C-Section And Infertility: Is There A Connection?

c-section and infertilityMany women have a difficult time conceiving after having a C-Section; which brings up a very curious question:

Is there a connection between having a C-Section and infertility?

It is believed that C-Sections can disrupt the reproductive system making it difficult for a woman to conceive a second time, which they refer to as ‘secondary infertility’, and I was a perfect example of that.

After I had my first C-Section, my husband and I tried for almost 3 years before getting pregnant again. It was frustrating because I had no problems conceiving before that, in fact we got pregnant almost immediately the first time.

So what was the problem this time?

Most women don’t actually know what the problem is or if there is a problem at all.  That was also true for me.

I still to this day don’t know what the problem was, but there are a few possibilities that link having a C-section and infertility.

1. Psychological. Some specialists have suggested that the inability to conceive after a c-section could be psychological .This can be due to the fact that having a c-section can be a huge disappointment if it’s unexpected. Couple that with the physical pain and the stress of having major surgery and this may cause a psychological block.

2. Medical. The C-section surgery can create scar tissue or adhesions making it difficult for an embryo to implant in the uterus. Scar tissue or adhesions can also form on the fallopian tubes preventing conception. They can also create complications that block ovaries making it difficult to get pregnant; and in some cases preventing pregnancy altogether. If you suffered a pelvic infection after your C-Section this can also block the fallopian tubes.

3. Age. C-sections often get blamed for the inability to get pregnant a second time when in fact it could be your age. If you are over the age of 35 your chances of conceiving drop considerably.  There are of course many women who have no problem conceiving well into their late thirties and even forties, but generally speaking once you reach 35 it can take longer to conceive.  If you combine age with psychological or any medical problems that could be associated with having had a C-Section, this can make conceiving that much more difficult.

What Can you do If you’ve had a C-Section and you can’t get  pregnant?

When I had trouble conceiving after my first C-Section, I asked my doctor about it.  Since we had been trying for a year at that time, he didn’t seem overly concerned.  He suggested I create and follow an ovulation schedule to help determine when my fertile window occurred each month.  This window would tell me when it’s time to conceive.

The best way to determine your fertile window is to record your menstrual cycle and chart your body temperature each day or study changes in your cervical mucus or do both.  Doing this it took me several months to conceive but it worked.  The important thing is not to give up.  Even though it took me almost 3 years, it paid off for me to continue working at it.

Here’s a handy step-by-step guide on how to chart your ovulation from Babyzone.

If calculating ovulation doesn’t work, many women have sought help from the ‘Pregnancy Miracle‘.  This is a holistic approach to strengthening your reproductive system written by Lisa Olson, someone who battled with infertility herself. Even after having a C-Section this may need all you really need to boost your reproductive cycle. This guide may be of particular value if you’ve had fertility issues in the past.  I would certainly recommend starting here before contacting a fertility specialist. This has worked for many women saving them thousands in fertility costs.

Tip: If you suspect adhesions are keeping you from conceiving, this guide may not help you, but to be sure I wrote Lisa asking for her thoughts. Here’s what Lisa said:

“While we had only a few women who managed to conceive using the Pregnancy Miracle program even though they had a blocked/damaged tube, I can’t guarantee the program will work in the cases that have c-section adhesions.”

This may be discouraging news, but unless your doctor can confirm that adhesion are the culprit, they may not actually be the problem.  Before making any rash assumptions, I would suggest starting with an ovulation schedule and perhaps put Lisa’s infertility plan to work.

If you’re still having trouble getting pregnant it may be time to consult a specialist, but first give yourself every opportunity to conceive without drugs, surgery or invasive measures.

Respond to Infertility with Prayer and Faith

Prayer is powerful. I’ve achieved many things through faith in God and the prayers that accompany my faith.

We know that through the Bible that God’s will for you is to be fruitful and multiply. The story of Abraham and Sarah are a prefect example. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 when they had their first child. Use your faith in God’s word and you will be blessed abundantly.

1 Samuel 1:27
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

In Conclusion…

Doctors and research communities believe that C-Sections can influence secondary infertility, but whether the cause is psychological or physical it’s difficult to tell. However, unless you have concrete evidence that indicates you are infertile try the things that will help:

Blessings,
Elizabeth

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12 thoughts on “C-Section And Infertility: Is There A Connection?

  1. Oluchukwu says:

    i had c.section 2013,the baby died aft 4days and the father died after 2years.Now i remarried 2016,i hav ben trying to get pregnant to no avail,could it be the c.section affectd me?the church test we underwent before we could be wedded, mine came out clean.what else should l do i m worried.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Well Njoki Caroline, there could be a number of things causing the problem. I actually had the same problem after my first C-Section.

    If you haven’t already done this, I’d suggest calculating your ovulation times to find out when your most fertile times are. That actuallly worked for me. Here’s a post that may help:
    http://www.babyhopes.com/articles/calculating-ovulation.html

    Try giving it a few more months. If that doesn’t work, you may want to contact your doctor about seeing a fertility specialist.

    There’s also a great book by Lisa Olsen called the Pregnancy Miracle that has helped many women avoid the fertility specialists. There’s some great advice in the book.

    Here’s more info on that:
    http://worry-free-c-section.com/1573/trying-to-get-pregnant/

    Let me know if that helps,
    Elizabeth 🙂

  3. njoki caroline says:

    am 26yrs n had a baby through cs n t died two days due to meuoconium complications two years ago lately i hav been trying to conceive for 6 months but its impossible n i have regular periods what cld be the problem

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Erin, I had a similar problem after my first C-Section, it took forever to conceive, that’s why my kids are almost 5 years apart.

    I don’t think blocked tubes have any symptoms, in other words I don’t thing you would feel anything. My best advice to you is don’t give up, I didn’t and I finally did conceive.

    Here’s a post I did that might help you:
    http://www.worry-free-c-section.com/252/c-section-and-infertility-is-there-a-connection/

    Also here’s an article on egg white cervical mucus that might help as well:
    http://www.babyhopes.com/articles/egg-white-cervical-mucus-and-conception.html

  5. Erin says:

    I had a cesarean 13 years ago and now I am 34 and have been trying diligently for 8 months to get pregnant. Why is it taking so long? I had a normal pap. Would I feel it if my tubes were blocked? My periods are normal. Does that egg white cervical mucas have to be present to conceive? I get cm just not necessarily stretchy. Whats wrong with me??

  6. Lizzy says:

    Hi,
    I am 32yrs,had my first child 3 years ago through CS and have been trying to conceieve again for the past 1 year.Although i had my baby with fibroid,could it cause infertility now when i conceived easily the first time.
    My doctor subjected me to an hormonal test that i have to repeat because result was non clinical.kindly advice
    Also, i will like to know if i can take a fertility drug to boost my fertile chances.
    Thanks.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Terri, C-Section adhesions have been known to prevent conception, but it is rare. Here’s some more information on C-Section adhesions and how they might prevent pregnancy:

    http://www.worry-free-c-section.com/252/c-section-and-infertility-is-there-a-connection/

    Outside of adhesions there could actually be a number of things preventing you from conceiving again. A dye test should help you find out though.

    Unfortunately I don’t know how polyp removal could affect your cycle. It may be something that will normalize over time but the best person to ask is your doctor

  8. Teri Moore says:

    I was wondering if you could give me you expert advice as well. I had a c-section in 2004 and my husband and I tried to have another child for about 2-3 years, with no luck. I just assumed that it wasn’t meant for me to have another child. I went OB/GYN for a check up a few months ago and she found a polyp on my cervix and she removed it right then. Since then my cycles have been so strange. I talked to her about our conceiving problems and she suggested me to have a dye test done to check for blockages. My questions are, could a C-Section be a cause for our conceiving problems and how a polyp removal cause my cycles to be so strange?

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Alisha, from what you are telling me it doesn’t sound like your problem is a sub-conscious fear, especially since you’ve already had a baby with an easy delivery and you’re not afraid to get pregnant again. You may however have some uterine scarring which can cause conception problems or delay conceiving. I had the same problem after my first c-section. We had planned on having our second child about two years later. When we began trying it took over a year to conceive. What we did was calculate ovulation. With doing that it still took several months to conceive. When I asked my doctor about it he wasn’t surprised and said this sometimes happens after a c-section. I remember him saying that they like for a patient to give it a full year before running any kind of fertility tests. It took several months but we finally got pregnant.

    I would say to give it more time. Keep using your ovulation tests and trying each month. There’s a book out by Lisa Olson called ‘Pregnancy Miracle‘ that you might want to take a look at. She’s produced a number of success stories. Her approach is holistic and safe. For you it may be worth the read.

    Don’t be discouraged just yet. I think with a little more time you could do this. Another suggestion is to not try so hard. Put the anxiety of getting pregnant out of your mind if you can. Simply take it a day at time and relax as much as you can. Keep the notion in your head that you will get pregnant it’s just going to take more time, that’s all 🙂 **hugs**

  10. Alisha Clark says:

    I realize that there are a lot of factors that go into fertility problems, but I have a couple of questions. I had my son 16mo ago. I was 25 at the time. I actually got pregnant on birth control (The Nuvaring). Rare, I know, but I’m living proof it happens. I had planned a vaginal delivery, but it turned out that he was too big, he didn’t even drop down. After his heart rate dropped, I was rushed back to the operating room for a c-section. I don’t regret it, I know it was the right thing to do at that time for my son.

    My husband and I are ready for another child. We have been trying steadily for six months. I have used ovulation tests and have a regular period. I’ve read all about the different methods I can do to try to help things along, but nothing. I started doing research and I am horrified. Honestly this is the first I have heard that c-sections might cause infertility, or might make getting pregnant harder the second time around. I’m a little upset that my doctor and I had discussed through out my pregnancy, due to the size of the baby, c-section might be in my future and he never mentioned any of this to me.

    You had mentioned that some experts think it is more than likely a psychological issue getting pregnant again. I had an easy delivery. There was a moment where things got tense, but overall it was a good experience, one that I want to repeat and am definitely not afraid of.

    So my questions are, what other reason might there be for it taking so long to get pregnant again in regards to the c-section? And, if I am suffering from some subconscious fear of getting pregnant again, what can I do to fix it?

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I am so sorry to hear that your baby died. That always breaks my heart.

    1. C-sections don’t affect fertility. I did a post on that very topic that you can read here:
    http://www.worry-free-c-section.com/252/c-section-and-infertility-is-there-a-connection/

    2. It is recommened that you wait as long as you can. I recommend at least a year, preferably 2 years. The longer you wait the better, it gives your scar time to heal fully.

    3. Check with your doctor on precautions. I don’t know how common it is for this to occur again. The most common cause of umbilical cord prolapse are:

    * Premature delivery
    * Multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.)
    * Excessive amounts of amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)
    * Breech delivery (feet first)
    * Abnormally long umbilical cord

    Talk with your doctor about what he thinks.

    4. Are you referring to delivering vaginally next time, or a VBAC? To have a vaginal birth after a c-section (VBAC) is possible however you will have to check with your doctor on this. Many doctors do not do VBAC’s and some hospitals don’t even do them. If you are referring to having another c-sections safely and successfully, this is certainly possible, however your medical history, health and other factors come into play. Scar tissue or adhesions are the most common risk with subsequent c-sections and you should talk with your doctor about any of these risks.

    I hope that helps 🙂

  12. Rupali says:

    Hallo

    I am 32 years old, after 6 month of marriage I got pregnant, and after 9 month 7 days
    I had first baby via emergency C-section, But baby died (it was CORD PROLAPS case).

    I miss dearly and think about my child constantly, But I am trying to know this matter about my future.

    I kindly request you to please give me your expert opinion about my following question.

    1. Can any affect my fertility after a c-section in this case..?

    2. How long after a C-section can I start thinking about having another baby?

    3. What precaution I have to take when I pregnant again..?

    4. How many chances to deliver normally after first c-section..?

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