Teen Moms, Get Second Opinions on Your Cesarean Section

ASK DR NOVOA- Just wanted to clarify something. I have had two patients come in this week as transfer patients from other doctors hoping to be able to deliver vaginally after been delivered by Cesarean section. Since I specialize in the Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section (VBAC), this is not unusual.

Both girls were teens when they delivered their first babies. Both were delivered by different doctors. Each was told that because they were teens they would have to be delivered by C/S because they were high-risk.

To clarify this situation. Teen moms are considered high-risk because of their age. However, teens ARE NOT at a significantly higher risk of delivering their babies by C/S just because they are teens. In the majority of cases, the inability of the patient to deliver vaginally has more to do with the doctor than the patient.

I specialize in high-risk deliveries with a significant percentage of my practice associated with teen pregnancy.

The risk in my practice of a pregnant teen needing a C/S is 5%. This compares to 35-50% compared to the national average.

The bottom line, if you stick to the recommendations of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), teens have a 5-15% risk of C/S rather than 30-50% which is what we are seeing.

So moms out there, please advise your friends and daughters to ask questions and get second opinions when you hear you need a C/S. Please keep in mind that it is estimated that 50% of all C/S in the US are unnecessary. It is up to you to ask the important questions to avoid having a surgery that not only leaves a large visible scar but puts you at risk for serious complications now and in the future with all your pregnancies.


Dr. Julio C. Novoa

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Filed under Blog, Female Sexuality, Obstetrics

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