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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Jul 10

    uterine rupture rates on uncut uterus with pit vs rupture rate for prior c/s

    Archived User
    Hi Henci and all,

    I am looking for info on the rate of uterine rupture with pitocin on an uncut uterus (either for induction or augmentation)

    I am aware of the studies and stats on rupture on a vbac, with and without pit, but wanted to know what the rate of ruputre was when pitocin is administered to a uncut uturus, so that I can compare.

    VBACs are my passion, I teach a VBAC class and read an offhand comment on another forum about this, but can't find the numbers to examine this closely!

    Henci Goer

    I suppose "as rare as hen's teeth" is too vague for your purposes. :-) A big Swiss database study reported a rate of 1 in 10,000 in women with no previous cesarean.

    Rageth JC, Juzi C, Grossenbacher H. Delivery after previous cesarean: a risk evaluation. Swiss Working Group of Obstetric and Gynecologic Institutions. Obstet Gynecol 1999;93(3):332-7.

    Since the study was done in Europe and published in 1999, misoprostol (Cytotec) would not have been a factor, so doubtless in countries like the U.S. where induction with Cytotec is common, rates would almost certainly be higher.

    While I'm at it, let me add that I'm reviewing papers for the VBAC chapter for the new edition of Obstetric Myths Vs. Research Realities. Some of the papers are about factors associated with uterine rupture, not just the effect of prior cesarean surgery. Having a prior D&C has popped up more than once as an associated factor.

    -- Henci

    Archived User
    I am always looking at ways to compare risk…why the medical model scares women by talking about the risk of uterine rupture (my understanding is that .7 is an accepted, even high end, number, based on recent studies, on a woman with one low transverse incision) during a TOLAC, while no one discourages women from an epidural with a risk of spinal headache at 1%, or avoiding an amnio for fetal tests, when the risk of miscarriage can be as high as 2-4%...I think you see what I mean. I was thinking that no one mentions the risk of rupture with pit on an uncut uterus, but as rare as a hen’s teeth, is well…pretty darn rare, and that explains why it would never be mentioned. Even though infant or maternal mortality is very low when a rupture occurs, it seems to be the thing that most of my vbac clients and students focus on. I am looking for ways to accurately present the risk! Looking forward to the updated book, it has been a great resource to me in my birth work! Sharon LCCE, CD(DONA)
    Henci Goer

    I am happy to hear that. My co-author, Amy Romano, a CNM with experience in home, birth center, and hospital births, and, I should add, my supervisor for this Forum, and I are very excited about the work we're doing on the new edition and how helpful we think it will be for those advocating for or wanting to practice optimal care (defined by ACNM as care likely to produce the best outcomes in any individual case with the least use of medical intervention). We just wish we could figure out how to make it go faster.

    I know what you mean about morbidity and mortality statistics. One point I make in my VBAC talk is that the excess risk of losing the baby because of a scar rupture is in the range of 1-4 per 10,000. The excess risk of pregnancy loss in women having an amniocentesis according to one review was 60 per 10,000, but nobody is arguing against doing amniocentesis on grounds of the risk. 

    Seeds JW. Diagnostic mid trimester amniocentesis: how safe? Am J Obstet Gynecol 2004;191(2):607-15.

    -- Henci

    All Times America/New_York

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