More Women are Having C-Sections Because of the Risk of Incontinence

More Women are Having C-Sections Because of the Risk of Incontinence

  • On November 20, 2008

More and more women are having C-sections, which could be partly due to concerns about the dangers of vaginal delivery, Dr. C. E. Turner of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney reports.

Australian researchers have sought to put a number on how much risk pregnant women would be willing to accept before opting for a C-section. They looked at 17 potential complications, including various degrees of vaginal tearing, faecal incontinence or urinary incontinence.

For each of the complications, the participants gave a percentage for the risk they would be willing to accept before deciding on a C-section.

Pregnant women were least willing to accept the risk of severe anal incontinence; on average, they said that if the risk of having this complication was any greater than 32% they would want a C-section.

Emergency C-section, moderate anal incontinence, severe urinary incontinence, and severe tears were less acceptable to pregnant women than pain, less severe tears, and prolonged labour.

Severe or moderate anal incontinence and urinary incontinence were among the top 5 least acceptable risks for the pregnant women.

‘When the women were informed of these rates at the end of the interview, they felt generally relieved.’

The researchers are currently involved in a study looking at whether women’s views changed after giving birth.

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