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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.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerWilliam Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Last RevisedJuly 25, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 25, 2011
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