Epidural Injection Risks – Are They Real?

The epidural anesthesia is known to be the most popular pain relief method in case of childbirth. About half of all women giving birth at a hospital ask for an epidural.

However you should also know about the epidural injection risks. You should learn as much as you can about pain relief options before you make a decision.

Epidural Injection Risks

Blood pressure and the risks of the epidural injection

If this is the kind of pain relief method that you have in mind, you should know that it can make your blood pressure suddenly drop. This is why the doctors will have to check on you periodically. If the blood pressure drops you will need medication, IV fluids and oxygen.


The disadvantages of the epidural injection also involve a possible headache because the spinal fluid could leak. This is a side effect that only 1% of women experience. If the symptom doesn’t go away, you might need a ‘blood patch’. This is in fact an injection of blood to your spine.

Changing sides

When it comes to the epidural injection risks, after you have your injection you will have to alternatively change sides and you need close monitoring of the heart rate of the fetus. If you lie in only one position it is possible that the labor will slow down or stop entirely.

Common epidural injection side effects

There are some side effects that a lot of women experience, such as ringing of the ears, shivering, soreness where the needle was inserted, backache, nausea and it is possible that you will have problems with urinating.


In some cases the epidural injection risks involve the women feeling like it is more difficult for them to push and it is possible that there will be need for additional interventions. Interventions that you could have include Pitocin, vacuum extraction, use of forceps or having a C-section.


If you are thinking about the side effects of the epidural injection you should know that after you give birth it is possible that your lower body will feel numb for a few hours. As a result you will need some help to be able to walk but you can be sure that this is only a temporary situation and everything will go back to normal quite soon.

You have to consider the epidural injection risks before you agree to have this kind of pain medication.


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