The uterus, also more commonly known as the womb, is a vital part of the female reproductive system. The uterus is responsible for the development and nourishment of the baby as the pregnancy advances.
As such, the uterus is an extremely well-controlled environment. It is largely shielded from external factors that might harm the baby. Given how fragile the baby is during the growth process, a tear in the uterus may cause irreversible harm and in most cases, prove to be fatal. This is scientifically known as a uterine rupture.
While there is no way to absolutely prevent a uterine rupture from happening, certain precautions can be taken. If suspected early on, appropriate action can be taken to prevent the complication from occurring.
If specific care is not prescribed by the doctor, a tear may occur which may also lead to prenatal death. The doctor’s role in preventing this is essential and cannot be understated.
In this article, we’ll try to gain a greater understanding of what they are and most importantly, how to prevent them.
What Exactly is a Uterine Rupture?
Simply put, the definition of a uterine rupture is a tear or break in the walls of a woman’s uterus at any stage during childbirth. This usually occurs in the third trimester or during labor.
For a mother who hasn’t undergone a Caesarian section for birth prior, the condition is extremely rare. Overall, it affects around 6.1 deliveries every 10,000. That’s 0.061% of all deliveries.
However, this estimate is shown to increase by a few times under certain circumstances. This includes previous deliveries performed through a Caesarian section, a traumatic accident or a generally weak uterus.
The risk of a uterine rupture is usually determined during an ultrasound, which should be done by a responsible doctor. Any previous incisions due to surgery, a thin uterine wall or scars can be easily detected.
Abdominal pain, shoulder and back pain are also indicators that it might be a possibility. Vaginal bleeding is also a common indicator of this.
Depending on the severity of the issue, appropriate remedy methods can be suggested as the factors responsible can vary far and wide. For example, if the rupture is found at a later time but is minor, the pregnancy can be unaffected.
Or if bleeding persists post-pregnancy, a laparotomy may be necessary to diagnose and repair the uterine rupture.
The primary responsibility of prevention lies on the doctor handling the pregnancy. They are supposed to assess the medical history of the mother and determine any risk factors.
Nutrition is a very important aspect of keeping the uterus wall intact and thick enough to accommodate a baby. A healthy diet goes a long way to ensure the wellbeing of the baby.
It also provides the mother with better blood clotting abilities to ensure that any injuries can be repaired quickly and effectively.
Supplementation and harmful drugs
For this purpose, food rich in Vitamin K is important as it is directly responsible for improving the ability of blood clotting. Green leafy vegetables and dairy products are the optimal sources of Vitamin K.
Certain drugs are known to be harmful to the uterus walls and should be avoided as far as possible. Approaching a doctor for advice in such situations and obtaining approval should be a top priority. Misoprostol, for example, is used in the treatment of ulcers but may cause a tear in the uterus as a side effect.
An increased intake of medication that induces labor can also cause uterine rupture. Some women administer prostaglandins and oxytocin. If taken in larger than recommended amounts, the uterine wall may be susceptible to damage. Again, it is important to follow prescribed medical advice.
The occurrence of a rupture is higher if a C-section was performed only a few months prior to the mother undergoing labor again. A minimum of 20-24 months is recommended so that a surgical incision made during any previous pregnancy can heal completely.
The chances of a rupture increase with every incision that is made. This is why a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) is only recommended for mothers who have had up to a maximum of 2 Cesarean deliveries. Any more than that and a VBAC is not recommended or allowed.
The contractions during labor might cause too much pressure to be exerted to the uterus wall. If the mother has had more than a few incisions made, the wall may not be able to withstand these contractions. In such a scenario, a uterine rupture is very likely, putting both, the baby and the mother at risk.
In the case of multiple previous C-sections, getting a double sutured wall is necessary. It helps strengthen the wall a great deal and prevent a rupture in the future. If the suture was only a single layer, having a VBAC may not be allowed in the first place.
The doctor responsible for the first pregnancy should opt for a double suture. It is a mandatory recommended practice that ensures the safety of the mother.
The age of the mother is also a major contributing factor. Women above the age of 35 should take greater care and precautions and follow a healthy diet, among the other things that are listed above. The risk is greater due to the age but not too significant.
Oral Health Before, During and After Pregnancy
See this guide guide at https://www.emergencydentistsusa.com/dental-care-pregnancy/ which covers oral health before, during and after pregnancy. It outlines all the reasons to take it seriously as well as highlighting all the key considerations for those conceiving or expecting.
A uterine rupture is a scary prospect but they are quite rare. This is especially true for first-time mothers or those without a history of C-sections. If you did have one or more than one C-sections in the past, following the advice illustrated in this guide will go a long way to preventing any complication during the pregnancy.
It’s important to realize that not all C-sections contribute directly to a weakened uterus. The likelihood does increase but that does not mean that having a Cesarean birth is unsafe by any means.
When vaginal birth is not possible, it is perfectly acceptable to undergo a C-section.
Avoiding a tear in the uterus is completely possible with the right help. The responsibility for this lies squarely on the doctor’s shoulders. It is their duty to ascertain the risk factors and give adequate medical advice to prevent this from being a problem.