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Researchers report that vaginal delivery following a previous cesarean section increases health risks of mother and child by a small amount. Risks associated with cesarean sections include blood clotting problems, chronic pelvic pain and infertility. The prevalence of cesarean births has risen from 5% in 1970 to 25% in 2002. The prevalence of vaginal deliveries following a cesarean was 3% of all deliveries in 1981 and 31% in 1998. This rate dropped back to 12.7% in 2002 because of concern about the risk of complications such as uterine rupture. A trial involving 33,000 women who had already had a cesarean found that 73% of those who attempted vaginal delivery were successful and 27% had to resort to a cesarean after a failed attempt at vaginal delivery. 0.7% of those who underwent a vaginal delivery suffered from a uterine rupture and 12 babies suffered brain damage brought on by lack of oxygen. 7 of the 12 had their brain damage result from a uterine rupture. Two babies died. Thus the total risk equates to 0.46% per 1,000 women. Of the group who underwent a cesarean, no babies suffered these complications. This all equates to one poor outcome averted for each 588 cesareans performed. Some women find this risk unacceptable whereas others accept the risk for the benefit of a quicker recovery and the pride of achieving a vaginal delivery.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by HealthDay News
About: Undergoing a vaginal delivery following a previous cesarean poses only a small risk
Date: 14 December 2004
Source: HealthDay News
Author: Amanda Gardner
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