Postpartum hemorrhage is when a woman loses too much blood after giving birth. It is called primary when it happens in the first 24 hours after giving birth. It is called secondary (or delayed) when it happens between 24 hours to 6 weeks after giving birth.
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Treatment is based on how much a woman is bleeding. Options are:
- Replacing lost fluids, such as with a blood transfusion
- Oxygen therapy
- Medicines to make the uterus contract
- Manual massage of the uterus
Some women may need surgery when other methods do not help. The type of surgery done depends on the source of the bleeding.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Obstetric Hemorrhage)
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
American Pregnancy Association http://www.americanpregnancy.org
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Postpartum hemorrhage. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/postpartum-hemorrhage. Accessed October 19, 2020.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Prevention and Management of Postpartum Haemorrhage: Green-top Guideline No. 52. BJOG. 2017 Apr;124(5):e106-e149.