If you have had more than 2 C-Sections and want more children, there are risks.
The more C-Sections you have the more at risk you are for things like surgical adhesions and uterine rupture.
It hardly seems fair to the women who really want large families, but surgery takes its toll on your body.
For the woman who has had only one C-Section this isn’t quite as critical because unlike years past, having a VBAC or Vaginal Birth after a C-Section is more commonly practiced today and has proven successful for many women.
But if you’ve had more than 2 C-Sections, you are less likely to have a successful VBAC.
Interestingly enough there are women who have had many more than 2 C-Sections or multiple C-Sections without any problems, however they are the exception and not the rule. These women are fortunate that they have not experienced the risks of having so many surgeries, however I wouldn’t encourage any woman to take that risk.
So what are the risks of having multiple C-Sections?
Uterine Rupture. Each time a C-Section is performed the scar tissue from the last C-Section is weakened. This puts your uterus at risk. In fact, hysterectomies are almost five times more likely for women having a forth c-section than for women having their second.
Also the risk of uterine rupture increases the closer your pregnancies are. That’s why doctors want you to wait at least 18 months between C-Section births.
Uterine rupture is fairly rare, however infant death is about 10 times higher for women who experience a rupture.
Blood Transfusions. The risk of blood transfusions increase after 6 c-sections or more.
Adhesions and Scar Tissue. Any time you have abdominal surgery you will incur scar tissue or adhesions, and C-Section are no different. Adhesions don’t always cause a problems or present risk but each C-Section creates more adhesions, and multiple C-Sections can create an excessive amount of adhesions which can be problematic.
Adhesions are risky because they can attach or adhere to other organs causing pulling and other complications. For example, adhesions are often the cause of bowel obstruction. In addition adhesions can cause pain and discomfort that may not become a problem until several years later.
Adhesions are not typically life threatening but they can cause extreme discomfort, pain and complications if you experience too many abdominal surgeries.
Placenta Previa. Having multiple c-sections has been known to increase the risk of Placenta previa, which is where the placenta covers or lies very near the cervix. This can be a problem because as the cervix opens up, it cuts off the placenta at the top causing heavy bleeding.
Very few women with placenta previa ever experience fatal complications but placent previa is capable of causing dangerous levels of heavy bleeding which can lead to anemia and blood transfusions.
Placenta accreta is where the placenta attaches too deeply into the uterine wall. Placenta accreta is often associated with placenta previa, particularly if the patient has had a previous C-Section. It’s the scar tissue from previous c-sections that increases this risk.
Risks may involve damage to the uterus or other organs as well as possible hemorrhaging when trying to remove the uterus.
Note: The risk of placenta accreta is much less for women having 2-3 c-sections than it is for women having four or more c-sections.
If you’ve already had 2 or more C-Sections and want more children, think carefully about the dangers and risks of having multiple C-Sections, especially if you have several children already. As a mom, longer hospital stays and significant risks and health problems for you wouldn’t be in their best interest, not to mention yours.