Uterine rupture more likely with repeated C-sections

The risk of uterine rupture increases with the number of caesarean sections a woman has had, as well as if labour is induced, maternal and newborn health research has shown.

A team led by Kathryn Fitzpatrick at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford in the UK analysed the incidence of this serious complication in Britain in the year to April 2010.

The data showed 0.21 per cent of pregnancies resulted in uterine rupture among women who had undergone a previous caesarean section and the greatest risk was among those who had been through the procedure in the preceding 12 months or delivered two or more babies this way.

Overall, the incidence of the complication was just 0.2 per 1,000 pregnancies, with 159 women suffering the difficulty in the year analysed, two of which died.

Catherine Spong from the Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US, who was not involved with the research, wrote a note that accompanied the study when it was published in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal.


"Given the major complications associated with multiple caesareans, to both mother and baby, women should carefully evaluate the immediate risks in the current pregnancy with the longer-term risks of multiple caesareans."