Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Women who have a Cesarean section may, if they become pregnant again, face a slightly elevated risk of either an ectopic pregnancy or a stillbirth–but not a miscarriage, according to a new study of Danish mothers.
Recent research has also linked c-section delivery to an elevated risk that a child will later become obese, and found that overweight women are more likely to deliver via c-section. On a more positive note, another recent study found that the overall rate of Cesareans performed before a woman’s due date is on the decline nationwide.
HealthDay News has more on the Danish study:
Those whose baby was delivered by cesarean section had a 14 percent higher rate of stillbirth in their next pregnancy than those who had a vaginal delivery. A stillbirth is described as the death of a fetus at more than 20 weeks of gestation.
That works out to an absolute risk increase of 0.03 percent. That means that for every 3,000 cesarean deliveries, there would be one extra stillbirth in future pregnancies, the researchers explained.
They also found that women who had a cesarean delivery for their first baby were 9 percent more likely to have a future ectopic pregnancy than those who had a vaginal delivery.
That’s an absolute increased risk of 0.1 percent, which means that for every 1,000 cesarean deliveries, there would be one extra ectopic pregnancy in future pregnancies.
In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg grows in the fallopian tubes or other locations outside the uterus. It typically results in loss of the fetus and can be fatal for the mother.
Having a cesarean delivery for a first baby did not increase women’s risk of miscarriage in future pregnancies, according to the researchers at University College Cork in Ireland and Aarhus University in Denmark. A miscarriage is generally described as the spontaneous loss of a fetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
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Image: Cesarean section scar, via Shutterstock
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Friday, March 14th, 2014
A baby girl was born in Tanzania after her mother experienced an abdominal pregnancy–a rare form of ectopic pregnancy. LiveScience has more:
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When doctors examined the woman further and discovered the abdominal pregnancy, they quickly operated on the woman’s abdomen and found her live fetus floating in her abdominal cavity, without its nourishing amniotic sac. The healthy baby girl was delivered and sent home with her 22-year-old mother in good condition, researchers in Tanzania said.
Abdominal pregnancies are rare, and when they do happen, they can go unnoticed even if ultrasounds are used, because the pregnancy can appear normal in an ultrasound examination, the researchers wrote in the report, published Feb. 25 in the journal BioMed Central. An abdominal pregnancy that goes unnoticed can threaten the mother’s life and cause massive bleeding.
“I’ve seen maybe four or five abdominal pregnancies over the course of 25 years,” said Dr. Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., who wasn’t involved with the case.
“Many times, these pregnancies are not diagnosed until the labor,” Rabin said. “The woman is going through labor, the cervix is dilated and you are wondering, ‘Why is the patient having contractions and nothing is happening?’”
Abdominal pregnancy is a rare form of ectopic pregnancy, occurring in about 1 out of every 10,000 pregnancies, according to some estimates. In an abdominal pregnancy, an embryo usually first implants in one of the fallopian tubes (instead of the uterus), and then moves backward within the body, toward the ovaries. From there, it implants for the second time — this time, in the abdomen.
Diagnosing an abdominal pregnancy is difficult, Rabin said. “It’s very rare, but you have to keep it in your mind when examining a pregnant woman who has abdominal pain.”
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
The three main methods that are used to treat ectopic pregnancies–when an embryo implants in a woman’s fallopian tube instead of in her uterus–are equally helpful in preserving that woman’s chances of becoming pregnant in the future, according to a new study published in the journal Human Reproduction. More from The New York Times:
Ectopic pregnancies can be ended by administration of a drug, methotrexate; conservative surgery that preserves the fallopian tube; or radical surgery that removes it. Methotrexate may be used alone or combined with surgery….
….Within two years [of undergoing one of the three treatments], 67 percent of the women who had the drug alone became pregnant again, compared with 71 percent of those who had the medicine and conservative surgery. In the other group, pregnancy rates were 70 percent after conservative surgery with methotrexate, compared with 64 percent after radical surgery. None of these differences was statistically significant.
“The message is that women should be reassured that removing the fallopian tube does not affect future fertility,” said an author of the study, Dr. Perrine Capmas, an obstetrician at Bicêtre Hospital in Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, near Paris. “It’s important to take into account other factors — the woman’s preference, for example — because fertility will be the same whatever treatment is used.”
Image: Doctor, via Shutterstock
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