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Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
If you are
Written by Eileen Sullivan, with assistance from her husband, Patrick.
After checking, it seems I was a bit off on the frequency of deadly lightning strikes... you are more likely to suffer a rupture than to be struck and killed by lightning, by about thirty times. Then again, how many people do you know who HAVE been struck and killed by lightning? <s>
Ruptures are also more common than dying in a plane crash. Henci Goer's review of the literature on VBACs found 46 ruptures in 15,154 labors. This equates to a 0.3% rate... or 1 in 333, if you prefer. Your annual risk of dying in a plane crash is 1 in 4000, according to one source, and 1 in 700,000 according to another. I can't explain the massive discrepancy between the two figures, except to quote Mark Twain about "lies, damn lies, and statistics."
Since you asked, here are some more probability statistics for you:
Your risk of dying in a car accident, over the course of your lifetime, is between 1 in 42 and 1 in 75. This is roughly 4 to 5 times greater than the risk of uterine rupture.
You're about twice as likely to have your car stolen (that's an annual risk) than to experience a uterine rupture.
Your odds of being murdered are 1 in 140 over the course of your lifetime. That's 2 times more likely than the risk of rupture.
The annual risk of having a heart attack is 1 in 160, 2 times more likely than rupture. Your risk of dying from heart disease is roughly 1 in 6, or 55 times greater than your risk of rupture.
If you're a smoker, your risk of dying from lung cancer is 1 and a half times more likely than a VBAC mom rupturing during her labor.
You're about 17 times more likely to contract an STD this year than you are to have a uterine rupture; more likely to contract gonorrhea than to rupture, as well.
You're 13 times more likely to get food poisoning than to rupture.
You're more likely to have twins than a uterine rupture. Odds of twins: 1 in 90. That's about 3 1/2 times the likelihood of rupture.
If you ride horseback, you're 3 times more likely to die in a riding accident than you are to experience a uterine rupture.
If you ride a bike on the street, you are 4 times more likely to die in an accident (annual risk) than you are to suffer a rupture.
Having a serious fire in your home during the next year is twice as likely as experiencing a rupture.
You're ten times as likely to win at roulette as you are to have a uterine rupture.
If you flip a coin, you'll be more likely to get heads (or tails) 8 times in a row than to rupture.
The risk of cord prolapse is 1 in 37 (2.7%), or nearly ten times more likely than that of rupture.
And a final irony (heads up, those of you who want a doc to give his/her opinion on your likelihood of rupture next pregnancy!)...
You're 6 times more likely to have a doctor who is an impostor than you are to suffer a rupture. Two percent of docs are phonies (1 in 50), according to several sources I found.
So instead of worrying about rupture, why not take a few minutes to
check up on your doctor's credentials? ;) It'd be a more profitable
use of your time, and a substantially more likely cause for alarm.
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