Ines Ramirez

Ines Ramirez

Mexican woman who performed a caesarean section on herself
Country: Mexico

  1. Biography of Ines Ramirez
  2. Early Life
  3. The Extraordinary Event
  4. Reflections

Biography of Ines Ramirez

Ines Ramirez, a Mexican woman who performed a self-performed caesarean section, has a remarkable story. She not only survived the procedure herself but also saved the life of her baby son. This case is unique and has become a landmark in the history of medicine.

Ines Ramirez

Early Life

Ines Ramirez was born in 1960 in the rural area of Oaxaca, Mexico. There is little information available about her childhood and youth, but it can be assumed that she grew up without much wealth. Her life was simple, with basic food, clothing, and simple joys. Ramirez is a resident of Rio Talea village and speaks the indigenous Zapotec language, as well as a little Spanish. It is unknown if she had any formal education, but it is certain that she never studied medicine and had no knowledge of surgery.

Ines Ramirez

The Extraordinary Event

In March 2000, Ramirez was carrying her ninth pregnancy. She had already given birth to seven children, but tragically lost her eighth child during childbirth three years prior. At midnight on March 5th, Ramirez began experiencing severe pain, realizing that she was going into labor. Her husband, who had always assisted her in giving birth, was drinking at a bar in a nearby village, and the nearest midwife was 50 miles away. The closest telephone, shared by 500 people, was also too far for her to reach.

Ines Ramirez

After enduring around 12 hours of labor, Ramirez sensed that something was wrong as the contractions did not progress. In order to save both her life and her unborn child, she made the impossible decision to perform a self-performed caesarean section. She began by sitting on a bench and consuming three portions of strong liquor as a form of anesthesia. Ramirez then took a 15-centimeter kitchen knife and attempted to make an incision on her abdomen. The resilient skin resisted her initial attempts, and it took her three tries to succeed. Ultimately, she made a vertical incision to the right of her belly button, measuring 17 centimeters in length. It is important to note that Ramirez, being a rural woman, had no knowledge of the typical horizontal incision below the belly button used in traditional caesarean sections.

Once the incision was made, Ramirez used her own hands to deliver her child. She then had the strength to cut the umbilical cord with scissors. Shortly after, she lost consciousness. When she regained consciousness, Ramirez managed to control the bleeding from her open wound and sent her six-year-old son for help. Several hours later, a medical assistant, who primarily worked with animals, arrived. He found Ramirez conscious, along with a healthy newborn baby. He stitched her abdomen using basic sewing thread and a needle and insisted that Ramirez be taken to the hospital. After another few hours, Ramirez finally arrived at the hospital, where surgeons examined her 16 hours after her self-performed operation. Despite the injuries caused by her inexperienced actions, she miraculously survived, albeit after undergoing several additional surgeries to correct the mistakes made during her self-performed operation. Ten days later, Ramirez returned home with her baby.


Ramirez later shared that she could no longer endure the excruciating pain she experienced for several hours. She decided that if her baby were to die, she wanted to die with him. However, if he were destined to survive, she wanted to be there to see him grow and be by his side. Ramirez believes that God saved both their lives. She strongly advises other women not to attempt what she did, as it is extremely dangerous.

The case of Ines Ramirez is unique and unprecedented in the medical world. Her story was published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, a renowned publication in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Only the doctors know the number of times Ramirez could have died during her self-performed operation. She managed to save herself by intuitively choosing the right place for the incision, avoiding infection, and surviving the loss of blood and shock. All these factors contribute to making Ines Ramirez's case both incredibly dangerous and astonishing.