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The Appearance of a C-Section Scar Can Provide Clues About Abdominal Adhesions

When a woman comes to CPT with secondary infertility, one of the first questions our therapists ask is, “Did you have a C-section?”

Through years of experience, our therapists have found that c-sections frequently cause adhesion formation within the abdominal and pelvic cavity. Adhesions can impede fertility by blocking the fallopian tubes, restricting the uterus, pulling on the ligaments attached to the uterus, and many other ways.

Scientific studies have demonstrated the direct link between c-sections and adhesion formation time and time again. A new study released by Fertility and Sterility (Dec 2008) went a step further and found that the appearance of a c-section scar can predict the severity of adhesion formation within the abdomen.

The study examined 101 women who had previously undergone a C-section. The scientists first examined the c-section scar and noted pertinent characteristics, such as if the scar was flat or depressed (going into the skin). The scientists then examined intra-abdominal adhesions when the women had a second c-section (all women who enrolled in the study planned to have a second c-section).

The study found that 43% of the women had adhesions (either filmy or dense). Of these women, the only significant indicator of adhesions was a depressed scar.

If you are currently struggling with secondary infertility after a c-section, you may find it beneficial to examine your scar to see if it is indented into your abdomen. If it is, you may want to learn more about how adhesions can impact your fertility, or read our article, “How Adhesions Form and Impair Fertility.”

If your scar is not depressed, you are still not out of the clear. Adhesions can form after a c-section and not cause an indented scar. Learn more about treating adhesions and infertility.

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