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The most rare yet most serious risk of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is that the scar on the uterus may break open (rupture) during labor. Women who have a low transverse cesarean scar have a lower risk of rupturing than women who have a vertical incision scar. About 5 to 9 out of 1,000 women (0.5% to 0.9%) with a low transverse scar have a uterine rupture during a trial of labor.footnote 1
A woman's risk of uterine rupture increases with:
It is likely that the women who have a rupture have other risk factors, which are things that make them more likely to have this complication.
Having had a vaginal delivery during another pregnancy lowers the risk of uterine rupture during VBAC. Women who have delivered vaginally and later had a cesarean delivery have about one-fourth the risk of women who have had a cesarean delivery but no vaginal delivery.footnote 1
In the rare event that a uterine scar ruptures, it can be dangerous to both the mother and her infant.
Depending on severity, a rupture can:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2010). Vaginal birth after previous cesarean delivery. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 115. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 116(2): 450-463.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah A. Marshall, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
Current as ofNovember 21, 2017
Current as of:
November 21, 2017
Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
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