very disrupted sleep due to horrendous night sweats. BUT although I hate looking at my body, I’m sooooo pleased not to have the horrendously heavy periods and am saving a fortune in sanitary items! Good luck to you all with your recoveries! X

  5. i had a full hysterectomy on 7/9/15, it’s now 2 weeks on and each day is s great improvement
    The worst pain of all, which nobody warns you about, is the trapped wind and constipation! In hospital I excepted all pain relief available but 2 days worth of medication caused irritation to my stomach( ibuprofen didn’t agree) . I came home after 2 nights in hospital and immediately stopped any pain relief.
    Drink plenty of kiwi crush, eat kiwi fruit, drink peppermint tea and massage your stomach!
    From the first day home I’ve walked down the street, increasing the distance each day
    My stomach is still swollen and I seemed to have gained an overhang where my stitches are. This is really depressing and I hope in time this goes down

    Looking forward to a new lease of life once fully recovered
    If anyone else has any advise on the ‘overhang’ I’d be interested to hear how long before it goes down ( hoping it does)
    I was put into HRT immediately and so far so good
    Onwards and upwards

  6. Hi
    Went in hospital for hysterectomy on the 9th September 2015
    Day by day I’m getting stronger and feeling good in myself .
    A lot of this weight gain is what you eat and exercise not the operation.
    I’ve come home and maniged on my own with little help apart from odd hour hear and there .
    Strong mind strong body .
    Rest , eat greens , fish , fruite , and little moves around the home a little more day by day.
    Posative thoughts no negative ladies

  7. I am having a partial hysterectomy in a few months. I am trying to lose about 20lbs before then. I had 2 C-sections and a tubeligation, and I would like to have a vaginal hysterectomy. My C-Section and tubeligation was done at the same time, 3yrs ago. Will this prevent me from having a vaginal hysterectomy? Also, my mom had a vaginal hysterectomy about 20yrs ago, she lost about 15lbs and has not gained any of it back. I’m hoping I will be just like that.

  8. Hi all you lovely ladies
    I am so frightened of gaining weight after my hysterectomy and my stomach being lose and flabby what should I do .
    I was told to get to about 7.7 stone ( I am 4.11 ft ) and do loads of stomach exercise to really tighten up my stomach.
    After op I was just told to drink water and 2 to 4 teas/coffees and lower my calories to 850 a day please help me this seems very drastic

    1. Hi Michelle. It may seem drastic but you are very much less active for several weeks post op than you are before – even if you don’t feel you are that active beforehand. As you recover though and get back into your normal routine your eating habits should return to normal.

  9. I had a full hysterectomy at 22 years old, and now 10 years later I gained over 100lbs and exercise daily eat healthy and the weight just keeps coming I’ve tried everything and nothing works , help !!!

    1. You might be menopausal or you might have problems with other hormone levels – it would be worth asking your GP to do a full health screening to see if that could be contributing to the problem.

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