RELATIVE RISKS OF UTERINE RUPTURE IN VBAC
|by Eileen Sullivan, with assistance from her husband, Patrick
After checking, it seems I was a bit off on the frequency of deadly lightning strikes... you are more likely to
suffer a rupture than to be struck and killed by lightning, by about thirty times. Then again, how many people
do you know who HAVE been struck and killed by lightning?
Ruptures are also more common than dying in a plane crash. Henci Goer's review of the literature on VBACs
found 46 ruptures in 15,154 labors. This equates to a 0.3% rate... or 1 in 333, if you prefer. Your annual risk of
dying in a plane crash is 1 in 4000, according to one source, and 1 in 700,000 according to another. I can't
explain the massive discrepancy between the two figures, except to quote Mark Twain about "lies, damn lies,
Since you asked, here are some more probability statistics for you:
Your risk of dying in a car accident, over the course of your lifetime, is between 1 in 42 and 1 in 75. This is
roughly 4 to 5 times greater than the risk of uterine rupture.
You're about twice as likely to have your car stolen (that's an annual risk) than to experience a uterine
Your odds of being murdered are 1 in 140 over the course of your lifetime. That's 2 times more likely than
the risk of rupture.
The annual risk of having a heart attack is 1 in 160, 2 times more likely than rupture. Your risk of dying from
heart disease is roughly 1 in 6, or 55 times greater than your risk of rupture.
If you're a smoker, your risk of dying from lung cancer is 1 and a half times more likely than a VBAC mom
rupturing during her labor.
You're about 17 times more likely to contract an STD this year than you are to have a uterine rupture; more
likely to contract gonorrhea than to rupture, as well.
You're 13 times more likely to get food poisoning than to rupture.
You're more likely to have twins than a uterine rupture. Odds of twins: 1 in 90. That's about 3 1/2 times the
likelihood of rupture.
If you ride horseback, you're 3 times more likely to die in a riding accident than you are to experience a
If you ride a bike on the street, you are 4 times more likely to die in an accident (annual risk) than you are to
suffer a rupture.
Having a serious fire in your home during the next year is twice as likely as experiencing a rupture.
You're ten times as likely to win at roulette as you are to have a uterine rupture.
If you flip a coin, you'll be more likely to get heads (or tails) 8 times in a row than to rupture.
The risk of cord prolapse is 1 in 37 (2.7%), or nearly ten times more likely than that of rupture.
And a final irony (heads up, those of you who want a doc to give his/her opinion on your likelihood of rupture
You're 6 times more likely to have a doctor who is an impostor than you are to suffer a rupture. Two percent
of docs are phonies (1 in 50), according to several sources I found.
So instead of worrying about rupture, why not take a few minutes to check up on your doctor's credentials? ;)
It'd be a more profitable use of your time, and a substantially more likely cause for alarm.
|EILEEN'S NOTE: When I wrote Relative Risks of Uterine Rupture in 1999, I could never have imagined that it would still be around 10+
years later. I wrote a brief little email to the Fen’s Ende (www.fensende.com) Midwifery listserv, sent it out and promptly forgot about it.
Sometime around 2007, someone dug it up and posted it somewhere, and it has since gone viral.
While I'm honored and I fiercely stand by our original conclusion-- VBAC is safe, and UR in VBAC is rare-- some of the information in the
original Relative Risks is outdated now. For instance, it's become much more difficult for doctors to falsify credentials, due to the ease
with which you can access and verify this kind of information. So while it's still worth checking, the relative risk has changed.
Likewise, the incidence of other things mentioned in the original version has also changed over time.
Obviously we need an update! I have written a series of them, and you can download a FREE COPY of Relative Risks of Uterine Rupture:
The Update (Part I) here.
|Are you a gambling woman? You're at
least three times more likely to win at
roulette than to have a uterine
rupture in a VBAC labor.
from Relative Risks of Uterine Rupture in VBAC:
The Update, Part I
|EILEEN SULLIVAN, CERTIFIED EFT PRACTITIONER (EFTCERT-I) EMAIL: AREYOUTAPPING (AT) YAHOO (DOT) COM (704) 905-4665
While EFT has produced remarkable clinical results, it has only been in use in its current form since 1992. Therefore, it must still be considered to be in the experimental stage. You are an expert on your own health, so please take full responsibility for
your use of EFT. Eileen Sullivan is not a licensed health professional. She offers EFT as a certified EFT practitioner, ordained interfaith minister, and certified holistic doula. Where appropriate, please consult your healthcare practitioners regarding your
use of EFT. It is VITAL to note that you should not stop taking any prescribed medications, nor alter your dosage, without the advice of the prescribing physician.
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