This Week’s question: Do I have to have another cesarean section (c-section) after my c-section delivery?
Many women can undergo a trial of labor after a cesarean delivery (TOLAC) and many will be able to give birth through the vagina.
Vaginal birth after cesarean section or VBAC is an option for many women after their first c-section, however, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your OB/GYN before attempting VBAC.
So, what are the risks of TOLAC?
The most serious concern is rupture of the c-section scar or the uterus, which can harm both you and your baby. However, certain patients are at higher risks for this concern. Women who are at higher risk of uterine rupture include women have had vertical incisions (up and down incision) during prior c-sections.
Other risks that may discourage TOLAC are: multiple prior c-sections, prior uterine rupture, chronic medical conditions and the place of delivery, such as hospitals that are not equipped to deal with complications during deliveries.
Women who have had low transverse or side to side incisions have the least risk for uterine rupture during TOLAC.
What are the benefits of TOLAC?
VBAC is a successful TOLAC, and the benefits include no abdominal surgery, shorter recovery period, lower risk of infection and less blood loss.
If TOLAC is your chosen option, be prepared for changes to your delivery plan because situations can occur during delivery, so speak with your OB/GYN for your best and safest options.