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External Cephalic Version

External cephalic version, or version, is a procedure used to turn a breech fetus into a head-down (vertex) position before labor begins. When successful, version makes it possible for a woman to try a vaginal birth instead of having a cesarean section.

External cephalic version is typically tried at term, when the fetus is less likely to turn back to breech position. A fetus is closely monitored before, during, and after the procedure for possible distress. After first using medicine to relax the mother's uterine muscles, a doctor presses on specific areas of her abdomen to turn the fetus.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Current as of July 24, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 24, 2013
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.