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Exercise After Oophorectomy

An oophorectomy is a surgical procedure that removes one or both of your ovaries 1. In certain cases, you might also have your uterus or fallopian tubes removed at the same time. Depending on what type of oophorectomy you have, your recovery time will vary, but you will need to limit your physical activity in either case 1. Your doctor will approve exercise when he feels you have healed, but getting all the facts might help ensure a speedy and healthy recovery.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Oophorectomy

A unilateral oophorectomy removes one ovary and a bilateral oophorectomy removes both ovaries 1. Your doctor might perform an oophorectomy if you have cancer, endometriosis, a tubo-ovarian abscess, a benign cyst or if one of your ovaries is twisted 1. Women at an increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer might also have an oophorectomy 1. There are two ways your doctor might remove your ovaries. An abdominal incision might be made and your ovaries taken out through the incision. This procedure will require a longer hospital stay and recovery time. A laparoscopic oophorectomy is done with a laparoscope and requires small incisions and a shorter recovery time 1.

Exercise

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The same evening as your surgery, you will be encouraged to take a short walk. According to Breastcancer.org, walking might help reduce your risk of blood clots, strengthen your stomach muscles and encourage your digestive system to resume normal function. Once you return home, you will need to limit your activities while your incision site heals. If you had a laparoscopic procedure, you will likely be able to resume your normal exercise routine relatively quickly. According to MayoClinic.com, most women can resume their normal activities within six weeks following the oophorectomy 1. Gradually increase how much activity you include in your day as your surgery site heals and you regain your energy.

  • The same evening as your surgery, you will be encouraged to take a short walk.

Doctors often recommend short walks following an oophorectomy 1. Take a walk around your neighborhood, gradually increasing the speed and distance as you recover. Stretching is a low-impact exercise that might help you regain your strength. The NYU Langone Medical Center notes that you can do light chores 2. Light activity will help get your body ready to resume your normal exercise routine. Slowly increase the rest of your exercise activities, such as:

  • light weightlifting
  • swimming
  • sports
  • jogging
  • under the supervision of your doctor

Considerations

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Do not do any heavy lifting during your recovery period. Delegate household chores and child care responsibilities, such as lifting your child, to others while you heal. Call your doctor right away if you develop a fever, if your incision site becomes red and swollen, if your wound begins to bleed or drain pus, or if you experience vaginal discharge. Don't drive or engage in sexual activity until your doctor tells you it's safe. The NYU Langone Medical Center recommends eating a healthy diet as another way to encourage proper healing 2.

  • Do not do any heavy lifting during your recovery period.
  • Delegate household chores and child care responsibilities, such as lifting your child, to others while you heal.
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