Postpartum bleeding or hemorrhage only affects women who have just given birth to a child. While some amount of bleeding post-childbirth is normal, a lot of it is not. It's when bleeding doesn't stop on its own is when it turns into a cause of concern and demands immediate treatent. Doctors can recommend different treatment options based on the symptom of the patient. Common ways of treating this condition include a uterine massage, medications, administration of IV fluids, and medical procedures such as dilation and curettage and balloon tamponade. The purpose of all of these treatment methods is to control and eventually stop the bleeding so that no severe complications arise. That said, the treatment option the doctor particularly chooses will not just focus on stopping blood but will also help in identifying and managing the underlying cause behind postpartum bleeding. The good thing is that most of these methods will yield quick results.
If the bleeding is more than normal but still something that can be easily controlled, doctors will advise the intravenous transmission of certain medications that will stop the bleeding. These drugs include uterotonics and help stimulate uterine muscle contraction so that the blood flow can be stopped. Certain hormonal medication may also be used to keep the hormones in check if they are responsible for the bleeding. Both of these will be administered via a drip or an injection in most cases. As far as medical procedures are concerned, there are three different types that are commonly performed. The first of these is a uterine compression. In this process, the uterus of the patient is massaged manually or pressure is applied to it so that it can shrink and size. This helps stop the bleeding. Another process to curb postpartum bleeding is dilation and curettage. This is a surgical procedure, which is performed with the help of general anesthesia. The surgeon removes the lining of the womb of the patient by scraping it and then scooping it up with the help of surgical tools. The area is then sutured up. Lastly, one more process that can be used to stop postpartum bleeding is balloon tamponade. This is a type of surgery too and in this process, an inflated catheter is inserted into the woman's uterus, esophagus or stomach in order to stop the bleeding.
Women have just given vaginal birth to a baby and are suffering from severe postpartum bleeding are counted as eligible candidates for the treatment options mentioned here.
Women who have light or normal bleeding are generally not eligible. Women who have pregnancy complications or those who have undergone a C-section may not be eligible either.
Side effects of the medications used are minimal. Uterotonics may cause side effects such as shivering, headaches, pyrexia and diarrhea. Dialation and curettage have certain side effects such as breathing problems, infection in the patient's uterus, puncture or perforation of the patient's uterus, weaking of the patient's cervix and more. The side effects of balloon tamponades are not many too and include discomfort and chances of infection.
In case drug therapy is used to stop postpartum bleeding, the patient will have to rest a lot in order to get better. The same holds true for the surgical procedures adopted. However, there are additional guidelines too which include not pressurizing the pelvic area, not lifting heavy objects and should only resume normal activities at least after a day or two. As for resuming sexual activities and using tampons, the patient should consult with her doctor.
Recovery after drug therapy only takes a couple of hours or till the side effects subside, which shouldn't take very long. As for the surgeries, the side effects will wear off in a few days, after which the patient will fully recover and be able to lead a normal life.
The medications used to treat postpartum bleeding are quite cheap and cost around Rs. 13 to Rs. 17. The cost of surgical procedures for postpartum bleeding vary from Rs 12,000 to Rs. 60,000 depending on the city the patient is living in.
Yes, the results are permanent, and the bleeding stops once and for all after the use of any one of the treatment methods for postpartum bleeding. However, postpartum bleeding can recur in a woman's next pregnancy.
There are not many alternatives to the treatment options mentioned here. However, in severe cases, i.e. when there's too much of blood loss, doctors may prescribe a hysterectomy or a blood transfusion.
Postpartum hemorrhage is a condition where a woman may lose a lot of blood (approximately 500ml to 1000ml) from her vulva shortly after childbirth. This usually occurs within the first 24 hrs of childbirth and can even result in severe blood loss threatening the mother’s life in case the blood loss is over 2000 ml. Secondary postpartum hemorrhage can also occur until 12 weeks after childbirth and this extra care should be taken, if there is any such possibility.
Symptoms of postpartum hemorrhage:
1. Rapid increase in heart rate.
2. Feeling dizzy while standing up.
3. Increase breathing rate.
4. Feeling cold and chilly even if the room temperature is normal.
5. Sudden fall in blood pressure levels.
6. Fainting or becoming unconscious.
How can you prevent postpartum hemorrhage?
A lot of women can also die due to excessive bleeding after childbirth, especially in developing countries including India. This is a cause for concern and proper care should be taken if you start experiencing these symptoms.
Pregnancy can wreak havoc in your body; be it your hormones overflowing or the constant crying of your newborn that makes you agitated after a point of time. Your baby will probably be your top priority in times like these but maybe, you can put yourself on the list as well once in a while because carrying a human inside isn’t a very easy task.
On the off chance that you suffered a vaginal tear or an episiotomy while delivering, the injury may sting for a couple of weeks. Broad tears may take more time to heal. Meanwhile, you can promote healing by:
While you're recovering, anticipate that the uneasiness will gradually reduce. Contact your doctor if the pain increases; the injury gets swollen, hot and excruciating; or if you notice a discharge with pus.
Vaginal discharge (lochia) might be a problem for several weeks post-delivery. Expect a red, overwhelming stream of blood for the initial few days. The release will continuously decrease, getting to be watery and changing from pink or chestnut to yellow and finally white. Contact your doctor if:
You may feel contractions for the initial few days post-delivery. These constrictions, which frequently seem like menstrual cramps help in preventing excess bleeding by compressing the vessels. These contractions have a tendency to get more intense with subsequent deliveries. Your healthcare supplier may suggest an OTC pain reliever as well. Contact your healthcare personnel in the event of fever or if the stomach area is tender to your touch. These symptoms and side effects could show a uterine disease. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!