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Can I Have a Vaginal Delivery After a C-section?

By Darlene Oakley HERWriter
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Can I Have a Vaginal Delivery After a C-section? 4 5 1
is a vaginal delivery possible and safe after C-section?
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Many women approaching a birth after a prior cesarean section delivery often wonder if a vaginal delivery is an option.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, 90 percent of women who have had cesarean deliveries are candidates for a vaginal birth. The Mayo Clinic estimates that 75 percent of women who try a vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC) have a successful vaginal birth.

Concerns about VBAC

The main concern with VBAC is uterine rupture, particularly in women who attempt a vaginal delivery after being induced. Uterine rupture after induction has been documented to happen in women with both the low transverse incision or a classical incision performed for their C-section.

“If you had a previous cesarean with a low transverse incision, the risk of uterine rupture in a vaginal delivery is .2 to 1.5% ... approximately 1 chance in 500,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2)

The classical incision, a north-south incision along the midline, is rarely used anymore, except in emergencies. A lower uterine transverse incision, typically referred to as a “bikini cut” because it runs just below the bikini line and just above the pubic hair, is the most commonly used C-section method nowadays.

Indications and Contraindications for VBAC

You may be a candidate for VBAC if:

• You only have one prior low transverse uterine scar and no other scars

• You and baby are healthy and pregnancy is progressing normally

• The reason for the previous C-section is not a factor in this pregnancy

• Labor begins naturally on or before your due date

• A previous vaginal delivery was successful

VBAC may not be possible if:

• You experienced previous uterine rupture during a pregnancy or delivery

• Your pregnancies tend to run overdue

• Your baby is unusually large

• You have had two or more prior cesarean sections and no vaginal deliveries

• You are obese

• You are expecting multiples

Reasons for Repeat Cesarean

A repeat cesarean may be necessary if:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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