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Did my c-section cause my secondary infertility?

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#1 Frustrated mummy

Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:25 PM

I think my c-section has caused my secondary infertility!  DS was born 6 years ago via c-section and I have been TTC a sibling for him for the past 3.5 years.  I have visited numerous fertilty specialists, a naturopath, had a laparoscopy to remove endometriosis, went through acupuncture and 2 failed IVF attempts and am about to start taking Chinese herbs.  It wasn't until going through my 2nd IVF cycle last month that the nurse discovered that she could see fluid build up around my c-section scarring during a routine ultrasound (I've had numerous ultrasounds since the c-section and no-one has picked it up yet, it wasn't even discovered when I had my laparoscopy 12 months ago).  The doctors/nurses at the clinic dismissed any relationship between my scar and my infertility problems.  But I'm almost convinced that this is the reason for my infertility.  I've read that it is hard for the embryo to attach if there is scarring inside the uterus.  This probably then explains the 2 failed IVF attempts.

Just wondering (and hoping) that someone out there knows something about this and can share some information with me.  I have an appointment to see my fertility doctor in 5 weeks but I just can't wait that long.  Would love to hear from anyone out there before I lose all hope.

#2 alice79

Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:07 PM

I don't have any specific advice for you... but I just wanted to say that I sometimes wonder if my emergency c-section has done something. My husband is convinced it has. I haemorrhaged during srugery, my uterus had problems contracting, and I had 3 rounds of infections. But, still, the ultrasounds show nothing abnormal.

We have been TTC #2 for 19 months, and cannot believe after falling pregnant with our DD on our first try, we are having such difficulty. We're off to see a FS specialist next week, as my numerous tests indicate low ovarian reserve. Even though that's the case, I often wonder...

I hope someone has some information for you. Good luck with everything original.gif

#3 Frustrated mummy

Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:58 PM

Thanks for your reply, sorry to hear you have been TTC #2 for 19 months, it's so unfair, especially after having such a great experience with your first pregnancy.  

I am seeing my FS on Saturday, I've been looking forward to this for weeks.  I was doing some research and found out that there is a condition called Asherman's Syndrome which is where there are adhesions/scarring in the uterus that can cause infertility, I wonder if I have it?  I'll need to have surgery and have a hysteroscopy but apparently it can fix the adhesions and therefore give me a better chance of falling pregnant.

You say that your ultrasounds showed nothing abnormal, neither did mine for 3 years until a few months ago.  I don't know if the nurse was supposed to tell me but I'm glad she did, no one had picked up the fluid around my scar before and my son is now 6!

Good luck with seeing your FS next week, hope you hear some positive news! bbighug.gif

#4 trdl

Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:06 PM

I cant give you any advice as to your problem but i just wanted to let you know im have been thinking the same thing for many years.

i had a c/s and dh and i have also wondered whether it was the cause of our infertility. I fell quickly with dd after one cycle off the pill. We have been trying for baby #2 for 7 years. All the doctors and fertility specialists i have seen tell me there is no reason why i cant get pregnant.

I had a miscarriage in march this year and now im going under another doctor who is going through the same old tests again. I just hope he finds something that no else has. Because im getting a little sick of going over the same ground.

I have moved 3 times since dd was born so every time i see a new doctor they always want to get me to go through tests again just in case someone has missed something.

I hope you dont have to wait the 7 years i have and hope you get your BFP soon

#5 studiobird

Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:19 PM

*pregnancy mentioned*

I wondered this for many years.  Like previous posters, fell pregnant with my DD without "trying"... she just 'turned up!'

But it took us 3.5 years to conceive our second (due July).

However, I was told from the time I was 13 that I may have troubles, and I think that I was just lucky to fall pregnant the first time IYKWIM.  

I have PCO and a few other issues - plus I also had infections, PPH, failure of uterus to contract, etc etc...  and definitely believe it played a part...

#6 BeYOUtiful

Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:54 PM

***********loss and pg/child mentioned**************

I had problems before my c/s, but that is another story.

I just wanted to comment on the Hysterscopy and the Ashermans.
Ashermans can be caused from D&C's for miscarriages etc.
I have had D&C's, D&E (evacuation rather than curettage) and a Hysterscopy for endometritis and a polyp.

I was warned scarring can occur with a Hysterscopy also.  My lining was 18mm thick and alot of it removed.

Although the risk of Ashermans is not high (with D&C's) from my understanding.
Not sure with all of my procedures if I have scarring, but I was able to eventually carry a child to term.

Edited by ~Jane05~, 12 May 2011 - 01:55 PM.

#7 MotherClucker

Posted 12 May 2011 - 02:06 PM

****pregnancy and pregnancy loss mentioned***

OP I am sorry for the rough road you are on. After my 3rd ceasarean I fell pregnant with an ectopic which my OB  seems to think was caused by scar tissue so I dont doubt that it could cause infertility. He also commented after my last one there was quite a large build up of scar tissue which he removed. I hope you are able to find some answers soon.

#8 Indatree

Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:10 AM

OP I'm sorry to hear that you are gaving such a rough time conceiving #2, my heart goes out to you.

IMO the previous c/s may be contributing to infertility. Its something I hadn't considered before but I have just had my 2nd laproscopy and hysteryoscopy yesterday and my surgeon did say that there was a large mass of endo on the c/s scar. And that this along with endo on my tubes and ovaries was definitely contributing to my inability to get pg with #2.

Having said that though what can we do it about it?! I mean my first c/s was emergency so both me and DS would have possible died without the c/s. If I knew beforehand that a c/s may contribute to infertility I still wouldn't of had any choice but to have the c/s.

Anyway I do I hope you get some brighter news from your FS. And hugs to you.

#9 imamumto3

Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:20 AM

***************prg & children mentioned****************

I wondered that with me I had secondary infertility after a c/s.  I had a HyCoSy which showed my tubes were blocked.  I then questioned if that could be from the c/s & was told no.  Although I had read that they could be blocked by infection or previous surgery (ie. appendix etc), so why not from a c/s.  I was then told that IVF was our only hope.

I then feel pregnant naturally (after 12 months of ttc) & then 15 month later, feel pregnant without ttc.

Part of me still feels that the c/s must of had something to do with it, maybe it is in conjunction with other factors as I have known people who have had c/s without having any futher problems concieving

I hope you all find out some answers soon

#10 Frustrated mummy

Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:54 AM

Well, after weeks of waiting to see our FS it has turned out to be a bit of a fizzer.  He didn't seem  interested to hear about my concerns for my scarring, even though he has agreed to do a hysteroscopy.  He just basically said to try IVF again.  I showed him my research about Asherman's Syndrome and told him that I believe that my 2 unsuccessful IVF cycles were probably due to the embryo not attaching to my scarred uterus, but still he didn't really seem interested.  So, we left there feeling a bit lost.  I'm obviously going to get a 2nd opinion from another FS at the fertility clinic.  It makes so much sense that the embryo would have problems attaching if there is scarring/adhesions/fluid present and even if it did attach the chances of miscarriage would be high.  Either way, he offered no advice or suggestions as to try and improve our chances of a pregnancy next cycle, which I'm due to start in the next few weeks, I just hope it's a case of 3rd time lucky!

Alice79 -how did your FS appointment go?  Hope you found some answers.

0210 - sorry to hear what you've been going through, all the tests and of course the miscarriage and 7 years TTC#2, I feel like a whinger with my 3.5 years!  Have you asked your doctor if the c/s could be a possible reason for your infertility?  If so, what did he say?  Good luck with everything, my wishes go out to you too.

Studiobird - congratulations on your pregnancy, even though you had to wait as well, not long to go now.  Was there anything special you tried?  Best wishes for your new bub.

Jane05 - thanks for your info, I hadn't realised that a hysteroscopy could also cause my scarring, but I still want them to  check me out and remove my scar tissue, so I suppose I'm taking a risk trying to fix one problem but possibly making it worse at the same time.  I just want answers.  Good to hear you were able to have your child after your surgeries though, that's inspiring.

MotherClucker - sounds like you had a good OB who was caring, I hope I find one like yours soon.  Thanks for your support.

Carrie04 - I hope your surgery will help you in your dream of having baby no. 2.  I totally agree with you, even though there are risks to having a c/s what choice do we have?  In my case, I was in labour for nearly 20 hours and had only dilated to 5cm, how much longer could I have expected to wait?  I had no other option but to have a c/s so it's not that I regret having it done because DS wasn't coming out any other way!

imamumto3 - thank you for sharing your information.  I too know of many women who have had 1 c/s and gone on to have other children, so I hope I can join them one day too.

#11 alice79

Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:09 PM

Frustrated mummy - so sorry it has taken me ages to reply.

Our FS appointment went pretty well, considering. I already knew my ovarian reserve was low (that of a 40 year old - I'm 32), so with just that information, our doctor said our chance of conceiving naturally was 2-5%, but IVF could give us up to 35% chance per cycle. We signed all the paper work (as we live 1500km away), and then had a couple of additional tests done. My ultrasound picked up 3 suspected cysts - 2 in my right ovary, 1 in my right tube. My left ovary was so depleted, it took 10 minutes to find it mellow.gif

A week after returning home, I had to fly interstate again for a HSG and another ultrasound (with a more sensitive machine) to investigate the cysts. Turns out the suspected cyst in my right tube is, as they put it, a 'blow out' - just an odd shaped part of the tube. They think the 2 in my ovary are old follicles, which will just disappear over time. Something else they did find, was that my uterus was a bit 'mushy' and enlarged (HSG took twice the normal amount of fluid - large uterus and long tubes). My FS suspects I may have adenomyosis - where the uterine tissue grows into the uterus muscle. Without an MRI (once again, another trip away), she couldn't properly diagnose, but seeing as my eggs are running out every month, she started me on a long down regulation IVF cycle, to try and halt the growth, as she believes it would affect my chances of a sticky pregnancy. She also believes it could have been caused by my c-section.

4 injections into my cycle, I did a home pregnancy test, and low and behold - a BFP. Shocked, excited and VERY nervous! Knowing what I know about adenomyosis, I'm terrified baby won't stick, but I am praying, and crossing everything I have to cross, that it sticks and we don't have to do IVF.

Your FS sounded terrible. I'm sorry, but that is not good enough. Surely he can do/say something to help you, and at least respond to your queries. I've been very lucky that our FS is wonderful, and all but 1 of the nurses, have also been fantastic.

How is your current cycle going?

#12 Alyssa12345

Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:58 PM

Frustrated Mummy, I think I have the same issue as you! Please, if you don't mind, please post to update us on how your journey has unfolded. Thank you, Alyssa

#13 Frustrated mummy

Posted 06 April 2013 - 09:43 PM

QUOTE (Alyssa12345 @ 07/03/2013, 01:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Frustrated Mummy, I think I have the same issue as you! Please, if you don't mind, please post to update us on how your journey has unfolded. Thank you, Alyssa

Hi Alyssa, I'm sorry you are having fertility issues. I'm also sorry to say that my situation hasn't changed since I was last here. It will be 6 years in a few months since we started trying for another baby and still nothing. My little man is turning 8 next week and he has been asking for a sibling, it's so sad. I'm actually currently on my 6th IVF cycle, I don't know how many cycles I have left in me but I just can't seem to let go of my dream for another child, but I know I will have to face the facts one day.
During this time I've had 2 laparoscopies and a biopsy for high natural killer cells. The biopsy came back positive to slightly high NK cells, but not through the roof. I have all these drugs to take after egg collection, I hope this does the trick.  My embryos don't implant, even though I've had  2 transferred at the same time for my previous 2 cycles.  I'm currently taking 12 vitamins/supplements daily, not sure if they're doing any good though.

I haven't investigated my c-section scarring, all doctor's have dismissed it. There is a condition called Asherman's Syndrome which is related to the scar and there are a few specialists out there who are able to treat it. This has been on the back of my mind for years.  I'll see how these new drugs work and if they don't help I may look into it more seriously.
Feel free to ask any questions, I don't know if I would be very helpful but I am happy to support you if you ever need it.

Edited by Frustrated mummy, 07 April 2013 - 09:06 AM.

#14 caroldiem

Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:13 PM

Hi Frustrated Mummy

I have dealt with Ashermans Syndrome well i had a scare that it could be that after i had a D&C in Sydney we have one of the best ashermans surgeons in the world he is amazing and he has helped many woman go on to have babies please message me if you want his details

#15 Swan Lake

Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:24 PM

I had Ashermans Syndrome (although not caused through c-sec). The scarring can't be seen on ultrasounds. You need to have a hysteroscopy. The doctor caroldiem is referring to is AMAZING! He is also one of only a few world wide considered to be a top class surgeon. At the very least, it would be worth having him do the hysteroscopy for you as he'd be able to give you definitive answers about what was going on inside your uterus.

He gave me 2 children which I'll be forever grateful to him for.

#16 Frustrated mummy

Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:38 AM

Thank you Caroldiem and Honey Pot.  I am keen to know more about Asherman's and get a diagnosis either way, time is quickly passing me by.

Honey Pot, I'm so glad you have been blessed with 2 children, this doctor does sound amazing.

Caroldiem, I will send you a message requesting the details.

#17 Frustrated mummy

Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:47 AM

Caroldiem - I have tried several times to send you a message but I'm having a lot of trouble.  Could you message me instead please?  I really appreciate your kindness, secondary infertility can be very lonely when no-one wants to support you sad.gif

#18 purpledelight

Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:15 AM

Wow. I was only talking about this to DH last night!

Thanks for posting OP. We had an emergency c-section with DD (1 month of TTC), and now 3 years later (1 year of TTC) I'm starting to wonder if the c-section could be the cause! Because I'm 34, the GP told me to come back in 2 more months... (After finally getting up the courage to go to the GP)

Everybody asks when No.2. is coming and when I reply that we're trying, they say, Oh well, be thankful that you have one! (As if we aren't!)

Good luck on your journey. Its comforting to now that there are others treading a similar path.

#19 Mariekot

Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:50 AM

Hi I know this post was a few years back but think I may have Ashermans's syndrome. I just joined this site and not sure how to go about following the Dr who can assist to ascertain this as recommended by Swan Lake anf Caroldiem. My story:
First born was easily conceived (within a month). I had csection due to failure to progress delivery after 18 hours active labour. Was told uterus was cut and there was some extra bleeding. Have tried since Oct 2016 to conceive without success. Tracking ovulation, have had ultrasound to rule out issues with ovaries. Periods currently regular although get some soreness and spotting in between cycle. I'm starting to think i need to investigate further with a gynaecologist the cut to the uterus and if this is causing issues with falling pregnant.Look forward to hearing from anyone who can help with these details.

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