Skip to content

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Cesarean Section - Why It Is Done

Emergency cesarean

Some cesarean sections are done without planning, after labor has started. Medical reasons for an emergency cesarean may include:

  • Fetal distress (suggested by a very rapid or very slow heart rate).
  • Placenta abruptio, which can cause excessive bleeding (hemorrhage) and decreased oxygen supply to the fetus. For more information, see the topic Placenta Abruptio.
  • Umbilical cord problems that decrease or cut off fetal blood supply, as when the cord has slipped into the birth canal ahead of the fetus, and the fetus moves into the birth canal and presses against the cord (cord prolapse).

Other reasons you might need a cesarean

  • Difficult, slow labor (dystocia)
  • Labor that has stopped completely (failure to progress)
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion, a combination of the fetus having a large head and the mother having a narrow pelvic structure. This condition is often linked to failure to progress or dystocia.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1|2
1|2
Next Article:

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
 
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
 
slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 
pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video