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Women could avoid having unnecessary caesareans

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Women could avoid having unnecessary caesareans

Women who have previously been advised to have a caesarean section may be able to avoid having unnecessary surgery, following an update to NICE guidelines.

The majority of women who give birth will have a normal vaginal delivery. But for certain groups of women, such as those who are HIV positive and those who have had a previous birth by caesarean section, the current advice has been to opt for a caesarean section instead of a vaginal birth.

NICE's updated guidelines on caesarean section, published today, now recommend that women in these groups should be offered a vaginal birth.

The recommendations, developed following the emergence of new evidence, say that women who are HIV positive should be told that, in certain circumstances, the risk of transmission of HIV is the same for a caesarean as it is for a vaginal birth. As a consequence, such women should not be offered a caesarean section on the grounds of HIV status to prevent transmission of the disease to their baby.