Elective induction of labor

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep;49(3):698-704. doi: 10.1097/00003081-200609000-00026.


Induction of labor rates have more than doubled nationwide in the past 15 years. The increase in medically induced inductions was slower than the overall increase, suggesting that inductions for marginal or elective reasons rose more rapidly. Elective inductions seem to account for at least half of all inductions and 10% of all deliveries. Whether the experience of an elective induction is satisfactory to the patient, obstetrician, and intrapartum crew warrants more widespread attention. Cesarean rates are high for nulliparas undergoing an induction with an unfavorable cervix. Prospective studies are limited or nonexistent to recommend induction of labor for elective or marginal indications. Until more prospective work is performed, it will be difficult to evaluate the true impact of the elective induction of labor on population-wide cesarean delivery rates. Strategies for increased obstetrician awareness are proposed through practice guidelines and through clinical research trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Brachial Plexus / injuries
  • Brachial Plexus / physiopathology
  • Cesarean Section
  • Dystocia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Induced*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors