If you’ve had a C-Section and suspect an infection, don’t panic!
Most infections can be eliminated quickly if they are caught in time so identifying whether or not you actually have an infection and taking prompt action is important.
Here we’ll take a look at the several types of infections that can occur, how to identify an infection and what to do if you have an infection.
There are a number of infections that can occur after a C-Section.
- Incision infection
- Uterine Infection
- Urinary Tract Infection or UTI
And the warning signs to look for with any infection are…
- Continued fatigue and energy loss
Here’s help in identifying each of the infections mentioned above and what to do to
Here’s help with identifying each of these infections and what to do…
Identifying C-Section Infections
C-Section Incision Infection
An incision infection is probably the most common of all C-Section infections.
If your incision is infected it may be swollen, red, sore to the touch or there may be fluid oozing from the incision.
If your incision does break open follow careful C-Section incision care at home to help avoid an infection.
Signs of an incision infection:
- Incision and surrounding area is red and irritated
- Incision is warm to the touch and very sore
- Incision has a green or white pus oozing out
What to do if your incision looks infected?
If you experience any of the above signs of infection, call your doctor immediately. Ignoring an infection hoping it goes away on its own is dangerous. You should seek medical attention right away.
In the meantime gently clean the area by gently applying antibacterial soap over the incision (do not rub) then rinse thoroughly by running warm water over the area until you are sure all the soap is rinsed off. Then pat it ever so gently dry. Make sure the area is very dry. Once it is completely dried, cover the area with a sanitary napkin changing it as needed until you can see your doctor.
Signs of a Uterine Infection
A uterine infection, also know as ‘Endometritis’ occurs in about 10-30% of women following a C-Section.
The signs will be:
- Lower Abdominal pain and a belly that is tender to the touch
- Bloody vaginal discharge that smells bad or has a yellow greenish color
- Your lower abdomen gets very hard or firm
- You have fever of 100.5, chills and flu-like symptoms.
If you have any of these signs, don’t take the ‘wait and see’ approach, call your doctor immediately. Infections left untreated could have dangerous results including infertility, loss of feeling, even death.
Bladder or Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
It’s possible that you may contract a bladder or urinary tract infection (UTI). This sometimes occurs after having a urinary catheter.
Once the catheter is removed you may have some soreness in your urinary tract area which may make urination painful.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infection, sometimes the area is just irritated after having the catheter removed.
You’ll know you have an infection if you have any or all of the following:
- Persistent burning while urinating that lasts a day or more.
- You feel like urinating often with little urine that comes out.
- There is blood in your urine or your urine is cloudy or smells bad.
- You have fever and chills.
- You have nausea and vomiting.
- Your kidney area or back is very sore.
If you experience any of these things, drink lots of water and call your doctor. If you do have an infection your doctor will prescribe oral antibiotics that will start clearing up the infection within just a few hours.
If you have lots of burning pain when urinating your doctor can prescribe pain relief for that as well.
Septicemia is a serious bacterial blood infection. This is the most dangerous type of infection following a C-section and if detected requires immediate medical attention. Septicemia can quickly turn into Sepsis if untreated.
It starts with a bacterial infection that might originate in lungs, urinary tract, or abdominal area. Bacteria from these infections spread to the bloodstream causing Septicemia.
Symptoms of Septicemia:
- Sudden spiking fever
- Decreased urination
- rapid heart rate
- rapid breathing and chills
Severe sepsis often means admittance to the hospital intensive care unit where the patient can be closely watched and treated. Successful treatment will depend on things like your age and overall health, your tolerance to medications and the extent of the condition.
Although septicemia is rare, it can be life threatening if treatment is delayed so it’s especially important to see a doctor right away if you experience the above symptoms.
Always Go with your instincts
If you suspect an infection but you’re not sure go with your instincts and check it out. Checking with your friends or chat rooms on the web isn’t a great way to diagnose what’s happening. Also taking the wait and see approach in some cases could be fatal. Not everyone manifests symptoms the same, so my advice is if you suspect a problem go with your instincts and talk to your doctor.
For more the C-Section procedure, risks and recovery The Worry Free C-Section is an excellent resource for advice, personal tips, information and personal support on all aspects of having a C-Section.
Photo courtesy of renjith krishnan and freedigitalphotos.net