Were you counseled about the long term risks of vaginal birth?


Yesterday I came across a heartbreaking comment from a woman suffering from the long term risks of vaginal birth:

This may sound dramatic, and may offend some, but speaking from the lived experience of life after forceps birth injury some days I feel I would rather have died, or my baby died, than the everyday reality of these injuries.

She continued:

I feel obstetricians need to know the lived reality when forceps go wrong. First do no harm. I cannot understand how and why my body was harmed in this way as part of my medical ‘care’. I feel they should be banned then alternatives would have to be found.

She must be miserable to feel this way and her injuries did not have to occur or at least did not have to be this severe. Had she been counseled about the risks and offered a choice between forceps and C-section, she might have chosen C-section and avoided this outcome.

Incontinence and sexual dysfunction are severe consequences that threaten quality of life for many woman. We would never recommend prostate cancer treatment to a man without warning of risks to future continence & sexual function. Yet women are routinely counseled about childbirth without mention of future continence and sexual function and they aren’t counseled about the further increase in risk posed by forceps. That’s unethical!

I created the following survey to find just how many or how few women are counseled about the long term risks to continence and sexual function as a result of vaginal birth. I would be grateful for your parcipation. I will share the results when the survey is ended.

If the survey doesn’t display properly in your browser, you can take it here.

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