Elective Induction at 39 Weeks of Gestation and the Implications of a Large, Multicenter, Randomized Controlled Trial

Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Mar;133(3):445-450. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003137.


On August 8, 2018, Grobman et al published the findings from the ARRIVE (A Randomized Trial of Induction Versus Expectant Management) trial, a large randomized controlled trial of elective induction of labor in nulliparous women at 39 weeks of gestation compared with expectant management. Conducted by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network, the trial found there was no difference between the two groups in the primary outcome, a composite of neonatal morbidity. Also, there was a reduction in rates of cesarean delivery and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in the elective induction group. The topic of elective induction has been of interest to clinicians for decades, and research has yielded inconsistent results in the past. This trial offers the best evidence thus far to address this complex issue. Our objective is to briefly review the history and literature regarding elective induction of labor, discuss the recently published ARRIVE trial, and consider its implications on clinical practice and health policy.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Labor, Induced
  • Labor, Obstetric*
  • Pregnancy
  • Watchful Waiting*