High C-section rate poses risks during second pregnancy

The high caesarean surgery in China over the past 20 years has caused consequences for women who want to have a second child today.

The high rate of caesarean sections in China over the last 20 years has imposed strong negative effects on women who want to have a second child after the nation relaxed the one-child policy.

Complications due to caesarean section have resulted in many women becoming infertile or facing risky conditions when pregnant with a second child, doctors from Xinhua Hospital said.

Pernicious placenta previa is one of the most serious complications of caesarean section, and doctors at the hospital dealt with the most cases in Shanghai last year. 

The incidence of the complication is only 1.7 in every 10,000 pregnancies among normal women, but it occurs in every 20 pregnancies among women older than 35 with a history of caesarean section.

“We only received a total of 12 such cases from 2010 to 2015, while the figure rose to seven in 2016, when the government loosened the population policy,” said Dr Wang Lei from Xinhua Hospitals, who adds that incidence rose to 22 cases last year. 

“The most risky case involved a 45-year-old woman who was only saved after receiving a nine-hour emergency treatment, with transfusion of blood two-and-a-half times her own amount while delivering her second child in June.”

To prevent complications, the hospital has set up a system to strictly follow each pregnant woman deemed to be under "risky conditions" and give early intervention to prevent fatal conditions, doctors said.

The hospital has also developed a minimally invasive surgery to give earlier intervention to women who have had a caesarean section in order to prevent caesarean scar pregnancy, another condition which can affect a second pregnancy. Doctors repair the scar left by the previous surgery before the patient becomes pregnant again, reducing risk.

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