Labor induction

Labor induction: Reason, Procedure & Risks

Labor induction, as the name suggests is the medical procedure associated with inducing labor during the final point of pregnancy. This procedure is done to induce labor before the period is reached in order to achieve a vaginal birth. The primary reason that labor induction is recommended by the doctors is to make sure that the baby and the mother are safe and healthy. 

The successful induction depends upon how soft and normal your cervix is. As the most commonly recommended procedure, you must talk to your doctors to make sure if this is right for you.

Reasons for labor induction

The following are the reasons for labor induction:

  • If you are way past your due date, then this procedure is absolutely necessary for you. 

  • If your water has broken prematurely, it is necessary that labor is induced.

  • If your uterus has caught some kind of infection, it is necessary to get the baby out of this as soon as possible.

  • If your baby’s weight is less than what it should be at that particular gestational point.

  • If your body don’t have enough amniotic fluid.

  • If you have caught diabetes during pregnancy.

  • If you are suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure) during pregnancy.

  • If the placenta has been peeled away from the endometrial region. 

  • In case you have other medical conditions, this procedure becomes a necessity.

Preparing for the procedure

You don’t need to do anything pertaining to this procedure. The entire matter will be dealt with by the hospital that you are in. 

During and after labor induction pregnancy

During the induction:

  • You will be given a synthetic medication in order to ripen your uterus. While this is done, the vitality of your baby will be monitored.

  • Your amniotic sac will be ruptured using a plastic hook in order to cause the water to break. This is done after the partial dilation of the cervix and this process also entails watching the baby’s vitality at all times. 

  • Intravenous medications are going to be provided to you in order to cause your uterus to contract. This process involves medications that accelerate the cervical ripening process. 

Any combination of above steps can be prescribed by the doctor. Once they are successful, the labor will be successfully induced.

After the induction:

Once the labor induction is successful, the chances of a successful normal delivery are pretty high. However, there is a chance that the labor induction is not successful properly or there are some other issues. In that case, a C section is done.

Once the pregnancy is complete, the doctor will check your vitals. During that time, they will also avail you information if you can opt for normal pregnancy down the line or you have to opt for C section in future. 

Risks of labor induction

The risks associated with this medical procedure are as follows: 

  • There is about a 75% chance for the first time mothers for the process to be successful. As for the women who have an unripe cervix, they might need to opt for C section. 

  • The medications used during the procedure to contract the uterus or to ripen the cervix might cause abnormal heart rate for you. This, in turn, can cause your baby’s heart rate to be lowered down.

  • The rupturing membranes might increase the risk of infection in the baby and the mother. 

  • There is a serious and rare complication related to this procedure and it is the rupture of the uterus during the procedure. In case life-threatening circumstances develop, you will immediately need to have a C section.

  • There is a chance that the uterus may not contract correctly and this can cause uterine bleeding.

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Dr. Madhu Goel is a well renowned senior gynaecologist and a senior consultant at Fortis La femme, New Delhi. She runs a private consultation in Goel’s surgery and Gynea centre and prior to being associated with Fortis; she was a consultant a Rockland Hospital.