Pregnancy 5) Induced Labor
In some cases, medications may be used to stimulate labor: this therapy is called induced labor. Inducing labor may be beneficial when labor does not begin as it should, or when labor does not progress rapidly enough.
Reasons for inducing labor include:
- Membranes have ruptured, but uterine contractions are very weak.
- Pregnancy has progressed more than two weeks beyond the due date.
- The mother has health condition that limits her ability to tolerate prolonged labor.
Labor can be induced using a hormone, called oxytocin. This is a natural female hormone normally produced in the pituitary gland. Oxytocin stimulates the uterus to contract. During induction, oxytocin is administered directly into a vein. Other medications, such as prostaglandin E, may be placed into the vagina, in order to stimulate the cervix to dilate.
Inducing labor requires fetal monitoring. If labor causes fetal distress, or if induction is not successful, then a cesarean section may be necessary.
Continue to Pregnancy 6) Episiotomy
- Blenning CE, Paladine H. An approach to the postpartum office visit. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Dec 15;72(12):2491-6. 
- Condous GS, Arulkumaran S. Medical and conservative surgical management of postpartum hemorrhage. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2003 Nov;25(11):931-6. 
- Magann EF, Evans S, Hutchinson M, Collins R, Lanneau G, Morrison JC. Postpartum hemorrhage after cesarean delivery: an analysis of risk factors. South Med J. 2005 Jul;98(7):681-5. 
- Malamitsi-Puchner A, Boutsikou T. Adolescent pregnancy and perinatal outcome. Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2006 Jan;3 Suppl 1:170-1. 
- Nanda K, Peloggia A, Grimes D, Lopez L, Nanda G. Expectant care versus surgical treatment for miscarriage. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Apr 19;(2):CD003518. 
- Ozkaya O, Sezik M, et al. Placebo-controlled randomized comparison of vaginal with rectal misoprostol in the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2005 Oct;31(5):389-93. 
- Tierney JP, Welsh J, Owen P; Effective Gynaecology in Glasgow Group. Management of early pregnancy loss--a complete audit cycle. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Apr;26(3):229-32. 
- Vitzthum VJ, Spielvogel H, Thornburg J, West B. A prospective study of early pregnancy loss in humans. Fertil Steril. 2006 Aug;86(2):373-9.