How many c-sections can a woman have?

Q: How many c-sections are safe for a woman to have?

A: The more cesareans a woman has the greater the risk becomes for both mother and baby. Typically, one or two cesareans do not have any significantly increased risks to either mother or baby, but that is not a guarantee that something bad can't happen even after just one cesarean. Once women begin to have three or more cesareans, there is a significant risk of complications such as placenta previa (where the placenta covers the cervical opening) and placenta acreata (where the placenta grows into or thru the wall of the uterus). In addition, the more cesareans a woman has the weaker the lower uterine segment becomes and she may be at increased risk of uterine wall rupture. You should have a discussion with your OB, especially if she or he performed your most recent cesarean, to know if you may be at higher risk in a future pregnancy based on what was observed during the surgery.


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