Women Should Watch Out For These Problems After Pregnancy

You May Struggle To Regain Your Sex Drive After Delivery After childbirth, many women feel far too exhausted and overwhelmed to even think about sex—for a… Aisha Abdullah - January 28, 2023
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You May Struggle To Regain Your Sex Drive After Delivery

After childbirth, many women feel far too exhausted and overwhelmed to even think about sex—for a good reason. Most doctors recommend avoiding sex for four to eight weeks after giving birth while their bodies are still recovering. There is no concrete timeline for when your libido will return after delivery. Hormonal changes, fatigue, and sleep deprivation can dampen your desire for sex. That’s very normal, and some new moms may not recover their sex drive for many months or even longer if breastfeeding. However, your sex drive should return eventually. If you are concerned about a lack of sex drive or low libido combined with depression or pain during sex, consider speaking to your doctor. These could be symptoms of other health issues that need to be treated.

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Epidurals Are Great for Pain but Can Cause Debilitating Headaches

An epidural is an injection in the space around the spinal cord that prevents you from feeling pain below your waist. The procedure is a common, effective way to handle pain during childbirth. But, like all medical procedures, it is not without risks. One side effect of epidurals is a severe headache lasting up to a week. These epidural headaches occur when the epidural needle is injected too far, causing leakage of spinal fluid. Epidural headaches, also called post-dural-puncture headaches, are usually treated with over-the-counter pain medicine and rest. Symptoms usually resolve within a week or two. Talk to a doctor if the headache persists beyond that point or worsens.

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Retained Placenta Can Cause Bleeding, Cramps, and Fever

After a baby is delivered, the placenta is expelled from the body, usually within minutes of birth. Sometimes, part of the placenta remains behind, putting the new mother at risk for postpartum hemorrhage (heavy bleeding after childbirth). A retained placenta is usually spotted by the doctor delivering the baby. Still, it can be missed, especially if the placenta is not delivered intact. Signs of a retained placenta appear within one to ten days after birth. They include fever, heavy vaginal bleeding, clots in the blood, and stomach cramps. If the retained placenta is discovered after delivery, it will need to be removed surgically.

Source: CDC

The Bacteria That Causes Strep Can Make You Sick After Childbirth

Group A streptococcus, or strep A, is a common bacteria that causes a host of infections, including strep throat. These bacteria live in the throat, nose, and skin and spread easily. Common procedures during pregnancy and delivery can make you vulnerable to a strep A infection, including vaginal exams with forceps, catheter insertion, and stitches to repair tears.

In addition, Strep A can be spread from mother to baby, making it especially important to prevent the infections from happening in the first place and treat those that do arise early. Signs of a strep A infection include fever, chills, pain, fatigue, and feeling dehydrated. Strep A infection can develop into a more serious infection or sepsis if left untreated. Thoroughly and regularly washing hands with soap and water can reduce the spread of Strep A bacteria.

Source: Vecteezy

Vaginal Odor and Discharge Could Be Bacterial Vaginosis

A host of bacteria live in and around the vagina. If something happens to disrupt this bacterial population, it can lead to bacterial vaginosis, which is the overgrowth of certain “bad” bacteria in the vagina. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and after delivery can increase the risk of developing bacterial vaginosis. Symptoms of the condition include abnormally colored and foul-smelling vaginal discharge, vaginal soreness or itching, and a burning sensation when peeing. Untreated bacterial vaginosis can cause uterine or bladder infections if the bacteria in the vagina travel to the uterus or urinary tract. Talk to your doctor right away if you think you might have bacterial vaginosis. The condition can be treated with a course of antibiotics.


Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Very Well Family – Fever and Other Postpartum Warning Signs

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – 3 Conditions to Watch for After childbirth

Healthline – Common Postpartum Complications, Plus When to See a Doctor

Mayo Clinic – Postpartum complications: What you need to know

March of Dimes – Warning signs of health problems after birth