Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Public Health. 1999 Apr;89(4):506-10.

Maternal intrapartum temperature elevation as a risk factor for cesarean delivery and assisted vaginal delivery.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. 02115, USA.



This study investigated the association of intrapartum temperature elevation with cesarean delivery and assisted vaginal delivery.


Participants were 1233 nulliparous women with singleton, term pregnancies in vertex presentations who had spontaneous labors and were afebrile (temperature: 99.5 degrees F [37.5 degrees C]) at admission for delivery. Rates of cesarean and assisted vaginal deliveries according to highest intrapartum temperature were examined by epidural status.


Women with maximum intrapartum temperatures higher than 99.5 degrees F were 3 times as likely to experience cesarean (25.2% vs 7.2%) or assisted vaginal delivery (25.2% vs 8.5%). The association was present in epidural users and nonusers and persisted after birthweight, epidural use, and labor length had been controlled. In adjusted analyses, temperature elevation was associated with a doubling in the risk of cesarean delivery (odds ratio [OR] = 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.5, 3.4) and assisted vaginal delivery (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.4, 3.1).


Modest temperature elevation developing during labor was associated with higher rates of cesarean and assisted vaginal deliveries. More frequent temperature elevation among women with epidural analgesia may explain in part the higher rates of cesarean and assisted vaginal deliveries observed with epidural use.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk