YORK, Pa. — A new study from the Penn State College of Medicine suggests that women who deliver their first child by cesarean section are less likely to get pregnant a second child than those who deliver vaginally. The question is why?
The study followed more than 2,000 women between 18 and 35 from before the birth of their first child to 3 years after their delivery. Researchers interviewed them every 6 months, asking them to report how often they had unprotected sex. They said in doing so, they were able to rule out trauma or lingering pain from C-section.
Here's what they found:
Approximately 69% of women who delivered by C-section got pregnant again compared to approximately 78% of women who delivered vaginally. Women who delivered by C-section also had a reduced likelihood of a live birth.
Dr. Richard Legro co-authored the study and said he believes there may be some physiological reasons for what they found. That includes pelvic or fallopian tubal scarring or scaring from the surgical wound in the uterus that could affect future attempts to get pregnant.
Study authors say if you are a woman under 35 who had a C-section with their first pregnancy and has failed to conceive after a year of trying, contact your doctor.
Many patients elect to have a C-section, for a number of reasons. Researchers said they hope the study could be useful for physicians who are counseling patients who have elected to have their first child, via C-section.
For a look at the full study, you can find it here.