Does having a C section affect your ability to conceive a baby in the future? Mummy Catherine Woulfe recently shared how her inability to have a second baby had puzzled many doctors. Until they arrived at a conclusion – secondary infertility after C section.
"MRI confirmed the diagnosis. I had a caesarean scar defect, also known as a niche, pouch, isthmocele, diverticulum or caesarean scar syndrome," she reveals.
Mum Says She Has Secondary Infertility After C Section
Catherine starts off by saying that the first time around, she had to have an emergency C section.
When their son was nearly two, she started trying for a second baby. Very soon he will be four, but Catherine has been unable to conceive.
She consulted various doctors but to no avail.
"They carried out tests and asked lots of questions and put us in that catch-all category, unexplained infertility."
She also tried IVF. It was then that doctors noticed something unusual, during an ultrasound.
"The doctor saw fluid in my uterus. The fluid most certainly should not have been there.
"Yet there it was again at my next ultrasound a few days later. On our specialist’s advice we decided to proceed with egg collection, but freeze any embryos until we could figure out what that fluid was, and deal with it."
Like most of us mums, Catherine went home and googled. “Fluid uterus fertility,” she typed. The results that popped up were a revelation.
"There’s a thing that happens where a Caesarean scar heals in a weird way and makes you infertile."
Tests confirmed her condition.
"MRI confirmed the diagnosis. I had a caesarean scar defect, also known as a niche, pouch, isthmocele, diverticulum or caesarean scar syndrome."
What Causes Secondary Infertility After C Section?
Women who have delivered by C section can have scarring that causes infertility, as well as pain and abnormal bleeding.
This results when scar tissue does not heal properly and forms a pouch in the lower part of the uterine lining, called the isthmocele, that fills with fluid and delays normal menstrual bleeding.
This condition is called Caesarean scar defect.
When old menstrual blood becomes trapped in the isthmocele and within the uterine cavity, it sets up an inflammatory response in the uterus, that then impairs embryo implantation.
Possible risk factors for Caesarean scar defect include:
- Number of Caesarean sections the mum has had
- Uterine position
- Going through labour before Caesarean section
- Surgical technique used to close the uterine incision
Symptoms of C Section Scar Tissue
Symptoms of Caesarean section scarring include:
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal bleeding
- Vaginal discharge
- Painful periods
- Difficulty with gynecologic procedures such as IUD insertion and uterine evacuation
- Ectopic pregnancy in the C section scar
Mums who have C section scars and experience secondary infertility should consult a reproductive specialist.
Laparoscopic surgery can correct the problem and cure infertility in about 75 % of patients.