External cephalic version, or version, is a procedure used to turn
a breech fetus into a head-down (vertex) position before labor begins. When
successful, version makes it possible for a woman to try a vaginal birth
instead of having a cesarean section.
External cephalic version is typically tried at term, when the
fetus is less likely to turn back to breech position. A fetus is closely
monitored before, during, and after the procedure for possible distress. After
first using medicine to relax the mother's uterine muscles, a doctor presses on
specific areas of her abdomen to turn the fetus.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.