When doctors say your risk increased

May 5, 2018

Understanding medical speak for risks  

 

A lot of my clients go into the hospital for an induction because their doctor has told them that a risk factor has doubled or more and it is safer to induce labor now rather than wait. However, in a normal healthy pregnancy evidence shows us that induction brings on a lot of risks due to medical interventions

 

Risks are explained in the form of percent increase over percent. (I know bear with me). So here is an example one you reach 41 weeks of gestation your have a 6 in 10000 chances of having a still birth as soon as you reach 42 weeks of gestation you have a .1 in 1000. While 1 in 1000 is a very low number it is more than double 6 in 10000 (.1 % is more than 50% greater than .6%) so doctors will say you have a 50% greater risk of a still born at 42 weeks. Hearing this number can be terrifying but the way it is explained is what is making it so scary!

 

Think about if you were told these same numbers this way. Now that you have reached 41 weeks you have a 1 in 9,999 chance of having a still born baby as soon as you reach 42 weeks gestation your chance of a still born is going to go up to 1 in 9,998. Would that number still scare you?

 

No, I propose this question, why are induction rates climbing and fetal mortality rates not declining? Is it possible that pregnant people are being talked into an induction from how the numbers are being presented to them????

 

Whats the take away? If your doctor is giving you numbers in the form of a precent ask for the hard data the true numbers before you let your emotions take 

Here is a graph from the CDC showing induction rates from 1990 through 2012 read the full report here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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