The World Health Association (WHO) is sounding the alarm: the number of births by caesarean section is constantly growing, but there is no need for it. Why does this trend scare doctors and what is the way out of the situation?
Recently, WHO released a document with recent statistics on delivery by caesarean section. The number of operations in the world has almost doubled over 15 years: from 12% in 2000 to 21% in 2015. And if this trend continues, more women will be exposed to unnecessary risks.
The main author of the study, gynecologist at Aga Khan University (Kenya) and Ghent (Belgium) Marlene Temmerman states: “Pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes that can proceed without complications. An increase in the number of caesarean cases - mostly for no medical reason - is associated with an increased risk to mother and baby."
Caesarean section is a necessary procedure for complications in childbirth: bleeding, problems with the heartbeat, abnormal fetal position. But since this is also an abdominal operation, the risks are higher than with natural childbirth. Recovery takes longer, and the risk of maternal death increases by at least 60%, which is a lot even taking into account the small mortality rate in modern conditions. After a cesarean, a woman is at greater risk of bleeding or ectopic pregnancy in the future.
Jane Sandall, an expert in maternal health at King's College London, believes that “in childbirth, the benefits and risks must be carefully weighed. The growing popularity of cesarean sections without medical indications leads to an increase in the number of postpartum complications."
According to the WHO, only 10-15% of births require the intervention of surgeons, but in most countries it is done more often.
According to the WHO, only 10-15% of births require the intervention of surgeons, but in most countries it is done more often. Only 25% of countries have fewer cesareans, while 60% have overused. The organization is working to improve the availability of Caesarean in poor regions, but at the same time in North America and Western Europe the number of CAs is growing by 2% per year, and in some countries there are more Caesarean births than natural births.
This trend is also due to the fact that people's incomes are growing, and with them - access to various procedures. Women go to caesarean, fearing natural childbirth, rupture and decreased libido.
In an effort to reduce the number of surgical deliveries, WHO is rolling out a training program for expectant mothers and their families, preparing clinical guidelines for healthcare facilities and a basis for new research.
There is one more aspect - a woman's right to control her body. Therefore, it is impossible to explicitly prohibit the conduct of caesarean without evidence, but it is also not worth putting women and children at risk. Time will tell how this issue will be resolved.