What To Expect During a Cesarean Scar Pregnancy

In a normal pregnancy, the egg affixes itself to the uterine wall and begins to grow. When you’ve had a cesarean section during a former pregnancy, it may instead affix itself to the scar tissue. This kind of pregnancy can sometimes result in no heartbeat developing. In these cases, there is no chance of live birth. However, a heartbeat can develop. Even when a heartbeat is present, the pregnancy is a very high risk, and many won’t survive to birth. As the pregnancy continues, there is an increasing risk to the mother.

What To Expect During a Cesarean Scar Pregnancy

The mother will face one major risk: the growing strain on the cesarean scar. As the strain increases, there is an ever-elevating risk of a uterine rupture caused by the scar breaking open. The placenta may grow into the uterine wall or even into the bladder. One major risk to the mother that occurs in these cases is hemorrhaging, even in cases where the pregnancy proceeds to full term. The high health risks faced by the mother make removal of the pregnancy a common response to cesarean scar pregnancies. This kind of pregnancy is rare even in women with cesarean sections. They occur in approximately 1 in every 2000 pregnancies. Some common questions asked about this kind of pregnancy include:

  • What symptoms indicate a cesarean scar pregnancy? – One in three pregnancies of this type don’t show any symptoms at all. In those that do, vaginal bleeding occurs without any accompanying pain. Other symptoms can include rapid pulse, heavy bleeding, and fainting.
  • How can a cesarean scar pregnancy be diagnosed?  – Diagnosing this kind of pregnancy involves an ultrasound exam. This exam is performed during the first trimester, performed on all patients who have had a C-section delivery. When this exam shows that this kind of pregnancy is likely, an MRI may be done to confirm.
  • How is this condition treated? – The most frequent approach is using surgery to remove the pregnancy. This approach requires you to be placed under anesthesia and may take days or weeks to recover from. You may receive a hysterectomy if you are certain you do not wish to become pregnant later.

Other treatments include uterine artery embolization. This minimally invasive approach inserts pellets into the blood vessels that deliver blood to the uterus. This prevents blood from reaching the growing placenta, causing the pregnancy to end. This will also help prevent any major bleeding, is the safest approach, and has the shortest recovery time.

How Do I Avoid Pregnancy After A Cesarean Scar Pregnancy?

Women who have had a C-Section may decide to avoid becoming pregnant again. There are many birth control methods available to help achieve this. Tubal ligation, birth control pills, an IUD, and other approaches can provide the protection you need. You could also undergo a hysterectomy in cases where this is deemed appropriate. Speak to your physician to get further guidance.

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