Long Term Side Effects of an Epidural After Childbirth

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Epidurals are one of the most popular options for pain relief for laboring mothers. This type of anesthesia, according to americanpregnancy.org, is requested by more than half of all women in labor.

Definition

According to americanpregnancy.org, epidural anesthesia is a numbing medicine used to supply pain relief to the lower half of the body. This makes childbirth less painful.

Administration

To insert the epidural, an antiseptic solution is used to wipe your back and a needle with numbing medicine will be inserted. Another needle will be inserted into the area around the spinal cord in the small of your back and then the needle is removed, leaving a catheter.

Long Term Effects

According to childbirth.org, some mothers may experience long term effects from receiving an epidural that may linger well after the baby is born.

Neurological Difficulties

Neurological difficulties can arise after having a epidural. Feelings of regret can linger and not go away, causing depression.

Backache

Backaches often occur after an epidural, usually at the injection site. According to pubmedcentral.nih.gov, 69 percent of women who had epidural backaches reported having the pain for more than a year.

Incontinence

According to childbirth.org, fecal and urinary incontinence or the inability to urinate is also a problem. Paresthesia, which feels like "pins and needles," and the loss of perineal feeling and sexual function are other effects.

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