(RxWiki News) The safety of childbirth has increased dramatically over the years. But there are still risks, including hemorrhage. However, a hemorrhage doesn't appear to affect future pregnancies.
A recent study looked at a large number of women who gave birth for the first time over a nearly 20-year period.
The researchers found no differences in later pregnancies between women who did or did not hemorrhage during their first pregnancies. There were also no differences in miscarriages or outcomes in the second pregnancies among the women.
The researchers did find that women who smoked were significantly more likely to have a hemorrhage during their first pregnancy.
"Attend all prenatal visits."
The study, led by G. Fullerton, of the Department of Obstetrics at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital in the United Kingdom, looked at women's likelihood of having another baby if they had a hemorrhage during their first pregnancy.
The researchers examined the records of all the women who gave birth at Aberdeen hospital between 1986 and 2005.
Of the 34,334 women included, 10 percent had a hemorrhage after giving birth during their first pregnancy.
When the researchers compared these women to those who did not have any hemorrhaging, they found there was no difference in the overall time it took for women in either group to become pregnant again.
There was also no difference in the outcomes of the second pregnancy. There were no additional miscarriages in either group, and neither group was necessarily more at risk for having a hemorrhage in their second pregnancy.
The researchers did find a small difference in reaching second pregnancies between those who had given birth by cesarean section and those who gave birth vaginally.
Among the 300 women who had postpartum hemorrhaging linked to a C section, 41.5 percent did not have a second pregnancy. Among the 2,259 who had hemorrhaging linked to a vaginal delivery, 36.8 percent did not have a second pregnancy.
This difference, however, does not necessarily mean that women who hemorrhaged with a C section had fertility problems. There could have been differences that led these women to choose not to have a second pregnancy also.
Smokers were considerably more likely to hemorrhage during their first pregnancy than nonsmokers. Among those who had a first-pregnancy hemorrhage, 24 percent were smokers, compared to 8 percent of those who did not hemorrhage.
The researchers found that older women were more likely to have a hemorrhage in their first pregnancy, but only very slightly so. The average age of those who did not hemorrhage was 28.8 years, compared to the average age of 29.7 years in the group of women who had hemorrhages during their first pregnancies.
Women with hemorrhaging were also slightly more likely to have a larger body mass index (BMI), a measure of healthy weight. Those who hemorrhaged had an average BMI of 25 (the upper limit of healthy weight), compared to 23.9 on average for those who did not hemorrhage.
The study was published January 23 in BJOG, An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The research did not use external funding, and the authors declared no conflicts of interest.