Uterine rupture is an uncommon obstetric event. It is important because it continues to be associated with maternal mortality, especially in developing countries, and with major maternal morbidity, particularly peripartum hysterectomy. It is also associated with a high incidence of perinatal mortality and morbidity worldwide. This chapter examines the incidence, aetiology, clinical presentation, complications and prevention of uterine rupture. The key factor in the cause of rupture is whether or not the uterus is scarred. Rupture of an unscarred uterus is rare, usually traumatic, and its incidence decreases with improvement in obstetric practice. Rupture of the scarred uterus is more common, and usually occurs after a trial of labour in a patient with a previous Caesarean section. This chapter also explores how the incidence and complications of uterine rupture may be minimized, and yet the incidence of vaginal birth after Caesarean section (VBAC) optimized, in clinical practice.
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