The impact of cesarean birth on subsequent fertility


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewRecently, the rate of cesarean delivery has increased to 25–30% of all births, the highest rate ever reported in the USA. Primary cesarean deliveries, especially elective procedures, mainly contribute to this increase. Currently, controversy concerning elective cesarean delivery is an area of growing debate. Women should be well informed about the benefits and risks of on-demand cesarean delivery. This may be problematic, however, due to the limited current scientific data on the benefits and risks. One of the issues causing debate is the association between cesarean section and subsequent infertility. In the present review, we aim to analyze the evidence for the impact of cesarean delivery on subsequent fertility.Recent findingsCesarean section has been reported to be associated with decreased subsequent fertility. Recent studies, which have tried to explain this association, suggest that this is most probably voluntary or due to some other biases, or possible confounding factors, which are due to organic or psychosocial effects of an emergency cesarean section or labor preceding the cesarean delivery.SummaryElective cesarean section does not appear to cause infertility. What we need now, however, are more qualitative studies to determine the contribution of cesarean section per se on fecundity.

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