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Doctors Warned Against Encouraging Elective Caesareans

A study by American scientists has added a new weapon of defense against elective caesarean operations .

The study lead by Dr Qiuying Yang, from the University of Ottawa and published in an international journal of obstetrics and gynecology -BJOG, has linked C-sections to a very strong risk of future pregnancy complications, arising from problems concerned with the placenta.

Based on a million pregnancies recorded by the US National Center for Health Statistics from 1995 to 2000, the researchers were able to conclude that women who have their first child by caesarean were more likely to have placenta-related problems in their second pregnancy.

The risk of a placenta attaching low down in the womb or rupturing increases by almost 50 percent, accordingly.

In mothers who had their first baby by caesarean, the risk of placental previa - a condition where the placenta attaches over or near the internal opening of the cervix - was 47 percent higher in their second pregnancy than women who gave birth naturally.

The risk of a second condition, placenta abruptio - where the placenta separates from the womb prematurely - was 40 percent higher in women who had a previous caesarean.

The researchers attribute scarring inside the womb caused by caesareans, to faulty attachment of the placenta in future pregnancies.

According to Yang, the study is the largest to date and shows an important link between caesareans and subsequent pregnancy complications.

'More than 1 percent of pregnancies with a prior caesarean section had one of these events, which had a 50 percent increase compared to women without previous caesarean section.

'This has important implications on the management of these pregnancies. It also introduces new and important evidence in the debate on the risks of caesarean sections 'on demand'', she was quoted.

Professor Andrew Shennan, consultant obstetrici
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