Caesarean sections significantly increase the risk of uterine tears in second pregnancies, research has shown.
Although uterine tears are rare, the research shows caesarean procedures increase the risk of them occurring by a factor of more than 40. Uterine tears were associated with a 66-fold increase in neonatal mortality.
The Swedish research showed uterine tear rates in second deliveries jumped from 0.18 per 1000 in women who had vaginal first deliveries to nine per 1000 for those who had caesarean first deliveries.
Findings were based on birth records of 300,200 women who were on the Swedish Birth Register between 1983 and 2001.
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2007) 114; 1208-1214.