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Why do Women Opt for Cesarean or C-Section Births

Updated on October 11, 2011

Risks and Potential Benefits of Cesarean Section

This is an important question and it has been an issue of debate for quite some time now. C-section-on-demand, as it is being called in some quarters, has been on the rise with more and more mothers opting (and sometimes demanding) to undergo them as opposed to vaginal deliveries. When the decision is voluntary and not necessitated by any medical reasons, the primary reason for women undergoing Cesarean section is the fear factor - the fear of pain. Other reasons include perceived convenience of undergoing C-sections, as in knowing when you would be undergoing the procedure, as opposed to the uncertainty of vaginal deliveries. Also, in the case of a scheduled Cesarean section, your preferred doctor would be the one doing the procedure. That might not be the case if its a spontaneous vaginal delivery.

Some women also feel that undergoing a vaginal delivery could diminish their sexual function as a consequence of reduction in the vaginal contraction, especially in case of delivery of a large baby. Peer pressure is another factor that is thought to influence the decision of women in opting for a Cesarean section.

If one were to go by statistics issued by the US Centers for Disease Control, Cesarean sections account for 1 out of every 4 deliveries in the US. The rate of Cesarean sections is also rising fast. So, what are the pros and cons of having a delivery through a C-section? Doctors are in agreement that, when necessitated by complications, C-sections do save lives and in that respect are useful. However, what about C-sections-on-demand?

The convenience of C-sections and relative lack of pain experienced in Cesarean sections are positives. But, C-section is a major abdominal surgery and has its risks. While the risks are rare, they do exist and doctors do warn patients of the same.

Risks of Having a Cesarean Section

  • Excessive bleeding - blood loss is greater in C-sections as compared to vaginal deliveries.
  • Unforeseen reactions to medications/anesthesia.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Injury to the baby.
  • Risk of infection in the regions involved and adjacent areas like the bladder and kidneys.
  • Respiratory complications.
  • Possible need for further surgeries like bladder repair.

These risks, while rare, nonetheless are a factor and should be taken into consideration before opting for a C-section.

Personally, I feel if vaginal delivery is possible and is expected to be uncomplicated, one should opt for it rather than go in for a Cesarean section. Patients can be discharged quicker, recovery times being much faster.

If, however, there are medical factors that necessitate C-section like having a large baby, having medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, conditions like placenta previa, baby being in the breech position, have undergone a previous Cesarean section, one should go in for a C-section. However, the final choice is and should be the mother's, having considered all the risks and benefits.

Copyright © Shil1978® 2011 - All Rights Reserved


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      anonymos 5 years ago

      Why if something is natural is by default better? Is the woman predetermined to pain? What about the psyhological consequences? Sometimes they are more important than the physical ones! Why so much moral judgement about elective cesarians, I do not understand! The medicine should make our lives easier. Risks always exists! There must be reason why the number of cesarians are increasing in the world.

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      Dr. Jayashree Joshi 8 years ago

      I'm afraid in Indian cities, Obstetricians are offering CS to women for their own financial benefit, which is very abhorrent and inethical.

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 8 years ago

      Coco, I've heard about similar experiences from other women as well - hence why women should opt for vaginal births, if possible medically. However, if there are problems, one shouldn't hesitate to undergo C-section as well. C-sections are indicated in some circumstances, wherein vaginal delivery is not possible.

      James, thanks for your comments. I agree - if it is possible to have natural childbirth - it is best for both mother and child.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Good information well presented. 

      I would opt for natural childbirth—if I was a woman—simply because it's, well, natural.  (Except for medical reasons, of course.)


    • COCOBEWARE profile image

      COCOBEWARE 8 years ago

      I went to the hospital expecting a natural birth and came out with a c section. The cord was wrapped around my child's neck. I hope that if I decide to have another it would be vaginally. The pain from the c-section afterwards was horrible because I didn't take many meds. because I was breast feeding.... thanks for the info!