Danish obstetricians' personal preference and general attitude to elective cesarean section on maternal request: A nation-wide postal survey

Authors


*Thomas Bergholt
Gentoftegade 41
2 tv, 2820 Gentofte
Denmark
e-mail: tbe@dadlnet.dk

Abstract

Objective.  To assess Danish obstetricians' and gynecologists' personal preference and general attitude towards elective cesarean section on maternal request in uncomplicated single cephalic pregnancies at term.

Design.  Nation-wide anonymous postal questionnaire.

Population.  Four hundred and fifty-five obstetricians and gynecologists identified in the records of the Danish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology from January 2000.

Main outcome measures.  Personal preference on the mode of delivery and general attitude towards elective cesarean section on maternal request in an uncomplicated single cephalic pregnancies at term.

Results.  Of Danish specialists in obstetrics and gynecology, 1.1% would prefer an elective cesarean section in an uncomplicated pregnancy at 37 weeks of gestation with fetal weight estimation of 3.0 kg. This rose to 22.5% when the fetal weight estimation was 4.5 kg at 37 weeks. The main reasons given for preferring abdominal deliveries was the risk to the fetus, risks of perineal injury, and urinary and anal incontinence.

Of Danish specialists in obstetrics and gynecology, 37.6% agreed with a woman's right to have an elective cesarean section on maternal request without any medical indication. Obstetricians and gynecologists who had experienced a noninstrumental vaginal delivery themselves or practiced as a private gynecologist only, were less likely to agree with the woman's right to elective cesarean section on maternal request.

Conclusion.  The vast majority of Danish obstetricians and gynecologists would personally prefer vaginal delivery in uncomplicated pregnancies, but nearly 40% agree with the woman's right to request a cesarean section.

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