ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 107: Induction of labor. Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Aug;114(2 Pt 1):386-397. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181b48ef5. PMID: 19623003.
More than 22% of all gravid women undergo induction of labor in the United States, and the overall rate of induction of labor in the United States has more than doubled since 1990 to 225 per 1,000 live births in 2006 (1). The goal of induction of labor is to achieve vaginal delivery by stimulating uterine contractions before the spontaneous onset of labor. Generally, induction of labor has merit as a therapeutic option when the benefits of expeditious delivery outweigh the risks of continuing the pregnancy. The benefits of labor induction must be weighed against the potential maternal and fetal risks associated with this procedure (2). The purpose of this document is to review current methods for cervical ripening and induction of labor and to summarize the effectiveness of these approaches based on appropriately conducted outcomes-based research. These practice guidelines classify the indications for and contraindications to induction of labor, describe the various agents used for cervical ripening, cite methods used to induce labor, and outline the requirements for the safe clinical use of the various methods of inducing labor.
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