OBJECTIVES - To investigate the prevalence and location of pelvic adhesions in women with a history of Cesarean section and to identify risk factors for their formation and symptoms associated with their presence
METHODS - This was a prospective observational study of women in whom one or more Cesarean sections had been performed > 12 months previously and who attended for a gynecological ultrasound examination. In all women, both transvaginal and transabdominal scans were performed in order to identify the presence of pelvic adhesions. Medical and surgical history was recorded and a structured questionnaire was used to enquire about any history of pelvic pain and urinary symptoms.
RESULTS - A total of 308 women were recruited into the study. On ultrasound examination, 139 (45.1% (95% CI, 39.7-50.7%)) women showed evidence of adhesions within the pelvis. Adhesions in the vesicouterine pouch were the most common and were found in a total of 79 (25.6% (95% CI, 20.7-30.5%)) women. In women with a history of no surgery other than Cesarean section(s) (n = 220), an increasing number of Cesarean sections (odds ratio (OR) 3.4 (95% CI, 2.1-5.5)) and a postoperative wound infection (OR 11.7 (95% CI, 3.5-39.5)) increased the likelihood of adhesions developing in the anterior pelvic compartment. There was a significant association between the presence of anterior compartment adhesions and chronic pelvic pain. Multivariable logistic regression analysis identified anterior abdominal wall adhesions (OR 2.4 (95% CI, 1.0-5.9)) and any adhesions present on ultrasound scan (OR 2.6 (95% CI, 1.2-5.7)) as independent predictors of chronic pelvic pain.
CONCLUSIONS - Pelvic adhesions are present in more than a third of women with a history of Cesarean section and they are associated with chronic pelvic pain.
Moro, F. , Mavrelos, D. , Pateman, K. , Holland, T. , Hoo, W. L. and Jurkovic, D. (2015), Prevalence of pelvic adhesions on ultrasound examination in women with a history of Cesarean section. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol, 45: 223-228. doi:10.1002/uog.14628