1. What is an epidural?
An epidural is the way of administering a local anaesthetic medicine. It usually delivers the medicine in the space surrounding the spinal cord in the lower back region and blocks the nerves which carry pain impulses to the brain, thereby causing loss of sensation of pain in the lower body. It is generally administered to relieve pain during childbirth.
2. When should I need to go for the epidural?
One needs to go for an epidural when no other type of pain-relieving mechanisms like analgesics, general anesthetic, etc. work for pain relief. The action of an epidural is very specific on the nerves concerned with pain. This enables a mother to actively participate in the process of childbirth.
3. What are the side effects of epidural?
The side effects of an epidural include decreased blood pressure, headache, and complications during urination. In very rare cases bleeding in the epidural spaces takes place followed by nerve damage and infection.
4. Does an epidural totally numb labor pains?
Epidural is an efficient method of pain relief. At sufficiently high doses, it is capable of keeping the patient completely devoid of labour pains, However, if the dose is low, the patient might experience slight pain.
5. What are the risks associated with an epidural?
Risks associated with the use of epidurals are sudden drop in blood pressure which makes continuous monitoring of blood pressure very important, loss of sensation in the urinary bladder and permanent nerve damage, which occurs in very rare cases.