Delivering babies through caesarean section may cause uterus removal complications later in life, a new study has shown.
Results of research published in the JAMA Surgery journal shows that the procedure, commonly known as C-section, can increase the risk of repeat surgeries and other adverse health effects in women who opt for hysterectomies (uterus removal) after their deliveries.
A hysterectomy is usually recommended for the treatment of various medical conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, cancer of the uterus and abnormal vaginal bleeding.
The study involved over 7000 Danish women.
Findings showed that women who had undergone a C-section once in their lifetime had a 31 per cent increased risk of re-operation after a hysterectomy compared with their counterparts that had gone through a single vaginal delivery.
The risk increased to 35 per cent in those with two or more C-sections. This latter group was also more likely to receive a blood transfusion.
The researchers noted that the study results support policies and clinical efforts aimed at preventing caesarean deliveries that are not medically required.
The procedure is considered necessary in instances where vaginal deliveries pose great risks to mothers or their unborn children.
These include prolonged labour, foetal distress or babies lying in abnormal positions in the womb.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautions that even though they can save lives, C-sections performed without any medical need put women and their babies at risk of death, disability and other short and long-term health problems.
These adverse effects are especially more pronounced in settings that lack the equipment to conduct safe surgeries or treat potential complications.