A C-section, or caesarean delivery of a baby, requires an incision in the abdomen to remove the baby. C-sections can be planned, unexpected or emergency surgery procedures. Some C-sections are necessary for the health of the baby and the mother. As with any serious surgery, a C-section has risks and some possible long-term effects. The long-term effects may be minimal compared to declining a C-section that is necessary, but they can be undesirable enough to dissuade a mother from electing an unnecessary C-section.
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According to the Mayo Clinic, one C-section can impact future pregnancies in a negative manner. Examples include bleeding, placenta previa, abnormal fetal positions and rupturing of the uterus along the previous C-section scar. Placenta previa is normally a rare occurrence that leads to excessive bleeding before or during delivery. The placenta attaches to the lower part of the uterine wall, and partially or totally covers the cervix. Abnormal fetal positions can make labor harder if a mother is attempting a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC), which can lead to another C-section. The rupturing of the uterus can be serious, even fatal, but it rarely occurs.
The Childbirth Connection Organization reports that women can suffer urinary incontinence problems whether they have a C-section or a vaginal delivery. A C-section, however, increases the likelihood of urinary tract infections and bladder infections, which can lead to incontinence, as indicated by the Mayo Clinic.
A C-section can slow the removal of waste from the body for several days, weeks or even months after surgery. Initially, these symptoms are considered bothersome, but they should resolve over time. If constipation is severe or persistent, treatment may be necessary to ensure that an underlying issue does not exist.
The Childbirth Connection Organization suggests that some women can experience sexual dissatisfaction after a C-section. The increased time of healing can reduce a woman's interest in sexual activity. The sensitivity at the site of the incision can cause pain or tenderness during sexual intercourse. The Childbirth Connection also suggests that women may experience ongoing pelvic pain from the wound.