Pharmaceutical versus mechanical induction of labor

Malak Alsaif, Nayel Helmy, Fatimah Almuallem, Shahad Almagboul, Hilyil Almtrafi, Bashaer Matouq, Nawfal Alsufayan, Ruba Saleh, Sultan Aldalbahi, Afnan Alshahrani


Labor induction is one of the most common obstetric interventions carried out in obstetric institutions. More than one fifth of labors needs induction. To date, many methods are available for labor induction with the pharmaceutical and mechanical methods being the commonest. The most common pharmaceutical agents used are prostaglandins, oxytocin, synthetic progesterone antagonists, and nitric oxide. Mechanical induction is carried out through using balloon catheters, hygroscopic dilators, artificial membrane rupture, or membrane stripping. Though pharmaceutical methods had largely replaced mechanical induction of labor, no consensus guidelines recommend their use. Studies from literature are still conflicting. However, it is generally agreed that the use of a combined approach with both pharmaceutical and mechanical methods of induction yields the best outcome. This article will review the different methods for labor induction, their effectiveness, and adverse events.


Labor induction, Mechanical induction, Pharmaceutical induction

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