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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU: Most C-Sections Don’t Impact Future Fertility

Past studies have shown women who have cesarean sections are less likely to give birth again, raising questions about whether C-sections may impact fertility. But a new study led by researchers from Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark suggests that C-sections do not impact future fertility, and that underlying medical conditions that were indications for the C-sections confounded the results.

Researchers accounted for maternal medical conditions and fetal presentation in the first birth, and found that fertility was not reduced following the most common situation for C-section, an emergency procedure for an infant positioned head-first. In contrast, subsequent fertility was found to be reduced for less common indications for C-section—a breech birth or a planned C-section.

The researchers studied more than 900 Danish women, ages 18 to 40, who were trying to conceive spontaneously during 2007–2012.

The new study was part of an ongoing follow-up study called Snart-Gravid that enrolled Danish women attempting pregnancy. Participants completed a baseline questionnaire at enrollment and follow-up questionnaires every two months for up to 12 months.

Co-authors included Dr. Elizabeth Hatch and Dr. Lauren Wise, professors of epidemiology at BUSPH, and Dr. Kenneth Rothman, professor of epidemiology at BUSPH and vice president of epidemiology research at RTI Health Solutions.

To read more about the study, go to: