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Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2005 Jun;32(2):181-200, viii.

Induction of labor.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Florida Health Science Center, 653-1 West 8th Street, Jacksonville, FL 32209, USA.


The rate of labor induction continues to rise significantly in the United States because of a growing use of labor induction for postterm pregnancies and elective induction of labor. Although different types and doses of prostaglandins used for cervical ripening often initiate uterine activity, the principal role of these agents is to soften the unripe cervix independent of uterine activity. Several systematic reviews with meta-analyses have shown that prostaglandins are superior to placebo and oxytocin alone in ripening of the cervix. Numerous studies and meta-analyses have assessed misoprostol's efficacy and safety as a labor induction agent. The most appropriate dose and route of administration has not yet been confirmed.

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