An epidural is a type of pain management that, although it is most typically used for the control of childbirth pains, has also been used to assist in the management of chronic pain and to offer pain relief during certain surgical operations (via Cleveland Clinic). The epidural space, which is the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord, is the area that will be treated during this treatment. When an anesthetic is administered into the epidural area, it numbs the nerves, preventing the transmission of pain signals.
According to the Birth Injury Help Center, giving birth is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through. Consequently, epidurals are utilized in more than 71 percent of births throughout the United States to control labor pain.
One of the benefits of having an epidural is that it numbs just the lower half of the body, which allows the birthing parent to maintain consciousness and awareness during the labor and delivery process.
Additionally, it is beneficial in the event of a crisis. Because the lower body has already been anesthetized, if the labor takes an unexpected turn and the doctor has to perform a C-section as soon as possible, he or she will be able to do so instantly.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, epidurals are generally safe for these reasons. On the other hand, prospective parents should be warned that adverse consequences are possible.
RELATED: Emergency & Scheduled C-Sections: What You Need To Know
Epidural Side Effects Are Rare
Due to the drug, some more typical adverse reactions to epidurals include feeling sick, throwing up, and having itchy skin. This information comes from Healthline. Those who have an epidural during childbirth are more likely to develop a fever than those who do not receive one; those who do not receive an epidural are only seven percent likely to develop a temperature during labor and delivery.
In addition, a study conducted in 2006 by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care revealed that one-fourth of individuals who were given epidurals had a dip in their blood pressure. Still, it was not to a worrisome degree.
According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, in more extreme circumstances, the membrane surrounding the spinal cord might mistakenly be perforated during the treatment, resulting in a severe headache. This is one of the risks associated with spinal procedures.
In certain instances, when oral pain medication is insufficient, your doctor may recommend a blood patch operation, in which the patient’s