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Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2004 Sep-Oct;15(5):308-12. Epub 2004 May 14.

Non-pregnant patients' preference for delivery route.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Clinical Sciences Building Suite 634, 96 Jonathan Lucas Street, PO Box 250619, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


The objective of the study was to survey non-pregnant women regarding their preference for obstetric delivery route and to assess their awareness of the maternal and fetal risks of obstetric delivery. We wished to determine the percentage of non-pregnant women who would choose elective cesarean section and to correlate demographic factors. We compared women who elected cesarean delivery versus vaginal delivery. All patients presenting for routine gynecologic care were asked to complete an anonymous survey. Demographic variables analyzed were patient age, race, employment, insurance type and household income. Secondary data regarding knowledge of the risks and benefits of cesarean and vaginal delivery were assessed with a Likert Scale. Of patients surveyed, 13.3% preferred cesarean section. The only significant demographic factor was was race, with 21.7% of non-whites and 7.8% of whites choosing cesarean section. Most patients agreed that elective cesarean sections should be performed and reimbursed by insurance. The majority of women answered neutral regarding the maternal and neonatal risks of obstetrical delivery. The unique feature of this observational study is the sole participation of non-pregnant patients. The percentage of women who would elect cesarean section has significant public health implications. The only difference noted between demographic groups is that non-white women had a stronger preference for cesarean. Without counseling, most women are unsure of the risks of delivery route on maternal and neonatal health.

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