C-Sections and Adhesions
If you have had a cesarean section before, then you may be wondering if it will impact upon your next pregnancy. Cesarean sections are becoming more and more popular, with many women electing to have c-sections instead of vaginal births. Typically, c-sections are a safe and viable birthing option. However, c-sections are not without their drawbacks. One primary drawback to the c-section is that is can cause surgical adhesions. These may result in pain, discomfort, and can sometimes interfere with subsequent births.
What are Adhesions?
Adhesions are actually bands of scar tissue that form inside your abdomen or pelvis after surgery. As your body heals from surgery, this scar tissue connects organs together, causing them to stick to one another. Abdominal adhesions are a common outcome of any pelvic or abdominal surgery. In fact, they develop in 93% of people who have undergone pelvic surgery. They are especially common after cesarean sections.
What Surgeries cause Adhesions?
Any surgery can cause adhesions to form. Adhesions are your body’s natural way of healing itself. However, certain operations are more likely to trigger the formation of pelvic adhesions. In addition to cesarean section, these procedures include:
- dilatation and curettage
- fibroid removal
- ovarian surgery
How do Adhesions Form?
Adhesions form as a natural response to trauma that your body has undergone. All of your abdominal organs are wrapped in a clear membrane, called the peritoneum. During cesarean section, the peritoneum is cut in order to expose the uterus. As a result, the peritoneum becomes inflamed. After surgery, this inflammation triggers the formation of scar tissue.
Typically, this scar tissue disappears after a little while, in a process called fibrinolysis. However, cesarean section surgery sometimes decreases the blood flow to the peritoneum, preventing the fibrinolysis process from taking place. As a result, the scar tissue forms into adhesions.
Complications of Adhesions
Unfortunately, adhesions can cause a number of different side effects and complications. If you are undergoing cesarean section, it is important to be aware of these complications. Report any side effects of surgery to your health care provider.
Pelvic or Abdominal Pain:
Pelvic or abdominal pain is a common result of surgical adhesions. About 38% of women who experience pelvic pain are actually suffering from adhesions. Adhesions cause pain because they limit the movement of internal organs. Since adhesions "tie down" organs, as you move or become active you may experience quite severe pain.