Uterine subinvolution

What is Uterine Subinvolution?

Uterine subinvolution is a condition that occurs when the uterus doesn’t contract properly after childbirth. As a result, the uterus doesn't decrease in size to its normal non-pregnant size. In general, within the first six weeks after childbirth, the uterus will significantly reduce in size. This process is known as involution.

Uterine subinvolution may cause a woman to have abnormal vaginal bleeding, cause pelvic pain and make the healing process longer than normal. Subinvolution can also lead to a potentially serious infection in the uterus called endometritis.

Symptoms of Uterine Subinvolution

Some of the most common symptoms of uterine subinvolution include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain or cramping
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge

Other symptoms may include fever, nausea, fatigue, and a general sense of malaise or feeling unwell.

Causes of Uterine Subinvolution

Uterine subinvolution is usually caused by one of the following:

  • Premature delivery
  • Cesarean section
  • Excessive uterine bleeding after childbirth
  • Infection in the uterus

Risk Factors for Uterine Subinvolution

Some women may have an increased risk of developing uterine subinvolution. Risk factors for this condition include:

  • A previous history of uterine subinvolution
  • Advanced age (over 35)
  • Childbirth with twins or other multiple births
  • A difficult or prolonged labor
  • A prolonged period of pushing during childbirth

Diagnosis and Treatment of Uterine Subinvolution

A doctor can diagnose uterine subinvolution by performing a physical examination and a pelvic ultrasound. In some cases, a blood test may be ordered to measure the level of hemoglobin. Treatment of uterine subinvolution may include antibiotics to treat any infection, rest and medication to reduce pelvic pain.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove any remaining placental tissue that may be causing the uterus to not contract properly.