The Influence of Cesarean Delivery on Ovarian Reserve: a Prospective Cohort Study

Reprod Sci. 2022 Feb;29(2):639-645. doi: 10.1007/s43032-021-00730-z. Epub 2021 Sep 1.


To assess the association between cesarean delivery and ovarian reserve, as compared to vaginal delivery. A prospective case control study conducted at a single tertiary medical center between June 2018 and June 2019. Study population included women with singleton pregnancy that underwent first cesarean delivery that were compared to women undergoing normal vaginal delivery. Women with low ovarian reserve, endometriosis, previous pelvic surgery, chronic maternal disease, and active labor were excluded. Ovarian reserve was estimated by Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels that was determined twice for each participant: up to a week before and 3 months after delivery. Primary outcome was defined as the delta in AMH levels. Data were analyzed by non-parametric tests. During the study period, 135 women were enrolled, of them 63 (47%) underwent cesarean delivery and 72 (53%) had vaginal delivery. Women in the cesarean delivery group were older (34 (31-38) vs. 32 (29-35); p = 0.001); nevertheless, AMH levels measured before delivery were comparable between the two groups (0.92 (0.51-1.79) vs. 0.95 (0.51-1.79) pg/mL; p = 0.42). AMH levels measured after delivery were more than doubled in the study and control groups (2.15 (1.24-3.05) vs. 2.62 (1.05-5.09); p = 0.50), and delta AMH levels were also found comparable (1.25 (0.61-2.22) vs. 1.59 (0.63-3.41), respectively; p = 0.43). Linear regression analysis including age, mode of delivery, gestational age at delivery, and delta hemoglobin levels revealed that only maternal age was significantly associated with delta in AMH levels (B = - 0.09, p = 0.04). Cesarean delivery does not decrease ovarian reserve as estimated by AMH.

Trial registration: NCT02821702.

Keywords: Anti-Mullerian hormone; Cesarean delivery; Fertility; Ovarian reserve; Vaginal delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Reserve*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone

Associated data