Researchers examined data on childbirth in 169 countries, analyzing, according to them, information on 98% of births in the world. They found that in 2015 every fifth birth ended in a caesarean section. In reality, this operation was necessary only in 10-15% of cases.
The number of deliveries using Caesarean section in the last 15 years has doubled. The results of the study, published in the reputable journal The Lancet, indicate that a significant part of the operations was performed unnecessarily – women could give birth in a natural way. At the same time, experts note that in many poor countries, caesarean sections are not performed even when they are needed – this is due to the low qualification of health workers or the lack of necessary skills.
Marleen Temmerman and her colleagues were able to find that in some countries, every second woman has a cesarean section. So, in the Dominican Republic, this figure was 58%, and in Egypt and Brazil – 55.5%.
Women often choose surgery for fear of pain, tears and cuts at birth. The authors of the publication note that a cesarean section without unnecessarily can provoke the development of complications for both the mother and the child. It is believed that cesarean section increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy, premature birth and abnormal development of the placenta in the future.
At the same time, scientists found that in 47 countries, caesarean sections were performed much less frequently than the world average. For example, in Sudan, the share of operations was only 0.6%. This means that many women who really need a cesarean section due to health or emergency situations that arise during childbirth are forced to give birth on their own, which often results in the death or injury of the mother or newborn.