External cephalic version after 36th week of gestation
Analysis of women´s perspective

Authors: K. Wágnerová;  L. Hruban;  P. Janků
Authors‘ workplace: Gynekologicko-porodnická klinika LF MU a FN, Brno, přednosta prof. MUDr. P. Ventruba, DrSc., MBA
Published in: Ceska Gynekol 2017; 82(5): 355-361


Evaluation of opinions and subjective feelings of patients who have undergone an external cephalic version of a fetus in breech presentation after the 36th week of pregnancy.

Observational analytic cohort study.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Masaryk University, University Hospital Brno.

Materials and methods:
We collected opinions and subjective evaluation from pregnant women who underwent an attempt of external cephalic version at the department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Masaryk University in Brno in the period from 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2016 through a questionnaire. The questionnaire contained a total of 10 dichotomous, sampling, enumeration and scale questions. Questions were focused on the source and type of information on external cephalic version, expectations of the patients, evaluation of pain and feelings during the procedure and the overall impression. We also evaluated the differences between answers from patients after a successful and an unsuccessful version.

In reported period 205 pregnant women underwent an attempt of external cephalic version. Procedure was successful in 105 (51.2%) cases of which 81 (77.1%) subsequently gave birth vaginally, 24 (22.9%) delivered by caesarean section, 10 (9.5%) out of all patients delivered in other hospitals. The total number of fully completed questionnaires was 187 (after a successful version 98 and 89 after an unsuccessful version). The most common source of information about the procedure was given to the patients from their gynecologists (40.5%) and doctors at the ambulance in the hospital where the patients are sent before delivery by their gynecologists (27.9%). Most mothers received mostly positive information (70.5%) – increased likelihood of vaginal delivery, high success rate, low risk to mother and child. Attitude of the gynecologists on the external cephalic version was positive in 52.6% and they recommended it. 14.4% of the patients had no fear before the procedure, 61% patients were nervous and 23% had fear. For 30.5% of the respondents was the version worse than expected. 33.7% of the patients expected that the procedure would be worse and for 35.8% of the women the procedure fulfilled their expectations. 42.2% of all patients rated the pain level on a scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (maximum pain) in the range of 4–6 points, 28.9% evaluated the pain under 4 points and 28.9% over 6 points. Among other unpleasant feelings associated with external cephalic version were most frequently mentioned: nausea (15.9%), fear (39.8%), distress (7.5%). One-third of respondents, however, experienced no negative feelings (33.8%). 80.2% of the patients did not have any problems after the version. Out of all respondents 89.3% would undergo the procedure again and recommend it to others. Overall satisfaction rating on a scale from 0 (completely dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied) was 89.8% in the range from 4 to 5. When comparing the answers of patients after an external cephalic version there was no significant difference depending on the success of the version.

The results show that the main source of information is given to the patients by their gynecologists and doctors in the hospital who recommend the procedure and significantly affect the attitude of patients towards external cephalic version. Fear and nervousness of the mothers is usually unfounded, most of the women evaluate the procedure positively and would recommend it to another pregnant women even in case of an unsuccessful attempt. Pain during the procedure is for most women bearable and in the overall ranking does not mean a significant problem.

external cephalic version, breech presentation, pateint´s evaluation and attitude


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Paediatric gynaecology Gynaecology and obstetrics Reproduction medicine

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Czech Gynaecology

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