Emergency CS carried out during labor when an expectant mother is dilated entirely may increase the risk of premature births in subsequent pregnancies. Research involving hundreds of women from Australia who delivered consecutively between 1989 and 2015 shows cesareans at full dilation was linked with a doubled risk of premature births in subsequent pregnancies.

The research published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggests that mothers who have CS at complete dilation (about 10cm of cervix dilation) should be monitored since premature births increase the risk new babies face.

Research co-author speaks

According to the research co-author, who is a gynecologist and an obstetrician at Royal Prince Alfred hospital, Dr. Joanne Ludlow, premature delivery is a public health issue that poses many unknown risks. Ludlow added that their research had shown a doubled risk increase among women who experienced full dilation during CS, unlike those who got CS at the first level of labor.

Dr. Bradley d Vries, an obstetrician, and gynecologist said the cervix links the uterus to the vagina and opens up after pregnancy. She added that during full dilation, the cervix appears to be merged with the uterus, making it hard to identify in the case of cesarean section.

Dr d Vries went on to say that conducting cesarean section during the full dilation of the cervix could extend the cut to the cervix, causing damage that affects the future pregnancy.

To ascertain the potential risk of such action, researchers studied a retrospective cohort of 2672 women who underwent emergency cesarean section. Eighty percent of the participants (2142) had the cesarean section experience at the first stage of labor, and the remaining twenty percent (533) got the cesarean section at complete dilation of the cervix at 10 cm.

Spontaneous preterm births were observed as 1.7 percent and 3.8 respectively. Women who had experienced cesarean section at full dilation were involved in a doubled case of pre-term births.