How many C-sections can a mum safely have?
There are no set rules, says Dr Goh Shen Li, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at S L Goh Women’s Clinic.
Studies show that the risks increase after a third C-section, although research has yet to determine the exact number one can have and be considered safe.
Each repeat C-section may be more complicated than the last and also takes longer.
That’s because women who have repeat C-sections are at a higher risk of bleeding, infection, bladder and bowel injuries, as well as scar tissue forming after each surgery.
Risks of excessive bleeding increase with the number of repeat C-sections. This, in turn, boosts the risk of needing a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) the need for blood transfusions.
There is also a higher chance of placental problems such as praevia (placenta sited very low in the uterus) or accreta (the placenta implants into the muscle layer of the uterus).
Both problems heighten the risk of massive post-delivery bleeding, necessitating a hysterectomy.