Published On: Wed, Oct 14th, 2020

What are the risks of a C-section?

Share This

Faced with the prospect of a painful delivery, many women think of a C-section (cesarean section) as a good alternative. But there are many reasons why it is not offered as the first option. It is used when natural birth is not feasible or possible due to a series of risks that we will briefly name in this article:

Risks of a C-section for pregnant women

  • Infection of the cesarean wound: in natural childbirth, you will not have to go through a long postoperative period to take care of the wound. Even the lining of the uterus can become infected, causing fever, pain, and vaginal bleeding.
  • Excessive bleeding: in some cases, there may be abnormal bleeding during a cesarean section. That is why it is important to have the resource of blood transfusion on hand.
  • Other risks: there are also rare risks such as deep vein thrombosis or accidental damage to other nearby tissues, such as the kidneys or bladder.

Risks to the baby

  • Cuts and wounds: at the time of opening the uterus, the proximity of the baby’s skin makes it susceptible to injury. However, these tend to heal quickly.
  • Breathing difficulty: it is most common in babies born before 39 weeks of pregnancy.

Risks for future pregnancies

  • You may require another cesarean: depending on the criteria of your doctor and the hospital that receives you, a previous C-section may require a new C-section in future pregnancies. A natural delivery may be possible, but it is not always the case.
  • Other risks: there are also rare risks, such as reopening of the previous cesarean scar or an abnormal position of the placenta in future pregnancies.

For these reasons, the C-section is only used as a tool when necessary, and when natural childbirth carries higher risks. For example, when labor lasts a long time or labor is not progressing properly. It is also practiced in cases of premature birth or in cases of multiple pregnancies.

In most cases, it is known in advance whether a pregnant woman will go through a natural delivery or is a candidate for the C-section. But at other times it is a decision of the moment, which is made in response to the development of labor.

Therefore, be sure to monitor your pregnancy early and do not leave everything to the last minute. Contact a gynecologist obstetrician if you have not already done so and monitor your pregnancy to avoid complications and last-minute decisions.

Thanks to Dr. Ariadna E. Ortega Díaz, obstetrician gynecologist, for validating the information in this article. This specialist completed the Specialty in Gynecology and Obstetrics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico 2012 and the Bachelor’s Degree as Surgeon at the National Autonomous University of Mexico 2006. She has specialized in Prenatal Control (high and low risk), Family Planning, Gynecological Ultrasound, among others.


  1. NHS



Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>