Updated on 29 November 2022
After childbirth, a woman’s body enters a phase when recovering and trying to return to the pre-pregnancy state. And this phase is called the postpartum period, and one experiences a wide range of discomforts. One of these discomforts is vaginal bleeding, called postpartum bleeding or lochia. A woman should not be afraid of it as it is temporary and subsides over time. However, if one wants to spot it earlier, one should look for consultation on how to stop postpartum bleeding faster.
Postpartum bleeding, also known as lochia, is a discharge of mucus and blood that starts right after childbirth. This is a normal process in which the woman’s body excretes all the extra blood, mucus, and tissues required during pregnancy.
This kind of bleeding lasts longer than a menstrual cycle and contains certain substances one would not find in normal menstrual bleeding. The source of this bleeding is the place where the placenta was attached.
Postpartum bleeding is thicker in the first ten days after childbirth, and it gets thinner, and the bleeding turns to spottings. The lighter bleeding and spotting are experienced four to six weeks after delivery. One can also observe a change in the color of the discharge as time passes. The discharge initially looks red, then pink, followed by brown, and turns to yellowish white in the final days.
However, one can never be sure how long postpartum bleeding will last in a woman as all the bodies and different, and one can expect it to end sooner than four weeks or even longer than eight weeks.
There are different causes of postpartum bleeding in a woman who has a vaginal delivery and one that has a cesarean delivery. However, there are some common causes of postpartum bleeding between the two types of childbirth.
Some common causes of postpartum bleeding after vaginal delivery are -
Uterine atony - A medical condition when a woman's uterus fails to contract after childbirth.
Laceration - Lacerations in uterine, vaginal, and cervical areas lead to postpartum bleeding.
Retained or trapped placenta - When the placenta is partially detached during childbirth, one can experience vaginal bleeding. This lasts as long as the retained placenta remains in the uterus.
Placenta accreta - A condition when the placenta is attached too deeply to the uterine wall, and one needs to get it removed to stop bleeding.
Uterine inversion - In this condition, the uterus turns inside out, and the symptom of this happening is postpartum bleeding.
The common causes of bleeding after cesarean delivery are -
Uterine trauma - This happens due to the rupture of the uterus during the cesarean delivery.
Different ways to stop postpartum bleeding depend on the root cause and extent of the bleeding. Some of the top medical treatments for postpartum bleeding are as follows -
One can stop postpartum bleeding using uterotonic medication. These medications are usually the first choice, stimulating the uterus's contraction and resulting in the stoppage of bleeding.
Healthcare professionals commonly use this method to stop the bleeding that occurs right after childbirth. By messaging on the uterus, they help in its contraction, which eventually stops the bleeding.
To stop bleeding from the uterus, doctors inflate a Bakri balloon inside the uterus to add pressure on the spot from where blood is oozing out.
When all the above methods fail to stop postpartum bleeding, doctors need to perform surgical operations such as laparotomy to stop the bleeding. In a laparotomy, the abdomen is cut open, and the cause of the bleeding is located. Then by applying compression sutures and ligating uterine, internal iliac, and ovarian arteries, they try to remove the bleeding. However, if the bleeding does not stop, a hysterectomy is performed to remove the uterus completely.
In this procedure, new blood is entered into the body to replace the lost blood.
In this method, the blood vessel, the source of bleeding, is located, and small particles are injected into it to stop the bleeding.
Uterine curettage is a method of removing all the remaining pieces of the placenta in the uterus.
A woman needs to consult their doctor in relation to postpartum bleeding when they see any of these symptoms after childbirth -
Discharge of large clots of blood somewhere around the size of a lemon.
Experiencing very heavy flow
Discharge of lochia that does not smell like normal period blood.
Dizziness, faintness, and breathlessness
Vomiting or nausea
Pain and swelling in the vaginal area
Chills or fever
So this was all one needs to know about how to stop postpartum bleeding faster. For more information on the subject, it is best to consult a healthcare professional.
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