I recently found this article on a women’s website a friend recommended to me, and just had to share it. Wow. A woman had all of her children by Cesarean — seven total surgeries! And it mentions another doctor who performed thirteen C-sections on one woman back in the 1970s. Incredible!
However, I will point out, that statistically, the risk of adverse complications (both during the C-section and in a subsequent pregnancy) do increase with every C-section, sometimes exponentially. So, if you can avoid a C-section in the first place, or have a vaginal birth after Cesarean, that’s going to be better for you and any future babies. I don’t know if these grand multip C-section moms have been studied to see what the rate of adverse events (like hysterectomy, hemorrhage, hemorrhage requiring hysterectomy, future placenta previa/percreta/acreta, etc.) are. There probably aren’t enough of them to do anything but case studies.
Still, that was incredible to me. I honestly would have assumed that the rate of complications would have been so high that most women would have ended up with a hysterectomy or chosen to have their tubes tied (or been coerced into it, as was attempted for this mother, or even sterilizing her without her consent) , or in some other way just stopped having babies. I was wrong. I’m not sure if these women are “beating the odds” necessarily. As long as the rate of X is below 50%, then odds are that they will not have X problem. But, the odds of a hysterectomy or hemorrhage or any of these other bad things with a VBAC is much lower than with a repeat C-section — especially when you get into higher numbers of C-section.
I would assume that the mother from the 1970s would have had a classical or vertical incision, which is contraindicated for VBAC attempt (although I know a woman by email who did have a VBAC after a classical C-section, and the labor was induced or augmented with Pitocin, which adds another layer of contraindication; but her uterus did just fine), so she may have been a poor VBAC candidate (especially at a time when “once a C-section, always a C-section” was the rule of the day). But there is no indication why the other mother had any of her C-sections, either the first, or any of her repeats.
Interesting. Very interesting.