Lochia congestion (synonyms: weekly flow congestion, lochial congestion, lochiometra ) is a disease that occurs in women in childbirth. The non-existent or insufficient weekly flow can be accompanied by unspecific symptoms and is therefore not taken seriously by some young patients. Nevertheless, the woman who has recently given birth should contact her gynecologist as soon as possible.
What is lochia stasis?
According to Electronicsmatter, lochia stasis is a postpartum disorder characterized by low or cessation of weekly flow. It is also called the Lochial Dam and the Weekly Dam. The postpartum wound secretion, which normally drains out of the vagina without any problems, builds up in the uterine cavity.
The lining of the uterus, which is sore after the passage of the placenta and remnants of the fetus, is normally protected from infection by the discharge of the weekly discharge and can heal. However, when lochia congestion occurs, the lochia, which are made up of dead tissue debris, bacteria, white blood cells, blood, serous fluid, and vaginal discharge, decompose.
In the worst case, there is inflammation of the uterus and – if the pathogens migrate to the ovaries – inflammation of the fallopian tubes and ovaries. In very rare cases, the young mother can even get life-threatening blood poisoning.
Lochia congestion can have various causes. In the case of caesarean sections and natural births, for example, a spasm of the cervix or a collection of coagulated blood (coagula) can lead to a narrowed or completely closed cervix. The remnants of the membrane that have not been excreted can also block the cervical canal.
In addition, a backward or strongly forward-facing uterus ( retroflexio uteri or hyperanteflexio uteri) can be to blame for the development of lochia congestion. The cervix is bent so that the weekly flow cannot go through the vagina. Even an overfull bladder or rectum can cause lochial stasis.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The main symptom of the puerperal illness is, of course, the absence, abrupt cessation or the amount of wound secretion from the uterus that is too low. The woman who has recently given birth develops a high fever (more than 38°C) during the first two to seven days after delivery. Your uterus is greatly enlarged and can be easily felt after you have emptied your bladder. It is soft to the touch but hurts when light pressure is applied to it.
In addition, there is usually severe abdominal pain and unspecific symptoms such as headaches and earaches. The frontal headache is stabbing to pulling and emanates from both temples. Since these symptoms also appear in connection with other diseases, lochia congestion is sometimes not taken seriously. If the weekly flow is only reduced, the excreted secretion often has a bad smell.
Instead of contacting the gynecologist immediately, some young mothers prefer to increase their hygiene measures because they have the impression that there is a hygiene problem. If the woman who has recently given birth notices that the weekly flow suddenly stops just a few days after the birth or that only little fluid is being secreted, she should see her gynecologist as soon as possible.
Diagnosis & disease progression
Lochia congestion can be seen very clearly in the ultrasound of the lower abdomen. The doctor sees clearly that the uterus is filled with fluid. Uterine palpation reveals that the uterus is greatly enlarged, indicating insufficient involution.
Lochia congestion usually leads to a relatively high fever and thus to severe exhaustion in the patient. The quality of life is also significantly reduced by this disease. Those affected feel tired and have reduced resilience. There is also pain in the abdomen and head.
This pain can also spread to neighboring regions. Pain at night also leads to sleep disorders and possibly to depression. In many cases, lochia congestion is diagnosed late because the symptoms do not appear to be particularly dangerous. However, with this disease, immediate examination by a gynecologist is necessary to avoid complications.
The uterus can be greatly enlarged by the lochia congestion and no longer shrink. Lochia congestion can be treated with the help of various medications or antibiotics. There are no complications and the symptoms disappear relatively quickly. The symptoms can also be reduced by various means of self-help. If the treatment is successful, there are no further complications and the life expectancy of the patient is not reduced by the lochia congestion.
When should you go to the doctor?
A new mother’s body performs at its best in the days and weeks after giving birth. At the same time, it is susceptible, which is why the affected woman should definitely consult a gynecologist if she has any unusual symptoms. A lochia congestion is therefore a case for the gynecologist from the very first moment of suspicion. The inside of the uterus takes weeks to heal completely. Until this happens, the accumulated weekly flow poses a high risk of infection. The first symptoms of an infection can appear just a few days after the onset of lochia congestion. This can escalate to childbed fever and is a life-threatening risk for the woman even today.
In earlier centuries and in parts of the world with less consistent medical care and hygienic standards, it is still one of the leading causes of death among young mothers. Lochia congestion detected early enough can be treated well, and depending on the cause, the woman can even do without being admitted to the hospital. On the other hand, if it was only noticed after the first symptoms had appeared, it may make sense to accept inpatient admission for observation. The babies of the patients are usually also welcome on the maternity ward, so that there is no need for mother and child to be separated for the treatment of lochia congestion.
Treatment & Therapy
Lochia congestion is usually eliminated with a combination of different applications. In order to relax the cramped cervix, the doctor administers antispasmodic drugs (spasmolytics) such as Buscopan to the patient. A short infusion of oxytocin triggers after-pains. The uterine muscles contract, which then triggers the weekly flow.
The pain reliever can also be administered as a nasal spray. Alternatively, the young mother must take Methergin in the form of drops or dragees. The drug contains methylergometrine, an active substance that also causes uterine contractions. If there is an imminent or existing abdominal infection, the gynecologist will prescribe antibiotics to kill the pathogens.
If the cervix is blocked by coagula, it is removed immediately so that the blocked lochia can drain freely again. The narrowed cervical canal is slightly stretched by the gynecologist. The young mother should keep in daily contact with her gynecologist or midwife until the lochia drain again. She informs him/her about the amount, color and smell of the weekly flow that is excreted.
In addition to the medical measures carried out in the gynecologist’s practice, the woman who has just given birth can help ensure that the necessary weekly flow starts again or gets stronger. She lies on her stomach with a pillow placed at uterine level at least twice a day and stays in this position for 30 minutes each time. This stimulates the contraction of the uterus.
A massage of the lower abdomen in the uterus area can also help to eliminate the blockage of the weekly flow. Heat also promotes the lochia outlet. Hot hip baths with chamomile or oak bark extract from the pharmacy are also tried and tested. However, the water should only reach up to the navel.
Since the lochia are sometimes infectious, it is advisable not to immerse the breasts in the water. Applying a heat pack can also help. If you like tea, you can also prepare a shepherd’s purse or lady ‘s mantle tea to eliminate lochia congestion.
Outlook & Forecast
Normally, the prognosis of lochia congestion is favorable. A medical treatment is initiated, which shows a sufficient effect after a short time under optimal conditions. Within a few weeks, the patient should be completely free of symptoms. Long-term complaints are usually not to be expected. If the affected person supports the healing process with regular massages of the lower abdomen, an improvement in the situation is already documented in many cases in the hours that follow. In addition, other self-help measures can be taken that are helpful for a good prognosis. It is therefore also possible to achieve freedom from symptoms without having to seek medical care.
However, to avoid complications or irregularities, it is not recommended. A combination of medical care and measures taken on one’s own initiative is optimal. If the disease progresses severely, an operation is necessary. This is carried out routinely and is usually without further complications. In exceptional cases, an unfavorable course of the disease occurs. Sepsis can occur. This is a potential threat to the life of the patient, since the blood poisoning can take a fatal course. For this reason, if the symptoms increase, you should immediately consult a doctor so that the prospect of a good recovery is maintained.
So that the weekly flow does not become blocked, the young mother should consistently carry out her postpartum exercises to help her recover. Mobilization immediately after childbirth (getting up frequently) can also help to prevent the disease. Regular breastfeeding of the baby ensures that the body releases more oxytocin, which stimulates the contraction of the uterus and promotes the weekly flow.
Since lochia congestion is generally very good and easy to treat, follow-up care in this case tends to be of a preventive nature. However, caution is advised if depression should occur. Then it may be advisable to get professional psychological support to avert a consolidation and bring the quality of life back to the usual level as quickly as possible. The help of friends and family can have a lasting positive effect.
You can do that yourself
In the case of lochia congestion, the patient should take it easy. The organism needs rest and should not be overwhelmed. Adequate fluid intake is also important. Lochia congestion leads to fever. In the worst case, dehydration can lead to dehydration. Because this is a life-threatening condition, care must be taken about how much fluid has been ingested on a daily basis.
In addition, sufficient heat supply is helpful. If the abdomen is warmed with hot water bottles or electric blankets, this promotes the weekly flow. Sitz baths or the consumption of warm teas are also recommended. Massages of the abdomen can be carried out to support this. With slight pressure and circular movements, the circulation is stimulated. This offers the possibility of minimizing or dissolving the congestion. The massages can be carried out independently by the patient at any time according to her own needs.
Relaxation techniques can be used to relieve pain and increase well-being. Through a meditative state or autogenic training, the inner forces are mobilized and stressors are reduced. Excitement and hustle and bustle should be avoided. Conflicts or other disagreements should be postponed so that no new stressful situations arise. On the other hand, optimistic and joyful conversations with fellow human beings are helpful.