Exercise After Oophorectomy

Rest and pain management will be your priorities immediately after surgery.
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An oophorectomy is the surgical removal of one or both ovaries. It may be performed laparoscopically or abdominally. Some movement is necessary for a healthy recovery, but you will need to limit physical activity immediately after your surgery. Beginning or returning to an exercise regimen is dependent on what type of oophorectomy you have and other possible health conditions.

Movement Immediately After Surgery

    Walk with help while still in the hospital.

    Walk with the aid of a walker, by pushing a wheelchair or holding the arm of a friend or nurse within 24 hours after your surgery. Your doctor and hospital medical staff will insist that you stand and walk slowly while you are still at the surgical center or hospital to improve circulation and prevent blood clots.

    Some pain medication can make you feel dizzy or weak.

    Walk from one room to the next at home. After you are discharged, you will be told to take pain medication and to rest. Some pain medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness, so walk slowly with the aid of a family member or friend. If you get light-headed or short of breath, stop and sit for a moment.

    Take it slow at first.

    Walk outdoors when you feel up to it. Every person is different, so let your body tell you when you can walk a little farther. Discomfort in the pelvis and the incision area is normal, but there is no reason to walk or exercise if you are experiencing pain. Doing so can actually slow your recovery. Bending over to tie athletic shoes will be difficult; ask someone to help you.

    Swelling and discomfort are normal.

    Add other forms of exercise to your regimen as permitted by your doctor. Typical recovery time for an abdominal oophorectomy is six weeks; do not engage in any activity that requires lifting or straining the abdominal muscles during that time.

    Things You'll Need

    • Anti-inflammatory medication as prescribed by your doctor

    • Athletic shoes

    • A walker or wheelchair


    • Use your recovery time to regain your health. Light exercise is acceptable as long as your surgeon approves and you don't strain yourself, but strictly avoid bending or lifting. Ask family members to unload the dishwasher for you, to vacuum, take out the trash and carry laundry baskets. At work, ask co-workers to carry heavy books or machinery.


    • Every woman is different and every surgery is different. Always follow your doctor's advice.

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