Term cesarean delivery in the first pregnancy is not associated with an increased risk for preterm delivery in the subsequent pregnancy

Perinatal Research Consortium

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Abstract

Background: Prior studies have reported an increased risk for preterm delivery following a term cesarean delivery. However, these studies did not adjust for high-risk conditions related to the first cesarean delivery and are known to recur. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether there is an association between term cesarean delivery in the first pregnancy and subsequent spontaneous or indicated preterm delivery. Study Design: This was a retrospective cohort study of women with the first 2 consecutive singleton deliveries (2007–2014) identified through a linked pregnancy database at a single institution. Women with a first pregnancy that resulted in cesarean delivery at term were compared with women whose first pregnancy resulted in a vaginal delivery at term. Exclusion criteria were known to recur medical or obstetrical complications during the first pregnancy. A propensity score analysis was performed by matching women who underwent a cesarean delivery with those who underwent a vaginal delivery in the first pregnancy. The association between cesarean delivery in the first pregnancy and preterm delivery in the second pregnancy in this matched set was examined using conditional logistic regression. The primary outcome was overall preterm delivery <37 weeks in the second pregnancy. Secondary outcomes included type of preterm delivery (spontaneous vs indicated), late preterm delivery (34–36 6/7 weeks), early preterm delivery (<34 weeks), and small-for-gestational-age birth. Results: Of a total of 6456 linked pregnancies, 2284 deliveries were matched; 1142 were preceded by cesarean delivery and 1142 were preceded by vaginal delivery. The main indications for cesarean delivery in the first pregnancy were dystocia in 703 (61.5%), nonreassuring fetal status in 222 (19.4%), breech presentation in 100 (8.8%), and other in 84 (7.4%). The mean (SD) gestational ages at delivery for the second pregnancy was 38.8 (1.8) and 38.9 (1.7) weeks, respectively, for prior cesarean delivery and vaginal delivery. The risks of preterm delivery in the second pregnancy among women with a previous cesarean and vaginal delivery were 6.0% and 5.2%, respectively (adjusted odds ratio, 1.46, 95% confidence interval, [CI] 0.77–2.76). In an analysis stratified by the type of preterm delivery in the second pregnancy, no associations were seen between cesarean delivery in the first pregnancy and spontaneous preterm delivery (4.6% vs 3.9%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.40, 95% confidence interval, 0.59–3.32) or indicated preterm delivery (1.6% vs 1.4%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.21, 95% confidence interval, 0.60–2.46). Similarly, no significant differences were found in late preterm delivery (4.6% vs 4.1%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.13, 95% confidence interval, 0.55–2.29), early preterm delivery (1.6% vs 1.2%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.25, 95% confidence interval, 0.59–2.67), or neonates with birthweight less than the fifth percentile for gestational age (3.6% vs 2.2%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.26, 95% confidence interval, 0.52–3.06). Conclusion: After robust adjustment for confounders through a propensity score analysis related to the indication for the first cesarean delivery at term, cesarean delivery is not associated with an increase in preterm delivery, spontaneous or indicated, in the subsequent pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61.e1-61.e7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume221
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Keywords

  • linked pregnancies
  • mode of delivery
  • obstetric complications
  • prematurity
  • preterm birth
  • propensity score analysis
  • small for gestational age
  • subsequent delivery
  • vaginal delivery

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