Elective caesarean section at 38 weeks versus 39 weeks: neonatal and maternal outcomes in a randomised controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate women's preferences for timing of elective cesarean section (ECS) scheduled prior to versus after 39 completed weeks. METHODS Secondary analyses from a randomized controlled open-label trial were conducted at seven Danish tertiary hospitals from March 2009 to June 2011 with inclusion of singleton pregnant women with a healthy fetus. The women were allocated by a computerized telephone system to ECS scheduled at 38(+3) weeks or 39(+3) weeks of gestation. Dissatisfaction with timing of ECS and preferred timing of the procedure in a proposed future ECS delivery were evaluated. Data analyses were done by intention-to-treat, using logistic regression. RESULTS A total of 1196 women (94%) completed an online questionnaire at follow-up eight weeks postpartum. In the 38 weeks group, 61 (10%) women 601 were dissatisfied with the timing of their ECS, whereas in the 39 weeks group 157 (26%) of 595 were dissatisfied (adjOR 3.18, 95% CI 2.30; 4.40). The proportion of women who preferred the same timing in a future ECS were 272 (45%) in the 38 weeks group compared to 232 (39%) in the 39(+3) weeks group (adjOR 0.75, 95% CI 0.60; 0.95). CONCLUSIONS The women in this trial preferred ECS scheduled prior to 39 weeks of gestation.