Getting a cesarean section might not always be what you had in mind for your pregnancy, but when your health care provider suggests it for the health of your baby, doing so is the only option. Modern technology and common knowledge have made cesarean sections safe and relatively easy. There are complications associated with this form of birth, but there are complications with natural birth as well. If your doctor does recommend a cesarean section, the procedure will only take approximately an hour, and your partner can stay in the operating room with you. While you might not be scared about the operation, you might have thought about the scar.

Most likely, your surgeon will create an incision horizontally right above your bikini line. It will be closed with staples or stitches after the operation is complete. The remaining scar will be four to six inches long, and healing time varies. Many women notice rapid healing in the weeks after delivery. A recent study shows that there are some things that could happen during birth that might affect the scar.

A retroflexed uterus is one that is slightly tilted backwards. Approximately one out of every five women has a retroflexed uterus. The condition is genetic and generally harmless, but the results of the study show that women with a retroflexed uterus are more likely to have cesarean scar defects. Their scars might be bigger or might be more unsightly even after healing is complete. In addition to a retroflexed uterus, your baby’s position at the time of the surgery might also cause a larger and more unsightly scar. Women who have had cesarean sections for prior births will also have deeper scars after the second surgery.

If you know you’ll need a cesarean section and are concerned about the appearance of your scar afterward, you should speak with your health care provider about the surgical procedure. When the scheduled time approaches, find out what position your baby is in. Finding out that he is in a normal situation for birth, you can assume that your scar will be average. You should also find ways to reduce the appearance of scars. Before trying any over the counter remedies, speak with your health care provider about which are safe for such a sensitive area. Avoiding infection at the site of the scar is paramount, especially if you are concerned about its appearance.

Source: C.B. Wang et al: Cesarean Scar Defect: Correlation Between Cesarean Section Number, Defect Size, Clinical Symptoms And Uterine Position. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology Volume 34 Issue 1 pp. 85-89 July 2009

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