Now that you moved past the initial period of recovery after a c-section, you might notice that your c-section scar is still numb. That seems weird initially, but you assume it goes away quickly. Despite following your doctor’s instructions, are you wondering if c-section scar numbness ever goes away?
I’m right there with you, my friend. I believed that the numbness would go away as my body recovered, but my assumptions didn’t prove to be correct. It doesn’t disappear quickly.
So, if you ponder your incision and your body ever feels the same, keep reading. I describe what you need to know about c-section scar numbness to keep you informed.
Why is My C-Section Scar Numb?
To understand why your incision feels numb, you need to understand what takes place during the surgery.
When you have a c-section, your doctor performs two incisions. The first cuts through the outer abdomen and the second cut goes through the uterus itself to reach your baby. When the doctor cuts through your abdomen, it also cuts your nerves.
It’s easy to forget that a c-section is a severe abdominal surgery, but it is. This surgery cuts deeply into the dermis of the skin into dozens of blood vessels and nerve endings. Slicing nerves damage them, as you might imagine, and they have to go through a process of reconnecting and rebuilding themselves.
During this phase of reconnecting and rebuilding, numbness is common. Those cuts nerves don’t work correctly, and you also might experience itchiness as the nerves grow back.
How Long Does It Take for a C-Section Scar to Heal?
Your incision takes up to one year to heal after surgery. I know; you’re thinking, “my incision looked healed way before one year. What gives?”
Here’s the deal:
Remember, I said that the doctor makes two incisions, which are closed separately during the surgery. The internal stitches on your uterus dissolve over time, but it often takes longer to heal than external stitches.
You need to be careful when you recover because it can take months for your uterus to fully heal appropriately, even if it looks okay on the exterior.
The slow recovery process is one of the reasons why doctors recommend that mothers wait 18 to 24 months before they have their next baby. Waiting for the recommended time frame ensures your body has enough time to heal correctly.
Does C-Section Scar Numbness Go Away?
In most cases, scar numbness goes away after a few months. As you see below, in the stages of recovery, it takes time for your c-section to heal completely, even if externally, you look normal.
Your nerves need months to heal from the damage. You have numbness near and around your c-section scar until they reconnect and rebuild. Most women ditch the numbness ultimately between six months and one year postpartum.
The bad news?
However, for some people, this lack of sensation is permanent. I am one of those mothers. While my nerves regrew after my second c-section, the numbness never left after my third c-section. My doctor told me to expect this to last for the rest of my life.
Here’s the good news.
For women with permanent scar numbness, it tends to be focused right around the incision. In the beginning, it extends further up your stomach towards the belly button but gradually gets better. Permanent numbness is rarely the entire stomach or lower abdomen.
My numbness is my incision about ½ inch above and below my scar. It’s not that huge of a deal, and it’s easy to forget about it most of the time.
C-Section Scar Recovery Stages
Your incision goes through several stages, gradually healing and returning to a somewhat normal state. Here are those stages.
Stage 1: Inflammation During Week One
This inflammation stage takes place during the first week after the surgery. The cells rush to heal the c-section area, creating new skin, and closing your incision. You feel pain and discomfort during this stage, and you must take the most time to relax without overdoing it.
Stage 2: Proliferation Stage One to Three Months Post-Surgery
The initial phase of recovery is over, and your incision on the exterior is healed. That doesn’t mean you’re ready to go! During the proliferation stage, the cells work towards rebuilding. Collagen and capillaries form, but you might still have some swelling present.
Even though you feel much better, you still need to take it easy!
Stage 3: Remodeling Stage Up to One Year Post Surgery
Those cells are still working towards finishing the remodeling stage. Your body forms collagen, and the scar matures. During this phase, you might notice itchiness or soreness if you bump into the incision area. Occasional soreness is normal, so don’t feel worried if your scar feels strange after an active day.
Why Do Some Women Have Permanent Numbness?
Numbness near your incision is a side effect you might not expect after your surgery, and no one might have mentioned it to you. While it’s common, doctors tend to forget to mention this because it shouldn’t have long-lasting effects on your health. It’s just frustrating and annoying at times.
This is important:
Permanent numbness occurs because the small nerves in and around your abdomen are transected during surgery, which means the nerves are entirely severed. Those nerves are no longer functional in your body.
Recovery varies from person to person. While one person might recover entirely within a few months, another might not regain feeling. For those with permanent numbness, those transected nerves never managed to reconnect.
It is Frustrating
Without a doubt, dealing with c-section scar numbness is frustrating. While it won’t lead to any severe side effects, not being able to feel part of your abdomen is strange. It might upset you, or it might not bother you at all. Everyone is different.
Read the Dos and Donts after c-section for a faster recovery.
Remember, nothing you do will improve the recovery of the nerves. Take care of your body, and take it easy to ensure you heal as well as possible, avoiding any potential complications. Wait patiently because it will take months or a year to determine if your numbness ever goes away or is permanent.
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.
2 thoughts on “Does C-Section Scar Numbness Ever Go Away?”
18 years ago I had my first and only c-section. For 18 years I was numb on my incision and above it about an inch.
It was weird…but it was ok. Now….just in the past few months my incision is no longer numb and it itches like crazy.
I’ll gladly take the numbness back over this awful itchiness.
Hi Becky! That’s a long time to endure numbness. I hope you spoke to your doctor about it and had it checked out. While it does seem odd, as long as your doctor doesn’t spot anything else unusual, that numbness was likely your nerves in the incision area suffering from damage. Once it starts healing, it can cause itching.
Also, if you have a keloid scar, which is the raised type, it can cause itchiness even years and years after your c-section. Please make sure you don’t scratch it though because it could still get infected even after all this time. You can use cool compression or an anti-itch cream to get some relief. Additionally, I also recommend keeping your skin moisturized which can cut down on a lot of that itchiness. Hope this helps!