What exactly stops women from bleeding out during a c-section?


What exactly stops women from bleeding out during a c-section?

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What exactly do you mean? It’s a complex surgical procedure, performed mainly like any other major abdominal surgery. Other than the fact that they remove another human from you. But from what I understand and remember, they cauterize the internal organs and other tissue. I had a few external staples.



Nothing stops it entirely, women can lose up to a litre of blood during a normal caesarian, even during a normal vaginal birth up to half a litre can be lost. Blood loss can continue for up to six weeks in some cases.

Complications can arise during caesarian birth that lead to post-partum hemorrhage, tears caused when passing the baby or incisions missing the mark and hitting organs, for example the bladder is very close to the uterus. Treatment of that bleeding is much the same as any other bleeding during surgery, close the wound, cauterize or stitch blood vessels, apply hemostatic agents that promote clotting, etc.

Post delivery the uterus typically contracts in order to close off placental blood vessels, in a condition called Atony this doesn’t occur. The ensuing bleeding is typically treated with drugs called prostaglandins.

If too much blood is lost transfusions are an option, most countries will group and antibody screen mothers prior to delivery so blood can be cross matched and ready should transfusion be required, this is what I do for a living.

There are other rarer complications that can cause bleeding during caesarian such as placenta accreta, but that’s a bit beyond ELI5 territory.

Nothing, it’s a surgery, a body gets cut and loses some blood, like with any other surgery. A surgeon’s team’s professionalism stops a woman from losing a critical amount of blood.

But in general, woman’s body increasea the amount of blood during the pregnancy, so it has some extra blood to loose. Natural birth can be even more bloody than the c-section. And both ways, women bleed in about 6 weeks after the childbirth.