External Cephalic Version (ECV) and Reducing the Incidence of Breech Presentation (Green-top 20a)

This is the first edition of this guideline.

External cephalic version (ECV) is the manipulation of the fetus, through the maternal abdomen, to a cephalic presentation. This guideline summarises the evidence regarding the routine use of ECV for breech presentation. The rationale behind ECV is to reduce the incidence of breech presentation at term and therefore the associated risks, particularly of avoidable caesarean section. The evidence concerning mode and technique of delivery of the persistent breech presentation is summarised in Green-top Guideline No. 20b, The Management of Breech Presentation.

This guideline can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking the link below.

Further information


Date published: 01/12/2006

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