Health Care

Doctors Warn Of C-Section ‘Epidemic’ As Global Rates Double

Doctors Warn Of C-Section ‘Epidemic’ As Global Rates Double”

It is estimated that 10-15 per cent of births medically require a C-section due to complications, suggesting that average C-section use should lie between these levels.

The nation with the highest rate for using the surgery to assist childbirth is the Dominican Republic with 58.1%.

"The growing use of C-sections for non-medical purposes could be introducing avoidable complications, and we advocate that C-section should only be used when it is medically required".

The study has already prompted responses from countries, with the Minister of Health of Brazil Gilberto Magalhães Occhi releasing a new country-wide strategy alongside the study to try and reduce the use of C-sections and ensure quality maternal health care.

It found that globally, C-section use has increased by 3.7 percent a year between 2000 and 2015 - rising from 12 percent of live births in 2000, to 21 percent in 2015.

More and more women in the world have children, not naturally, but resorting to surgery.

In Brazil, Egypt and Turkey, more than half of all births are done via caesarean section. However, improvements have been slow across sub-Saharan Africa (around 2% per year), where C-section use has remained low (increasing from 3% to 4.1% of births in West and Central Africa, and from 4.6% to 6.2% in Eastern and Southern Africa). The increase in the number of such operations, doctors stress, is associated with many factors, particularly income and education women.

"What is crucial is that women are aware of the potential complications of having a caesarean section in the short and long term".

The authors of the study argue that in the world is held annually over six million cesarean section without objective evidence.

"The sharp increase in cesarean sections, mostly in affluent environments without medical reasons, is problematic because of the risks for mother and child associated with C-sections", says Marleen Temmermann from the Aga Khan University of Kenya and Ghent University, in Belgium.

In at least 15 countries C-section use exceeds 40 per cent, researchers said. "While the long-term risks of this are not well-researched, the short-term effects include changes in immune development which can increase the risk of allergies and asthma and alter the bacteria in the gut".

The authors suggested women be provided with more information and consultations about C-sections.

Prof Sandall says that reasons vary from country to country and that with poorer nations, choices are extremely limited.

Dr Sandall also said there were often "financial incentives for both doctor and hospital" to perform the procedure.

"In some cases the trend is system-driven".

Around the world, 21 percent of births in 2015 were delivered by cesarean or C-section, according to a collection of new studies organized for the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics World Congress in Brazil, and published Thursday in The Lancet.

"The issue for women is how do you plan?"

"Although The Lancet Series says that women's demand is not a substantial driver of the current problem of overuse, efforts to reduce caesareans must, nevertheless, strongly respect women's rights to choose the circumstances of birth".

"Pregnant mothers must have access to professional and informed advice in order to make a decision".

"We need to start working with insurance companies in these countries to help with the provision of services and staff, as well as dealing with local and national governments to invest in healthcare".

Recovering from Caesarean surgery usually takes longer than from a natural birth and can result in some discomfort in the days following the procedure.

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