Researchers have revealed that by measuring the lower uterine segment (LUS) thickness, doctors can predict uterine scar defects in women who had previous caesarean deliveries, and anticipate which patients are at risk for subsequent uterine rupture if they have a trial of labour.
Dr. Emmanuel Bujold, with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Universite Laval, Quebec says that caesarean births are associated with higher rates of maternal and infant complications.
"There are far fewer complications to the mother and infants as a result of a vaginal birth. So it is important to determine when a patient with a history of prior caesarean section can have a vaginal birth safely," he added.
During the study, the researchers looked at 236 women who had a prior caesarean delivery, and measured their LUS thickness between 35 and 38 weeks of gestation.
Three cases of complete uterine rupture, and six cases of uterine scar dehiscence were reported.
The researchers found significant associations between the risk of uterine rupture during trials of labour and full LUS thickness.
"The study results will help us predict, for patients who have given birth through caesarean section before, which ones are at high risk for uterine rupture during labour in a subsequent pregnancy," said Dr. Bujold.
"That will help us better advise women about having a vaginal birth the next time," he added.