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Semin Perinatol. 2012 Oct;36(5):336-43. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2012.04.016.

Induction of labor in the United States: a critical appraisal of appropriateness and reducibility.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA 23507, USA.


Approximately 1 in 4 women in the United States are induced, with up to 1 in 10-12 being induced for elective reasons. National guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society of Obstetricians Gynaecologists of Canada, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists list 21 indications for inductions; however, all 3 concur in only 14% women (3 of 21). An induction should be considered appropriate if it meets the following 4 criteria: (1) concordant with women's autonomous informed decisions and desideratum; (2) optimizes maternal-fetal outcomes, including psychological maternal well-being; (3) congruous with evidence-based medicine; and (4) cost-effective. A meta-analysis of 22 randomized trials noted that membrane sweeping reduces the likelihood of induction. Implementing policies to prevent elective induction at 37-38 weeks provides conflicting results about the rate of macrosomia and stillbirth at early term. We argue that a well-designed randomized controlled trial, with adequate power to demonstrate whether prohibiting elective induction increases the rate of stillbirth or complications such as macrosomia, is warranted. Patient education during their prenatal course is a promising strategy to decrease the rate of induction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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