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How can a previous C-section scar affect my chances of getting a vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC)?

ANSWER

A vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) is possible for many women, but there are factors to help you and your doctor decide if it’s right for you.

One crucial factor is the type of C-section scar that you have on your uterus. (This may be the same type of scar that you have on your abdomen, but it may go in a different direction.) Doctors make incisions (cuts in the abdomen and uterus) in two different directions during a C-section:

  • A vertical cut goes from top to bottom. You can’t attempt VBAC because of the high chance that your scar would open or tear.
  • A transverse cut goes from side to side. Your doctor may allow you to try a vaginal birth if you and your baby are healthy and your other risk factors are low.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: “Is vaginal birth possible after a Cesarean delivery?”

March of Dimes: “Vaginal birth after cesarean.”

Office on Women’s Health: “Pregnancy: Labor and birth.”

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: “Vaginal birth after Cesarean delivery: Deciding on a trial of labor after Cesarean delivery.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on October 15, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: “Is vaginal birth possible after a Cesarean delivery?”

March of Dimes: “Vaginal birth after cesarean.”

Office on Women’s Health: “Pregnancy: Labor and birth.”

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: “Vaginal birth after Cesarean delivery: Deciding on a trial of labor after Cesarean delivery.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on October 15, 2018

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What are benefits of vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC)?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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