Having a C-section is a notoriously nerve racking procedure. It's growing more and more common in the United States though, and with it comes questions about recovery and the possibility of fertility problems later on. But can having a C-section affect your fertility? Evidence suggests that it's more of a widespread myth than actual fact.
According to a 2014 study published in the Oxford Journals, there is no evidence to suggest that the process of having a routine, uncomplicated C-section impairs a woman's chance to get pregnant. The study looked at healthy pregnancies, excluding women with high-risk pregnancies, and noticed noticed no correlation between the two.
However, Mom.me reported that one study found subsequent pregnancies were nine percent lower after having a cesarean than a vaginal birth. C-sections aren't without risk though and if a mother experiences complications, like fallopian tube damage, internal scarring, or C-section caused endometriosis, you may have a harder time conceiving again in the future.
To clarify findings even further, What To Expect noted that when a C-section did affect future fertility, it was because of other risks from the pregnancy or C-section itself. Women who had C-sections because of a breech baby, for example, had the lowest rate of impacted fertility, while women who had C-sections because of medical issues like placenta previa or an emergency had the highest rate of subsequent pregnancy.
If you're planning to have, or have already had a C-section, worrying about the impact it will have on your future fertility shouldn't be forefront on your mind unless you had other reasons for concern during the procedure. Talking to your health care provider can help you understand your risks or whether or not your C-section will have an impact on your future ability to conceive. But more often than not, research shows that it's not as big of an issues as many women believe it to be.