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Rise in C-sections linked to aging uterus

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We are in an era of middle-aged moms even though teen pregnancies are always in the limelight. This is the reason why the rate of Cesarean sections has been steadily increasing. The longer women delay in having children, the higher is the risk of having a Cesarean delivery due to impaired womb function. These findings were based on a large body of data collected in Scotland by scientists at Cambridge University.

The research team examined more than 500,000 record entries from 1980 to 2005 to evaluate the relationship between maternal age and labor outcome. Here are some of their results:

  • There was a 7-fold increase in the proportion of women aged 35-39 entering their first pregnancy
  • There was a 10-fold increase for women aged 40 or older also having their first pregnancy.
  • The rate of Cesarean sections has also more than doubled in the same period of time.

This trend seems to be the same in many developed countries as well.

The researchers went on further and looked into the women’s womb. Samples of myometrium which is the muscle from the middle of the uterine wall were taken from 62 women who had elective C-sections.

Their analysis showed that older women tend to have impaired uterine function which results in reduced ability of the uterus to spontaneously contract as well in changes in the type of contraction. This impairment in contraction leads to problems during delivery which eventually ends in a C-section.

C-deliveries can present a lot of risks for the mother and for the child and can lead to a lot of complications, including preterm delivery and low birth weights.


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