Are women opting for C-sections more frequently?

C-section rates are rising, but new data suggests it isn’t because women are asking for them

Argentinian researchers have conducted the first meta-analysis of women’s preferences when it comes to childbirth, Reuters reports. Analyzing data on nearly 20,000 women from around the world, they found that cesarean section rates are rising in the developed world—but not necessarily because women are asking them. A rise in C-sections in wealthier countries has been linked to women’s requests for it, but in fact, only 15.6 per cent of women in the analysis said they would rather have a C-section than a vaginal delivery. Among those who’d had one in the past, 29 per cent said they’d prefer to have their next delivery by C-section, versus 10 per cent who hadn’t. “Although cesarean section on demand has been suggested as a relevant factor for the increasing cesarean section rates, it seems unlikely that this explains the high cesarean section rates in some countries and regions,” they wrote in BJOG, the journal of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.


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