Post C-section Tenderness

Updated on June 22, 2010
A.A. asks from Bellevue, WA
9 answers

I have a 7 month old baby girl that was delivered by emergency c-section last March. I am not having any issues with the incision area, but am experiencing tenderness in my rt abdomin area. My doctor thought it was appendicitis at first and sent me to a specialist who ruled it out after CT scan as well as any kind of cyst on my ovary. I am wondering if anyone else has this and if it could be an adhesion located that far away from the scar/incision area? Which is basically what I was told by my doctor and that it is not life threatening nor would interfere with having another baby.

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So What Happened?

Thank-you all for your advice, suggestions and well wishes. It was very good for me to hear similar stories. It does not feel/seem like anything major, but I will take everyone's advice and continue to look into it and treat it. As a first time Mom nearing 40yrs old it is helpful to hear. Fortunately, we have a very happy and healthy baby girl! Thank-you again!

More Answers



answers from Seattle on

I had the exact same problem (but on the left) following my third c-section and went through ultrasounds and cat scans. They ruled out everything except a POSSIBLE (not confirmed) minor hernia. I was told that I could undergo exploritory surgery to be sure, or I could "wait and see how things progressed". I chose to wait. I didn't want to have more surgery for what could be nothing.

My baby is 18 months old now and the pain is gone most of the time, only showing up occasionally when I work out. My OB says it is most likely nerve damage from the surgery and should get better with time, which it has.

Hopefully it gets better for you as well! Congrats on the new baby!

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answers from Seattle on

I had both of my boys (1.5 and 4 years old) by c-section and both times had abdominal soreness. It eventually went away, and I think is fairly normal after having a major surgery like that. Since they cut through the skin, the muscles, and the uterus, there is bound to be pain for awhile. I had numbness for a few inches outside of the scar for months, too. Maybe you could do massage like the other mom suggested. Hang in there and congratulations on a healthy baby!

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answers from Portland on

I am 16 months post c-section and I still have abdominal tenderness. I dont know if it the same sensation you are experiencing but I am a massage therapist and have linked the tenderness to bound up fascia. Fascia is the white tissue that surrounds every muscle fiber thus intertwining every muscle fiber, every muscle, and every ligament and tendon to eachother in your whole body. There is no break in this tissue unless you have surgery. I have concluded for myself that my abdomen is chronically tight because of this tear and binding of the fascia around the scar area thus pulling on other abdominal muscles (since it is all connected with the same fascia tissue). So, I have starting giving myself abdominal massage. It has helped tremendously and now the tenderness is intermittent. You can try it yourself by laying down on your back and using your palm moving it from your lower right side, up and around the top of your belly button, and down your left side. you can even do a stroke from the scar up and over your belly button. You can probably go as deep as 1/2 inch to an inch. You will know if you are going too deep as it wont feel comfortable.

Also, doing some stretches that stretch out your abdomen like cobra pose (laying on your stomach and placing your hands under your chest and pressing your upper body up so your back is arching).

Hope that helps!

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answers from San Francisco on

I am having the same issue. My doctor said it might be a bladder infection and that I need to lose weight, but I cannot even workout because it hurts so much. When I am up and around too hurts and is tender. I had my surgery 5.5 mths ago and it sucks that I cannot feel normal yet. I just wish it would go away so that I can forget about it and just be able to enjoy my son and my new life. I feel bad always complaining to my husband about the pain. :(



answers from Seattle on

Hi A.,
Your story sounds very similar to mine...After my c/s I also had very bad pain on my right side, however this all started a few days after the surgery. I then developed a fever because of an infection and during an ultrasounds and CT scan they found a large abscess in the lower rt. abdomen area. (I could also feel it when I pressed on my belly). They weren't sure what caused it though. It was not near the incision at all. The OB referred me to another doctor, as they thought it was my appendix.

I ended up having an appendectomy about 12 weeks postpartum and they discovered that the infection was in my right ovary/fallopian tube because they could see lots of inflammation. I also had alot of adhesions in that area, which was causing my continued pain. Then I was referred back to the OB who diagnosed it as PID, and he told me it was extremely rare to see postpartum PID. BTW, my appendix was perfectly fine (and they took it anyway!). I am not sure if PID will always cause a fever so you might do some research to see if any of your symptoms fit that description. Just a thought.

I can tell you that adhesions/scar tissue can create some discomfort. I ended up working with an Ayurvedic doctor in Bellevue, WA who helped break up the adhesions by performing deep abdominal massage, herbal supplements and told me to massage my abdomen with castor oil, which helps with inflammation.

If you are in the Seattle area, you might also try to visit with Beth Webber who specializes in pre-natal and post-natal abdominal massage. She may have some insight. Here's her website

I don't know if any of this is helpful to you, but your story did sound very familiar to mine, except your symptoms appeared much later. I hope you can figure it out, or at least find something to ease your discomfort.



answers from Seattle on

I would get a second opinion. You can't be too careful when it comes to your health/body. I just don't like to be told "It's MOST LIKELY this," or " It's PROBABLY this." I want a doctor to be sure what it is, so I can feel confident and secure. I'm sure you feel the same way. I pray you recover quickly and take care.



answers from New York on

I too am having a lot of post c-section tenderness about an inch above my scar on the right side. I had my son 5.5 months ago. It feels like black and blue marks. I had an ultrasound today and they didn't find anything. They want me to go for a CT scan but I am hesitant because I don't want to have to pump and dump for 48 hours- I don't have too much extra milk.
Did your tenderness ever go away?



answers from Seattle on

I am 9 months post c-section and I haven't had any soreness at all for an extrememly long time. I would suggest seeing another Dr and get another opinion. I wouldn't think it was c-section related but I guess it could be. Regardless 2nd opinions are always a good idea just in case! Good luck :)



answers from Portland on

Interesting - I didn't have pain, but did have a lack of sensation around the incision for about a year. I would get a second look, but I think the comment about things taking quite a long time to get back to normal is right.

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