Pregnancy After a C-Section
If you’ve already had a child delivered via C-section, you are more than familiar with the procedure. While those who haven’t gone through it see it as merely “cutting you open to remove your baby”, you likely understand that a Caesarean Section constitutes major surgery. Women who have C-sections can suffer a number of after-effects and can develop problems that last a lifetime and may affect the ability to conceive once again.
What happens during a C-section?
A C-section is done when it is determined that – for one reason or another – a woman cannot deliver her baby vaginally. The decision to perform a C-section may be made well before delivery time or may be a last minute decision if the mother or baby is in distress.
During a C-section, the baby is surgically removed from the mother’s womb.
This is done by making an incision in the abdomen and then another in the uterus. The way the uterine incision is made is very important, experts explain, because how the scar heals can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant again and can also affect how any subsequent deliveries will happen.
More women in the United States than ever before are delivering via C-section. Data shows that almost 1 in 3 women do not deliver vaginally. Researchers hypothesize that the reason for this is the increasing rate of obesity among U.S. women and the frequent use of epidurals as well as drugs that induce labor, both of which can cause complications.
C-sections can be lifesaving for the mother and the baby but there’s a renewed push for reducing the number of these procedures, as they can also cause problems when it comes to the next pregnancy. In addition, 90 percent of women who deliver their first baby by C-section will do so with all subsequent births.
C-sections and scarring
As with any surgery that involves an incision, it is normal for scar tissue to develop after a Caesarean section. However, sometimes this scarring can cause severe inflammation or obstructions that will make future pregnancies difficult.
In addition, scar tissue can grow and prompt the formation of large masses, which can cause endometriosis. Not only is endometriosis painful but it can also cause infertility. If it’s extremely severe, the doctor may suggest removal of the endometrial cells and tissue.
Other complications that are caused by a C-section which may contribute to fertility problems include:
- Infections that happen at the incision site
- Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes
- Surgery-induced hemorrhages
- Damage to other organs in the area including the bladder or stomach
- A change in ovulation or menstrual periods
Tackling the infertility problem – Pregnancy After a C-Section
In general, women who have had C-sections are advised to wait at least 18-24 months before trying to conceive again. This gives the body a chance to heal properly and completely. It is essential NOT to try for another pregnancy within 6-12 months of a C-section procedure. At that point, the risk of a uterine rupture becomes high and complications of a pregnancy could be life threatening.
If, however, you’ve waited through the suggested time and still haven’t gotten pregnant after at least 6 months of trying, you may be suffering from secondary infertility caused by your previous C-section. This is a problem that doesn’t get as much publicity online or elsewhere and you’ll like have friends and family that tell you not to worry about it. After all, you already have one child, right?
Nevertheless, if you want to have more children, this form of infertility is just as difficult to comprehend as primary infertility and you’ll want to address it so that you can continue to build your family.
The best way to learn more about pregnancy after a C-section is to consult an experienced reproductive specialist who can indeed determine through testing whether your problem conceiving is caused by C-section scarring or another related reason or by something else altogether.
You’ll be able to get the answers you need and learn more about how you’ll need to proceed in order to get pregnant again.Go back