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Complications Post C-Section

by
author image Helen Nnama
Helen Nnama has six years of writing experience. She is a health contributor to TBR Journal, editor of fertility confidential manuals, published poet, and a greeting card writer. She has a B.S. in microbiology, an M.S. in epidemiology, and is an M.D. candidate. A former state HIV/AIDS epidemiologist and NIA fellow at Johns Hopkins, she has research experience with published work.
Complications Post C-Section
Pregnant women can undergo a C-section when vaginal births are not possible. Photo Credit AngelIce/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

A C-section, or a cesarean section, is a surgical procedure in which a baby is delivered through an incision in the lower belly area. When vaginal birth is not possible or there are complications involved, which may harm the mother or the baby, a C-section is performed. During a C-section, a spinal anesthesia is given to the mother that numbs her from the chest to the feet. However, the woman is usually awake during the surgery. Although a C-section is a safe procedure, there are certain risks that are higher after a C-section than after a vaginal delivery.

Infections

According to MayoClinic.com, infections are a complication that may happen after a C-section. The membrane lining the uterus may become inflamed and infected. This is known as endometritis. This condition causes fever, chills, and back and uterine pain. There is also a foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Intravenous antibiotics are necessary for the treatment of this condition. Another complication is development of urinary tract infections in the bladder or kidneys. Infection may also occur in the wound around the incision. Infection in this wound may cause the skin the open up and release pus.

Blood Clots

According to MayoClinic.com, blood clots may occur after a C-section. MayoClinic.com says that a blood clot may develop inside a vein, particularly in the legs or the pelvic organs. This blood clot can also travel to the lungs and prove to be dangerous for the life of the woman. Patients may experience difficulty breathing and chest pain.

Decreased Bowel Function

According to MayoClinic.com, decreased bowel function is a complication that can occur after a C-section. A C-section slows down the movement of waste material through the intestines. Medications given for pain relief can also lead to constipation.

Difficulty Breathing

MayoClinic.com states that babies who are born by C-section may develop a breathing problem in which their breathing becomes abnormally fast. This happens during the first few days after birth. If the C-section is done before 39 weeks of pregnancy or before the baby's lungs become mature, it increases the risk of the baby developing breathing problems such as respiratory distress syndrome after birth.

Future Pregnancies

According to MayoClinic.com, a C-section also increases the risks of a woman developing serious complications in future pregnancies. These include bleeding, placenta covering the opening of the cervix, which is also known as placenta previa, abnormal fetal positions or tearing of the uterus along the incision line from the C-section, known as uterine rupture.

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