Postpartum bleeding happens in both C-section and normal deliveries. Here is a brief overview about bleeding after C-section.
Whether it is a normal delivery or a C-section, postpartum bleeding happens in every woman. This phenomenon is termed lochia bleeding, which is considered a part of the self-cleansing process of the uterus. The placenta, which was attached to a certain point on the uterine wall, gets removed during the childbirth, leaving open blood vessels at the point of attachment. These blood vessels begin to bleed into the uterus, once the placenta is removed. With time, the uterus contracts, thereby closing the open blood vessels, and the bleeding stops.
Normal and Abnormal Bleeding
Though bleeding is normal after childbirth, chances of complications are higher in C-section deliveries. Postpartum bleeding starts right after the delivery. In normal cases, bleeding will be bright red and heavy for the first few days. Blood clots may also appear, but large clots could be a cause of worry. In case of very large clots, immediate medical attention is needed.
Usually, heavy bleeding may reduce to a pinkish discharge within five to six days. The color of the discharge gradually changes to brownish-yellow and then white. This process may take around 15 days, but in some cases, it may last up to four or six weeks. The next period may come after two to three months. This is the normal course of postpartum bleeding. However, in some cases, complications may occur, leading to abnormal bleeding.
Causes for Excessive Bleeding
As mentioned above, some women may develop excessive bleeding after C-section, due to various reasons. One of the symptoms of abnormal bleeding is the presence of large clots in the discharge. Another complication is uncontrollable and heavy bleeding, after the C-section. If several pads are needed to soak the blood for an hour, then, the condition is not normal. There can be various causes for this heavy bleeding after delivery. It could be due to damage caused to a major blood vessel during the surgery. Removal of the placenta, that is strongly attached to the uterine wall, may be a reason for excessive bleeding after C-section.
In some cases, if the placenta does not get removed completely during the C-section, then the fragments bleed heavily. Another cause for excessive bleeding is the non-contraction of the uterus, which allows the blood vessels to remain open and bleed. In some cases, excess strain may also cause heavy bleeding, which will subside with sufficient rest.
Treatment for Excessive Bleeding
There are various methods of treating excessive bleeding after C-section. While in some cases, the bleeding stops without any treatment, others require medication or surgery, depending upon the cause of the bleeding. If the uterus does not contract after childbirth, thereby causing bleeding; medicines are prescribed for stimulating the uterus to contract. In case of loss of blood in large amounts, blood transfusions are done. The last option is surgery to correct the problem. In some rare cases, hysterectomy or uterus removal surgery will be required to prevent the blood loss.