C-Section Associated with Future Difficulties Conceiving


Researchers from the University of Bergen have found significant links between history of Cesarean section, or C-section, fertility, and pregnancy complications in a new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study suggested that after undergoing a C-section, women had more trouble conceiving their next child and were more likely to have another C-section than women who delivered their baby vaginally.

According to Yeneabeba Sima, PhD, a research fellow at the University of Bergen in Norway, previous studies have shown that women who've had a C-section tend to have more problems with conception. "Many of these studies have utilized inter-pregnancy intervals to measure women's fertility," she said. "However, a measure of inter-pregnancy interval cannot distinguish between voluntary and involuntary delay in getting pregnant."

Utilizing data from the extensive Norwegian Mother, Father, and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) combined with the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (MBRN), the investigation focused on understanding the actual impact of C-section on women's fertility.

Sima and her team assessed the fertility of 42,379 women from the MoBa Cohort Study, each with at least one child registered in the MBRN. They focused on women actively trying to conceive, categorizing those who took a year or more as having reduced fertility. This approach allowed for a detailed examination of fertility differences among the participants.

The research revealed that women with a history of C-section had a ten percent lower chance of conceiving in a given menstrual cycle compared to those with prior vaginal deliveries. Additionally, women who took over a year to conceive were 21 percent more likely to have a C-section.

According to Sima, these results highlight the intricate relationship between fertility issues and pregnancy complications. "Women with difficulty conceiving often have a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions, which could contribute to the increased risk of C-section,” she explained.

Contrary to previous assumptions, the study indicated that the relationship between C-section and reduced fertility is complex and may not be directly causal. " Our findings suggest that the observed reduced ability to conceive after C-section may be linked to underlying maternal conditions not registered in our data or not yet clinically emerged, and the surgical procedure may not directly influence this pathway," Sima concluded, emphasizing the need for further research into these intricate connections.