BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A study performed at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, showed that women who get surgeries for precancerous abnormalities in their cervix are predisposed to give birth to low-weight or premature babies.
The study used as subjects women who suffered from cervical dysplasia. This means that they had some abnormal tissue growing on their cervices and is usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). In some cases, the dysplasia may disappear on its own but, if it doesn’t go away, doctors advise its surgical removal so that it won’t develop into cervical cancer.
The researchers advise women who had already had the tissue removed to wait some time after the surgery before getting pregnant. The risk of having a premature baby is even higher for women who give birth within a year after their surgery.
For the study, they analyzed data coming from 4,307 women who did not have cervical surgeries, 322 women who had cervical surgeries, and 847 women who had cervical biopsies. The results showed that women who at least one centimeter cut from their cervical tissue were twice as likely to give premature births. For those who gave birth less than a year after the surgery, the odds tripled.
From the women who did not have cervical surgeries, those who had preterm birth were either smokers, overweight, or it was their first pregnancy.
There are more ways of removing the extra tissue. Firstly, the tissue can be excised with a scalpel. Then there is the laser procedure, the burning procedure using a wire loop, and the freezing procedure. The results show that 5 percent of the women who underwent ablation (the wire procedure) gave birth prematurely, as opposed to 10 percent for those who had the tissue removed with a scalpel.
Also, 7 percent of the women who never had any cervical procedure gave preterm births, while the figure for the women with the biopsies was 8 percent. Other results show that cervical surgeries raise the risk of pregnancy loss. Women who had the tissue removed experienced more miscarriages than those who didn’t.
Although the study did not look at the thickness of the removed tissue and at social factors that may have influenced the births, the results are pretty conclusive. Of all the procedures, women who underwent ablation are at the highest risks to give birth to premature babies.
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