Sheehan’s syndrome is a medical condition that affects pregnant women during childbirth. During some deliveries, the mother may have excessive bleeding during childbirth and may also experience extremely low blood pressure either during or after childbirth. This leads to a lack of oxygen in the body that damages the pituitary gland causing Sheehan’s syndrome. The condition causes the pituitary gland to stop producing enough pituitary hormones. The condition is also known as postpartum hypopituitarism. Sheehan’s syndrome is not that common in developed countries as care offered during pregnancy and childcare is a lot better compared to developing countries.
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Women are at risk of severe bleeding or haemorrhage and have a higher risk of developing Sheehan’s syndrome. In addition, women who have placental disorders or are pregnant with more than one baby also tend to have a higher risk of Sheehan’s syndrome.
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The symptoms caused by Sheehan’s syndrome appear after a couple of months or even years after childbirth. One of the more prominent symptoms that appear almost immediately is the inability to breastfeed. Some of the other symptoms are:
Since some of the symptoms caused by Sheehan’s syndrome are similar to the experiences of new mothers, it can be slightly difficult to diagnose. This is why doctors closely monitor the new mothers after excessive bleeding after C section delivery. In some cases, Sheehan’s syndrome can lead to serious health complications like shock, coma, or even death.
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Once the syndrome is diagnosed, it is often treated with lifelong hormone treatment. It involves evaluating the new other to determine the hormone levels in the patient and then going ahead with hormone replacement therapy. Fortunately, improving maternity care across the globe has helped reduce Sheehan’s syndrome and prevent excessive bleeding during delivery.
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