How to Detect Postpartum Infection

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Postpartum infection, whether vaginal, or from a cesarean incision is not pleasant. It is much more common for a woman with a c-section to experience infection. Any woman postpartum, however, can experience infection of the uterine lining, incision, tearing site, episiotomy site, or bladder. Infections that occur within the first 6 weeks postpartum are considered postpartum infections. Most of the time, these infections begin during labor. Perhaps your water broke early, or perhaps you received a large amount of cervical checks. Whatever the case, early postpartum infection is key. The sooner you get yourself treated, the sooner your body will heal. Keep these steps in mind when checking for postpartum infection.

Things You'll Need

  • clean sanitary napkins
  • thermometer

Smell your vaginal discharge. After you give birth, your body excretes tissue and blood like a period. If you are healthy, it should smell like it typically smells when you get your period. If you have an infection, on the other hand, it will smell 10 times worse. In fact, people around you may begin to smell your discharge.

Change your pad, take a shower and wait for an hour. Dried blood and tissue can smell terrible. If the smell does not disappear, however, call your doctor.

Take your temperature. A fever is one of the first signs of infection. Never assume anything if you have a high fever. Although it may be due to engorged breasts, or a healing body, let your doctor know immediately.

Try going to the bathroom. If you feel the urge to urinate, but not much comes out, this could be due to a urinary tract infection. The constant urge to urinate could also signify a urinary tract infection.

Check the toilet after you urinate. If the urine is filled with blood or if it is cloudy, this could also signal a urinary tract infection. You should call your doctor right away. You may have to look at the urine stream as it comes out of your body. Bloody lochia can make it difficult to distinguish between cloudy urine and clear urine in the toilet.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lochia is the name for the bloody tissue that is excreted from the vagina during the weeks postpartum. This could go on for only a few days or it could go on for up to six weeks.
  • Don't wait. If you notice a symptom, never hesitate to call your doctor. The worst thing that could happen is going to the doctor perfectly healthy.

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