C-Sections May Increase Risk for Abdominal Surgery

Women who give birth by cesarean section are much more likely to require emergency abdominal surgery in the days after delivery than their counterparts who are able to undergo natural childbirth. New research indicates that the increased risk for follow-up abdominal surgery is about 17 times greater for women who undergo C-sections than those who do deliver naturally.


Cesarean sections are often performed as lifesaving measures for the mother, the baby or both. This procedure, when indicated, is an important one for protecting and preserving life. In some cases, however, women prefer C-sections for non-medical reasons. Doctors, too, may be overly quick to recommend the option if even the slightest concerns about the viability of natural delivery exist.


The recent study into the risks of C-sections as they related to additional abdominal surgeries sheds light on the importance of reserving this delivery option for only when true medical needs are present. Researchers found, for example, that about 30 percent of the women who end up needing follow-up abdominal surgery end up losing their uterus. Complications from C-sections include uterine rupturing, internal bleeding and strong abdominal bleeding, among others.


While C-sections are sometimes elective on the part of women and/or their doctors, there are many reasons to support their non-elective use. When a baby’s life is in jeopardy, for example, this type of surgery may be the only option. In cases where maternal health issues are a concern, C-sections are also lifesavers. Choosing this path to preserve the appearance of the body or speed along a delivery that is presenting with no complications, however, may not be the wisest decision.


Women who are pregnant or are considering becoming so are urged to carefully review their delivery options. C-sections can prove to be lifesaving measures when they are necessary. Undergoing such a procedure without viable cause, however, can open a new mother up to unnecessary risk. If a C-section is recommended by a healthcare provider, women are also urged to find out exactly why. Should questions remain, a second opinion may be in order.


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