Skip to Content
The most rare yet most serious risk of
vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is that the scar
on the uterus may break open (rupture) during labor. Women who have a low transverse cesarean
scar have a lower risk of rupturing than women who have a vertical incision scar.
About 5 to 9 out of 1,000 women (0.5% to 0.9%) with a low transverse scar
have a uterine rupture during a trial of labor.footnote 1
A woman's risk of uterine rupture increases with:
It is likely that the women who have a rupture have other
risk factors, which are things that make them more likely to have this complication.
Having had a vaginal delivery during another pregnancy lowers the risk of
uterine rupture during VBAC. Women who have delivered vaginally and later had a
cesarean delivery have about one-fourth the risk of women who have had a
cesarean delivery but no vaginal delivery.footnote 1
In the rare event that a uterine scar ruptures, it can be dangerous to
both the mother and her infant.
Depending on severity, a rupture can:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2010). Vaginal birth after previous cesarean delivery. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 115. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 116(2): 450–463.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerFemi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 30, 2016
Current as of:
May 30, 2016
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2017 Rush-Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)