Why women request cesarean section without medical indication?

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011 Sep;24(9):1133-7. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2010.531327. Epub 2011 Jun 13.


Objective: To understand the reasons of the cesarean delivery on maternal request (CDMR) without medical indication would help to reduce the rates of unnecessary cesarean-delivery (CD). The objective of this study is to determine the basal knowledge of women regarding normal delivery (ND) and CD and also to assess their attitudes about CDMR, and to find out the reasons influencing those attitudes.

Methods: The study included 400 women who completed a 45-item questionnaire that assessed their basal knowledge of ND, CD, and their attitudes and beliefs about the mode of delivery and CDMR.

Results: Mean age of the study population was 32 ± 10.2 years (range 18-66). Majority of the women would choose the ND because of its 'being completely natural' (89%) and no anesthesia and operative risk related with ND (76%). Only 33% of the women indicated that ND might cause genital organ prolapse and/or stress urinary incontinence and just 26% and 24% of the women would choose CD to prevent pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, respectively. On the other hand, 50% and 54% of the women would indicate that they could choose CD in order to prevent labor pain and to minimize the risk of fetal distress during the labor. Furthermore, 47% of the women had an opinion that that CD could be performed by maternal request without medical indication. Educational level had no effect of CDMR although more educated women had more accurate knowledge about the some risk and benefits of ND and CD. Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that fear of labor pain (p = 0.02, OR: 15.0, CI: 0.494-0.966), maternal age (p = 0.01, OR: 6.3,CI: 1.00-1.05), and knowledge about the relation between the ND and pelvic organ prolapse/urinary incontinence (p < 0.001, OR: 4.8, CI: 0.549-0.966) were the independent prognostic variables for the CDMR.

Conclusion: Although majority of the women had wrong idea or no idea about the risks and benefits of CD, nearly half of them indicated that women can always demand CDMR. This study shows that basal knowledge of the women should be improved by education.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cesarean Section / psychology
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods
  • Delivery, Obstetric / psychology
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / psychology
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fetal Distress / epidemiology
  • Fetal Distress / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers* / psychology
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / prevention & control
  • Patient Preference* / psychology
  • Patient Preference* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / epidemiology
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / prevention & control
  • Young Adult