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The complications of coughing can be classified as either acute or chronic . Acute complications include cough syncope ( fainting spells due to decreased blood flow to the brain when coughs are prolonged and forceful), insomnia , cough-induced vomiting , rupture of blebs causing spontaneous pneumothorax (although this still remains to be proven), subconjunctival hemorrhage or " red eye ", coughing defecation and in women with a prolapsed uterus , cough urination . Chronic complications are common and include abdominal or pelvic hernias , fatigue fractures of lower ribs and costochondritis . Chronic or violent coughing can contribute to damage to the pelvic floor and a possible cystocele.