Sharp Stabbing Pain on Left Side after C-section

For some, delivering a baby through C-section can be a choice while it is a necessity for others.

Whichever the case, you may experience sharp postpartum abdominal pain.

A C-section injury can lead to sharp pain on the left side that is caused by several reasons. 

Sharp Stabbing Pain on Left Side After C-section is a common symptom that causes anxiety to the new mother.

While this is completely normal and not a call for concern, it can be quite alarming on the first occurrence.

If you are experiencing this kind of pain after a C-section, you are on the right page.

Here, we will look at common reasons for this stabbing pain after a cesarean section surgery.

Should You Expect Sharp Stabbing Pain on Left Side after C-section?

The first few weeks after a C-section are critical for recovery. If any complications arise during this time, they’re usually due to infection or inflammation of the surgical wound.

Most abdominal pain during this time is related to the incision itself, but it’s important to rule out other possible causes as well.

The incision site of a cesarean section can be quite painful and can get sore several days after the procedure.

It can take a few weeks to recover, and the pain can persist for up to six months after the procedure.

After a c-section, many women experience abdominal pain in varying degrees of severity.

Your sensitivity to this pain may depend on how you gave birth and whether you had complications.

The pain after a c-section can be more severe and last longer than it would if one had a vaginal delivery.

The typical time frame for recovery is four to six weeks, though some women report that it takes several months before they feel back to normal.

The first few days will be the most painful, but you should see improvements within two weeks.

You’ll need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise during recovery.

Your doctor or midwife may prescribe pain relievers or recommend over-the-counter drugs.

If your incision site is still painful after six months, talk to your doctor about other options.

Causes of Sharp Stabbing Pain on Left Side after C-Section?

Here are common reasons you may experience sharp stabbing pain on your left side after a C-section.

1. Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms can also be one of the causes of post-C-section sharp, stabbing pain. This is a painful and involuntary contraction of a muscle.

Muscle spasms are common after C-sections because the muscle wall of the abdomen is more than likely weakened after surgery. 

You will know when you have it because it feels like a tightening of your lower back muscle(s).

The pain can be excruciating and can even radiate down the leg.

When there is an injury or overuse, some fibers may be left in a contracted state leading to spasms. 

Muscle spasms are more common in women who had C-sections than those who went through vaginal births.

This is because the muscles used during the surgery (as well as other muscles) may spasm.

Fortunately, muscle spasms can be treated with medications, stretching, and massage.

Go to a related post: Flu Like Symptoms After C Section

2. Nerve Damage

Nerve damage is a common cause of pain in the abdomen, especially after a C-section.

Nerve damage after the surgery can occur because of the positioning during surgery, due to surgical equipment, or simply from the pressure of an incision.

These nerves then send signals to your brain, interpreting them as pain.

With nerve damage, these signals are often amplified and sent more frequently than they should be, creating a constant pain sensation as a result.

So if you have sharp stabbing pains in your left side after a C-section, it could be because of nerve damage that occurred during the surgery itself.

You may also experience symptoms like stabbing, burning, or searing pain.

3. Infection

Infection is a common concern after any surgical procedure.

The best way to prevent an infection is to keep the incision clean and covered. 

Signs and symptoms of infection include:

  • Signs of infection at the incision site, such as warmth, redness, or oozing pus
  • A fever higher than 101 F (38.3 C)
  • Chills or shaking chills
  • Abdominal pain
  • A foul-smelling discharge from the vagina

You should see your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of an infection after your cesarean delivery.

Treatment may include antibiotics, drainage of a wound abscess, or surgical removal of infected tissue.

4. Intercostal Neuralgia

The intercostal nerves are the nerves that run between each of your ribs

. Intercostal neuralgia is nerve pain that occurs in the ribcage area.

Your doctor can use an MRI to rule out any other causes for your pain, such as a blood clot or infection.

They can also prescribe medication to help calm the nerves.

While there are many possible causes for intercostal neuralgia, it is usually caused by something irritating the nerves that run between the ribs.

The intercostal nerves can become irritated and scarred by surgery, causing a chronic nerve pain condition called Intercostal Neuralgia. 


It’s pretty common to get some pain and discomfort with a C-section as is the case with vaginal delivery.

If you have Sharp Stabbing Pain on Left Side after C-section, there are several things that you can do to relieve the pain.

Resting, as it often happens, is at the top of the list. You also need to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest to help you manage the pain.

You could also try deep breathing exercises.

However, if you suspect something more than normal and are unsure about the cause, you may want to check in with your doctor or contact your local hospital.

Also read: Hip Pain After C Section

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my left side hurt after C-section? 

If you have an incision on your left side, the pain may be coming from the incision itself.

Your doctor may have had to cut through several layers of tissue and muscle to deliver your baby, and this can cause some discomfort during recovery. 

During delivery, it’s possible that nerves in the area were damaged or pinched by the doctor’s surgical tools.

But if the pain gets worse or is sudden and sharp, it could be a sign of infection, nerve damage, blood clots, or other complications.

Is it normal to feel sharp pains after C-section? 

Yes, it is perfectly normal to experience Sharp Stabbing Pain on Left Side After C-section.

However, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of infection, as this can be dangerous for both mother and baby.

Most women that have a cesarean section will have some pain in their lower abdomen during the first few days after surgery.

This normally gets better within a week or two but could last longer.

How long does it take to heal internally after C-section? 

The recovery process for a C-section is quite long. The average woman needs at least six weeks to heal from the procedure fully.

The incision made in the abdomen during a c-section also takes a while to heal. 

It may take a week or two for the outer layers of the skin to heal.

However, it can take up to several months for all layers of tissue to fully heal and for the scar to fade.


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