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Pelvic adhesions are abnormal bands or sheets of scar tissue that bind organs or tissues that should ordinarily be separated.
Healthy Female Reproductive Organs
Female Reproductive Organs with Adhesions
Causes of Adhesions
- Prior pelvic surgery, such as hysterectomy or myomectomy
- C-section (Cesarean section): A surgical method of delivering a baby that can be an effective alternative to the natural method of vaginal delivery.
- Other Causes
- Appendicitis, most often when the appendix breaks open (ruptures)
- Cancer or radiation treatment
- Infections in the abdomen or pelvic
Complications from Adhesions
While most patients develop some adhesions after pelvic surgery,375 in some cases, the adhesions do not cause any symptoms or problems. Common issues are:
- Chronic Pevlic Pain: Adhesions are found in about 25% of women with chronic pelvic pain.376
- Infertility: Up to 20% of infertility in women may be caused by adhesions.378
- Bowel Obstruction: Postoperative adhesions are the most common cause of small bowel obstruction.322
- Increased potential for bladder injury during future surgery.377