Puerperal pathology

An Sist Sanit Navar. 2009;32 Suppl 1:169-75.

[Puerperal pathology].

[Article in Spanish]


Servicio de Obstetricia y Ginecología, Hospital Virgen del Camino, Pamplona, 31008, Spain. bbezares@hotmail.com


The puerperium is the period from the end of labour to the appearance of the first menstruation. The possible pathologies that can occur in this period of time are the most frequent cause of maternal mortality even in our setting. The pathology of lactation includes failure of breastfeeding, cracks in the nipple, mammary ingurgitation and puerperal mastitis. Puerperal infection is a frequent obstetric complication although clinical guidelines for prophylaxis have considerably reduced its incidence. The vascular pathology of the puerperium includes clinical features of great seriousness, representing one of the main causes of maternal mortality. These include deep vein thrombosis, of which pulmonary thromboembolism is the most serious complication. It does not appear that a psychiatric pathology is more frequent in the puerperium than in other periods of life, but the clinical features related to this period are described, such as “blues”, puerperal depression and puerperal psychosis. Finally, other clinical features which although infrequent can constitute a medical emergency in the puerperium are: Sheehan’s syndrome, peripartum cardiomyopathy and postpartum thyroids.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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