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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2001 May;21(3):239-41.

Induction of labour: a comparison of two methods with particular concern to patient acceptability.

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Pinderfields General Hospital, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK.


Induction of labour is a common obstetric intervention. When the cervix is unfavourable ripening agents are used, commonly prostaglandin E2. There are several methods of administration of prostaglandin E2 and little comparative work has been performed as to their acceptability by patients. Patients undergoing induction of labour by prostaglandin E2 were randomised to receive either intravaginal gel or an intravaginal slow-release pessary. Patient satisfaction with the method received was then assessed. Sixty-nine patients were randomised, 34 to receive gel and 35 to receive a pessary. Median scores for satisfaction of the induction process were the same for both methods; however, satisfaction with the labour was increased with those who had been randomised to the pessary group (median pessary=5, gel=4). There may be a marginal improvement in patient satisfaction when a slow-release intravaginal prostaglandin E2 pessary is used for the induction of labour.


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