Taking care of your health is just as important post-delivery as during the prenatal period. One complication to look out for include postpartum haemorrhage. Read on to find out more about it.
WORDS REBECCA WONG
“Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is generally defined as the loss of 500ml or more of blood from the genital tract,” says Dr Kelly Loi, obstetrician and gynaecologist at Health & Fertility Centre for Women. The condition has numerous potential causes, including a retained placenta where tissue retained in the body from the placenta or foetus leads to bleeding.
The Effects of Retained Placental Tissue
Retained placental tissue may also contribute to uterine atony (i.e. the inability of the uterus to contract), resulting in continuous bleeding, Dr Loi explains.
Postpartum haemorrhage may also surface due to
delivery trauma which causes tissues and vessels to tear, or
coagulopathy which happens when blood fails to clot.
What to Look Out for
If you experience abnormal amounts of bleeding, see a doctor as soon as possible. “Effective treatment requires early recognition, diagnosis, and prompt fluid resuscitation to minimise potentially serious outcomes,” Dr Loi advises.
“As for treatment, various medicines are available to induce uterine contractions, and any retained placental tissue should be removed, or genital tract trauma repaired to address the cause of bleeding.” For more severe cases, surgical intervention may be required.