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Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Aug;84(2):255-8.

Vaginal birth after cesarean: a 10-year experience.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles County.



To report the changing incidence of previous cesarean delivery, and the increasing use and success of a trial of labor and its effect on the repeat cesarean rate.


Between 1983-1992, there were 164,815 deliveries at Los Angeles County+University of Southern California Women's Hospital, of which 17,322 (10.5%) were to women with at least one previous cesarean delivery. Data were gathered on an ongoing basis from delivery logs and patient charts.


Women with at least one previous cesarean accounted for 8.1% of all deliveries in 1983, increasing to 14.1% by 1992. Trial of labor was used in 80% of women with one previous cesarean, in 54% with two, and in 30% with three or more. The success rate was significantly higher with one previous cesarean (83%) than with two or more (75.3%). Furthermore, uterine rupture was three times more common with two or more previous cesareans. Compared to a policy of routine repeat cesarean, trial of labor yielded a 6.4% lower cesarean delivery rate. The majority of this benefit (5.5%) was derived by women with one previous cesarean. Among women undergoing a trial of labor, there were three rupture-related perinatal deaths and a single rupture-related maternal death.


Substantial reduction in the cesarean rate is achieved safely and efficiently by encouraging a trial of labor in women with a single previous cesarean delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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