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Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1989;27(1):6-9.

Is induction of labor indicated in prolonged pregnancy? Results of a prospective randomised trial.

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First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vienna, Austria.


In 345 women with a favorable cervical score at due date, labor was either induced by means of intravaginal application of tablets containing 3 mg of prostaglandin E2 or spontaneous onset of labor was awaited until the 42nd week of pregnancy. Eighty percent of the nulliparae and 96.3% of the multiparae of the induction group gave birth within 24 h of the administration of the first tablet. All pertinent delivery intervals were significantly shorter in this group compared to those women where spontaneous onset of labor was awaited. The rate of operative deliveries was lower in the induction group. With the exception of 1 fetal death 3 days after due date, fetal outcome was excellent in both groups. Elective induction was at least equivalent to awaiting the onset of spontaneous labor and was not associated with higher complication rates due to the method of induction.

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