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Bad headaches following epidural/c section anyone? How long for, did u have treatment? Anyone have blood patch? Please help!

(17 Posts)
JimmyChoo17 Sun 31-Jul-11 13:10:48

Headache following your epidural/ c section? How were u advised to treat it by hospital? Anyone have the blood patch?

I had an emergency c section on the 22 Nd July. Since then I've been suffering with headaches. Some tines I can barely lift myself up even to feed baby. I was due to have a blood patch (basically another epidural but where they pump your own blood back into you ) a senior consutant had heard about my case and asked me to try conservative treatment. This is basically loading up on 4 litres plus of water every day. This helped initially. However I have got bad again with my head ometimes hurting so bad again I can only lay down.

The water treatment is basically to help replace lost spinal fluid. I was hoping it would pass but this morning again I am struggling.

Anyone else suffer with these headaches? How did you treat them and how long after your epidural did they last for? Did u get asked to try the water theory?

I'm so upset today, after an emergency c section where baby was in distress, having to go thru this has not helped at all. I seem to have been the 1 in a 100 who suffered a spinal rupture firing an epidural.....

I have the option to have the blood patch to fix it however that carries enough risks (meningitis, another rupture, affects the possibility of future epidurals).

Please tell me your experiences ladies! sad

mrsmontano Sun 31-Jul-11 13:28:36

How do you know the headaches are connected to the epidural?

I've had terrible headaches for a whole year now since my last c-section but haven't connected the 2.

JimmyChoo17 Sun 31-Jul-11 13:41:44

Because they happened after the epidural (never had before) and the signs were classic of a spinal dura rupture by the is of course a major operation to go through and had lots of drugs etc so the flushing out with water should help back up that it was caused by the epidural. It happens unfortunately and sometime people can ride it out depending on severity but if too severe they treat with blood patch.

The anaesthetist also confirmed this is a likely possibility.

Headaches started very soon after the epidural. It was the first item listed as a risk On the consent form, not sure if u had that explained?

JimmyChoo17 Sun 31-Jul-11 14:24:05


JimmyChoo17 Sun 31-Jul-11 17:36:20


fatandknackered Sun 31-Jul-11 17:45:20

Poor you, Jimmy choo..... I didn't have this myself but know a few others who did - in one case the headaches lasted only a day, but the others were 7-10 days. Hospital handed out mega painkillers though - is this an option for you?

Sending out my sympathy...

straighttalker Sun 31-Jul-11 20:29:43

Hi, haven't had a post dural puncture headache or a blood patch but I am an anaesthetist so am fairly familiar with the subject.

Basically, if you had a spinal for your section, a hole was purposely made in your dura (thin membrane surrounding your spinal cord) with a tiny needle in order to inject the local anaesthetic into the fluid around your spinal cord (CSF). In a minority, this hole doesn't seal itself immediately and fluid continues to leak out producing a constant downward traction force on your brain = headache.
If you had an epidural (bigger needle), this isn't supposed to puncture your dura but occasionally does causing a bigger leak of CSF = headache.

Either way, many settle with conservative treatment and in fact a blood patch isn't recommended for the first 24-48 hours, and after a week, we generally say it isn't worth it. Whether you get one or not, your headache will settle within 2 (occ. 3) weeks.
However, yours does sound quite debilitating so I would consider going for it. You've got an 80-90% of instant success as the blood is injected in, and near 100% success with a second attempt if the first doesn't work. The risks are small and an experienced anaesthetist usually performs the procedure.

Headaches are common post labour as well though but if your headache is always present unless you're lying down, stops you doing things and is pounding/aching in nature (usually frontal), it's probably a PDPH and you should consider blood patch.

MrsBloomingTroll Sun 31-Jul-11 21:55:03

I don't have personal experience but I have a friend this happened to and I wanted to comment.

She was really upset about the resulting headaches and impact it had on the first days with her DS, unable to care for him and so on.

I just wanted to let you know that she recently had DC2 and an elective c-section and all went well - she had a totally different experience this time.

So please don't worry that next time will be the same. Take care x

takeonboard Sun 31-Jul-11 22:08:03

The nurses persuaded me to have the blood patch after 2 days of pain like I never experienced before or since, they had wanted to do it immediately but i wanted to go on trying to shift it with water and (bizarely) coffee - the anaesthetist had recommended I drink.

I literally couldn't sit up as it was agony but I had no pain lying flat. the midwife pointed out that I wouldn't bond properly with DS flat on my back and that convinced me to have the blood patch as I really did not want to back to theatre again....
I didn't know about the risks you mention, but it worked instantly for me and I remember wishing I hadn't wasted 2 days on the water and coffee!
I hope that helps. Good luck!

Page62 Sun 31-Jul-11 22:21:59

This happened to me with my ds - it was an emergency c section. Bad headaches the day after and I had a blood patch whilst still in the hospital - i think it was the next day, if not the day after. I literally couldn't sit upright as my head hurt too much. I ended up staying for 7 days in there but the headache was gone. I didn't even know there was an option to leave it - it was presented to me as something they had to do.
This happened 5 years ago. Just recently gave birth (5 weeks ago), elective cs, all ok this time around.
Hope that helps

plusonemore Sun 31-Jul-11 22:26:02

Had this after first epidural, but not with DS2s epi! It was soooo horrible. Headache which literally made me throw up. Midwife visiting at home was crap- said 'its just your hormones' ended up at primary care, got some medication i think, but was BF so maybe not...basically he told me to lie still as much as possible. 24 hrs later it was bearable, 2 more days and gone altogether i think. Was worried it would happen again 2nd time, but obviously not worried enough not to go for epi completely! Hope you're feeling better soon

PacificDogwood Sun 31-Jul-11 22:30:50

What straighttalker said.

You are having headaches 8 months after your epidural/delivery?? And they are relieved by lying down? Really does not sound typical of something that would be relieved by a blood patch

PacificDogwood Sun 31-Jul-11 22:32:49

Oh feck, must read properly and preview, you just had your baby <<hastily makes up for stupidity by shouting gaily "Congratulations!">>, sorry.

Just ignore me, but listen to what straighttalker said.


lollystix Sun 31-Jul-11 22:33:41

Had these recently after a lumber puncture which was non pregs related (although am pregs and seems to affect slim pregs women worst according to the web). Bizarrely never got after epidural with ds1. Anyway they lasted about 2 weeks. Only thing that helped was lying down. After 10 mins standing they came back. I worried about blood patch thing but after a couple of weeks they did go themselves with no treatment.

Boosaphena Mon 01-Aug-11 09:11:03

I had the blood patch after a spinal. As other have said it's the worst headache you'll ever have. I left it a few days and ended up really battling with the hospital to let me have it as they wanted me to persevere with conservative treatment. Which wasn't helping.
Reading your post has really upset me, I felt I really missed out on those first few days/weeks with my ds. I did have the patch once I explained that and the relief was immediate. Like if you have the worst hangover possible and someone magically makes it immediately better. I had an achy back but felt so so so much better after. I'd recommend it definitely.

MikeSH1 Fri 05-Dec-14 11:44:01

My wife had a Lumbar Puncture and within 24 hours was crippled by what she described as the worst headache you can ever imagine. She went back in to the hospital the next day and they performed the Blood Patch procedure which gave her immediate relief, however after 24 hours the headache was back :-( Went back to the hospital and the registrar was of the opinion that the blood patch had failed and therefore would most likely fail again if they repeated it (although I have read a lot online how a second blood patch attempt has a much higher success rate if the first one failed).

Has anyone else experienced a failed blood patch?

What some of timescales are people experiencing with regard to the headache going?

Is it true what I am reading everywhere about plenty of caffeine to help the pain?

Sorry for all the questions guys, I'm just desperate to help my wife, I have never seen her suffer so much! :-(

mom2justin Sat 07-May-16 02:05:29

My son is about to be 6 months and I still get them severly they asked me if I wanted a blood patch I told themost they are not sticking another Needle in my back, they gave me a lot of caffeine and that didn't help. Now I have problems with different parts of my back! The first week home I couldn't take care of my son, if I waneed to walk I had to put my head between my legs (literally). I breast fed but that sadly came to a end because of the meds they gave me.thing is I choose an epidural because I was NOT about to miss my first child's birth. It was worth it even though the headaches are unbearable.

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