Vaginal bleeding post partum

Vaginal bleeding post partum or vaginal bleeding after delivery is a normal process that occurs after the delivery of a newborn baby. Bleeding occurs from where the placenta is attached to the inside of the uterus. After delivery, the uterus contracts and the bleeding finishes. Usually vaginal bleeding begins to resolve gradually over one week.

Excessive vaginal bleeding after delivery of a newborn is normal and a woman may also experience worsening vaginal bleeding after 4 days of delivery. Bleeding may soak 5 pads or more within 5 hours. The mother may also experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness, faintness or fainting.Vaginal bleeding post partum

Treatment for vaginal bleeding post partum includes plenty of bed rest along with prescribed medication to control bleeding. Severe vaginal bleeding post partum may require blood transfusions and even surgery.

Causes

Causes of excessive vaginal bleeding post partum include:

  • Bleeding tissue remains inside the uterus
  • Uterus contacts very slowly
  • Endometritis – infection of the uterus tissue

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of excessive vaginal bleeding post-partum include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Worsening vaginal bleeding – four days after  giving birth
  • Bleeding may soak 5 pads or more in 5 hours
  • Worsening abdominal pain – pelvic pain, lower abdominal pain
  • Blood clots along with discharge from the vagina

Severe vaginal bleeding may result in symptoms of anemia and severe blood loss. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Pale skin
  • Anorexia
  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Generalized weakness
  • Shortness of breath during physical activity
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing

Treatment

Treatment for vaginal bleeding post partum may include:

  • Narcotic pain medication—in case of moderate to severe pain, for short term use only
  • Bed rest
  • Blood transfusion – in case of anemia from excessive blood loss
  • Medication for vaginal bleeding post partum – ocytocin, ergonovine, carboprost etc.
  • Medication to encourage blood clotting – cryoprecipitate, Factor VII a, fresh frozen plasma
  • Surgery for excessive vaginal bleeding post partum – dilation and curettage

Home care

Home care treatment for vaginal bleeding post partum includes:

  • Avoid medications that may encourage bleeding
  • Take  nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for pain
  • Avoid aspirin
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Change sanitary pads more frequently
  • Take pain medication as prescribed and directed by your doctor
  • Follow treatment instructions given by your health care provider
  • In case of excessive bleeding, notify your doctor immediately

Warning signs

Notify your doctor if any of the following problems occur along with vaginal bleeding post partum:

  • Bleeding soaks more than 5 pads in less than 5 hours – bleeding is more than normal
  • Vaginal discharge contains blood clots
  • Worsening vaginal bleeding
  • Worsening abdominal pain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Fever of over 101 degrees F or 38.3 C
  • Worsening pain from incision in case you had a C-section
  • Drainage of pus from the incision, in case you had a C-section
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

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