Nearly half of South Korean mothers giving birth to their first child received caesarean sections in 2017, data showed Sunday, with the percentage rising over recent years.
According to the data compiled by the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service, 48.8 percent of mothers giving birth for the first time had C-sections in 2017.
A C-section is a form of childbirth in which a surgical incision is made through a mother's abdomen and uterus in times of medical complications.
The figure marks a 3.4 percentage-point increase from 45.4 percent posted in 2016. In 2006, the number stood at 34.9 percent.
The data showed 45 percent of all mothers had them.
The increase in the percentage apparently came as more mothers are giving birth at older ages than in the past.
Around 29 percent of the mothers giving birth were aged 35 or older last year, up 3 percentage points on-year. In 2006, only 14 percent of mothers giving birth were in the age group.
While 7 percent of women giving birth to their first child were aged 35 or above in 2006, the figure has continued to increase, reaching 20.5 percent in 2017. (Yonhap)