Risk factor analysis in women who underwent trial of labor after cesarean section: a multicenter study in Germany

George Gitas*, Ibrahim Alkatout, Kubilay A. Ertan, Achim Rody, Louisa Proppe, Mustafa Kocaer, Antonio Simone Laganà, Leila Allahqoli, Themistoklis Mikos, Soteris Sommer, Sascha Baum

*Corresponding author for this work


Objective: Rising caesarean delivery (CD) rates throughout the world are accompanied with high rates of severe maternal complications. The aim of the present study was to analyze the outcome of trial of labor after caesarean section (TOLAC) in a Western population and identify factors associated with the success of vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC). Material and Methods: A retrospective study was performed at two large obstetric departments in Germany from 2008 to 2018. Women with singleton pregnancies, a history of only one previous CD with a low transverse incision, a viable fetus in cephalic presentation, and gestational age >32 weeks were included in the study. The characteristics and outcome of successful VBAC and failed TOLAC were compared. A subgroup analysis addressed gestational age, interpregnancy interval, fetal macrosomia, body mass index, and maternal age. Results: Of 1,546 patients, 62.3% achieved VBAC while 37.7% had a secondary CD. Independent factors associated with the success of TOLAC were a history of vaginal birth in previous pregnancies (p<0.001) and the use of oxytocin (p<0.001), whereas preterm birth between gestational week 32 and 37 signified a higher risk of failed TOLAC (p=0.04). The success of VBAC did not differ significantly for patients older than 40 years of age, those with a shorter interpregnancy interval than 12 months, and fetal macrosomia with birth weight exceeding 4000 grams. Maternal and neonatal outcomes were poorer in women with failed TOLAC. Conclusion: Nearly two thirds of women with a history of CD achieve VBAC in Germany. Previous vaginal birth and the augmentation of labor with oxytocin are positively associated with the achievement of VBAC and no major perinatal complications. The decision to have a TOLAC should be encouraged in the majority of patients. Further studies are needed to evaluate the feasibility of TOLAC in preterm delivery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Turkish German Gynecology Association
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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