Lack of pain relief during labor is blamable for the increase in the women demands towards cesarean delivery: a cross-sectional study


Knowledge, pain relief, labor analgesia, vaginal delivery, cesarean section.

Published online: Jun 06 2018

O.M. Shaaban1 , A.M. Abbas1 , R.A. Mohamed2 , H.A.A. Hafiz3

1 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine. Assiut University;
2 Technical Institute of Nursing. Assiut University, Egypt;
3 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecological Nursing. Faculty of Nursing. Assiut University, Egypt.

Correspondence at: Dr. Ahmed M. Abbas, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Assiut University, Egypt, Women Health Hospital, 71511, Assiut Egypt. E-mail:


Background: This study aims to assess knowledge, attitude and acceptance of antenatal women for pain relief methods during labor and to know the effect of presumed availability of pain relief methods during labor on the attitude of women towards the mode of delivery.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted at a tertiary hospital between January and December 2016. A structured interview questionnaire had been administered including data related to current pregnancy, knowledge, attitude and previous experience of pain, labor analgesia, women’s attitude toward the mode of delivery and its relation to the availability of adequate analgesia during labor. Visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess pregnant women’s attitude towards pain in general and that related to the process of labor (past
and expected experience).
Results: Eight hundred and fourteen women were included in the study. The majority of our participants (82.9%) were unaware about the availability of labor analgesia. Sixty of the study participants preferred cesarean section (CS) to avoid labor pain. Availability of adequate pain relief during labor could decrease the women decision of CS by more than 50% in women expecting moderate and severe pain during labor compared to non-availability of pain relief (9.6% vs. 22.7% and 8.2% vs. 28.1% respectively).
Conclusion: There is a great lack of knowledge regarding the availability of pain relief during labor. Lack of pain relief during labor can be responsible for more than half of women’s intention to prefer CS as a mode of delivery.