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What is a uterine rupture?

For many women in Oregon, having a baby is a dream come true, but your experience in the delivery room can quickly become a nightmare if you experience a uterine rupture. According to Healthline, uterine rupture is a rarely occurring complication of vaginal childbirth that affects less than one percent of women. However, if it does occur, it can threaten the lives of both you and your baby.

The most common risk factor for uterine rupture is a scar left over from a previous cesarean section. The wall of the uterus may be weaker at the site of a previous surgery than in other areas, meaning that tearing is most likely to occur in this region due to the pressure that builds up during the baby’s progression through the birth canal.

Due to the rich blood supply the uterus receives, a rupture can cause you to experience a hemorrhage, i.e., major blood loss. If doctors are unable to stop the bleeding in time, you could die from loss of blood. However, a uterine rupture can pose a greater threat to your baby than to you. In fact, 6 percent of babies whose mothers have uterine ruptures during childbirth do not survive. The baby can enter the abdominal cavity through the ruptured area of the uterus, and if that happens, doctors have 40 minutes at most to remove the baby surgically from your body before infant death occurs due to lack of oxygen.

If possible, your doctor may repair your uterine rupture surgically after removing the baby. However, sometimes controlling the bleeding requires your doctor to perform a surgical procedure called a hysterectomy to remove the uterus completely. If you have a hysterectomy, you will not be able to bear any more children.

The only certain way to ensure that you will not experience a uterine rupture is to have a cesarean section, but that involves its own risks. Doctors usually do not recommend that women have an elective cesarean unless there are contraindications to vaginal birth.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.