epidural - know the side-effects |

An epidural can ease some of the pain when you are giving birth to your child. But first know about some of the side-effects that it can cause.


Giving birth can be painful. Most women opt for an epidural to get through the trauma. This is basically an anesthetic that is administered through a small catheter in your back, next to the spine. This induces a loss of feeling in the lower half of the body. The delivery of this drug can be controlled, and it is given only for as long as it is needed.

Related Stories

Though, this is considered to be safe, yet experts warn that there may be a few side-effects that you need to be aware of.  Let us look at a few of the adverse effects of epidural during delivery.

It can cause itching

An epidural consists of many pain medications. Sometimes, you may have an allergic reaction. This can cause severe itching and rashes. This happens when opioid receptors in the brain are activated. If you know of any allergy, tell your doctor. He may then change your medication accordingly.

It may lead to a sharp fall in blood pressure levels

It is normal to experience a fall in blood pressure levels when you get an epidural since it affects the sympathetic nervous system. This is a series of nerves that spread out from your spine to your body. It controls involuntary body functions including blood flow. But sometimes, your blood pressure may fall too low, which can be a cause of concern. But doctors are usually prepared for this eventuality and prompt action is taken if this happens.

You may experience nausea and vomiting

You may experience nausea and feel like vomiting because of low blood pressure. But this depends on the level of your sensitivity to opioids. A drug to calm your stomach can help.

You may have trouble passing urine

Since your lower body becomes numb, you may not realise when your bladder is full. You may need a catheter. But once the effects of the anesthetic wears off, you will be fine. This is just a temporary setback.

You may have trouble breathing

Ther use of opioids may sometimes slow down your breathing. It may also cause other breathing problems. But, there is nothing to worry about because your doctor will be prepared for such an eventuality.