Bladder issues after radical hysterectomy

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Hi, I’m just over two weeks post radical hysterectomy. I’ve had 2 trials without catheter now. I did better at the last one. I could squeeze some urine out but not enough. I don’t have any feeling of needing a wee. I’m being referred to urology now. 

I just wondered if anybody else lost their feeling of needing a wee and whether it came back? Or if anyone struggled to wee but it got better? I’d also appreciate hearing of anyones experience of urology and what they can do to help. 

I know my surgeon went through the risks before surgery but honestly I had to blank out some of it! He is going to call me this week which will hopefully help but at the moment I’m not sure if this will be a long term issue or something that can improve! 

Thanks for readingxxx

  • Hi  

    I’m sorry to hear you are still struggling and your bladder doesn’t seem to want to get going again-it must be very frustrating for you. 

    I don’t have the relevant experience to share as my bladder worked fine after my attempt at a hysterectomy, and then it was removed completely during my surgery for recurrence, but I am aware from others that rarely this can be a complication from the rad hyst surgery, and sometimes intermittent self catheterisation has been required going forward-not a permanent catheter. 

    Let’s see if any other ladies have had this issue and can pop in with some advice for you. It is very recent in your recovery, so I hope that things will improve without further intervention, although the urologists will hopefully have answers short term. Apart from this issue, I hope your recovery is going well!

    Sarah xx


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  • Thank you  . My recovery is going well overall. I think I forget that the toilet issues are all part of the recovery and it is still early days. I’ve spent another day sorting my constipation issues too so that set me back a bit. I hoped to go out today but ended up stuck in with the toilet! I’m hoping I can get out tomorrow 

    Thanks for your supportx

  • Toilet issues are definitely a big part of the recovery process,  .The bowel doesn’t like being handled and moved during surgery and it can take time to settle back to normal and get going properly again. But it will. It helps to put your feet on a low stool when you go to the loo-it’s a more natural position to be in, and it saves any straining. 

    It’s good to hear you are generally recovering well-it’s major surgery with a lot of healing to be done, so make sure to take it easy and look after yourself. You’ll get there!

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi May2

    It sounds like you're doing better bladder-wise than I did.  At 4 weeks post RH I couldn't pee a single drop and had no sensation, despite treatment with bethanechol to try and kickstart my bladder into action.  I then started intermittent self catheterisation (ISC) and after a couple weeks could pee about few spoonfuls; however was then advised to have chemo-radiotherapy treatment during which time I relapsed back into total urinary retention.  After completion of treatment I once again was able to pee small amounts.  My bladder function continued to improve very gradually over the course of a year and possibly beyond.  These days I still have a degree of urinary retention but luckily no longer need to use catheters.

    It seems I was unusally unlucky with my bladder in terms of post op retention and I've only come across a couple of women who've had worse experiences as a result of an RH.

    An important tip should you have to self catheterise: try not to allow your bladder to hold more than 500ml (some say 400ml) otherwise the bladder muscle can get overstretched which can make it harder to regain normal bladder function.  My medical team were a bit tardy in telling me this and on occasions my bladder contained up to 800ml! nevertheless I managed to get a reasonable recovery.

    Hope all goes well for you.

    I was diagnosed with stage 2A squamous cell cervical cancer (node negative) in 2017 following symptoms: persistent, watery, yellow vaginal discharge then post-menopuasal bleeding.  My treatment was a radical hysterectomy followed by chemo-radiotherapy.  My long term side effects include lymphoedema and urinary retention which I manage with intermittent self catheterisation.
  • Hi  

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m so glad you eventually recovered from this. It gives me hope. I’m having another trial without catheter on Saturday and I’m not looking forward to it!x