Failed induction of labour

Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 1985 Aug;25(3):190-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828x.1985.tb00641.x.


Over a 15-month period 1,057 consecutive inductions of labour were performed representing a 10% induction rate; 174 (16.5%) of these patients were delivered by Caesarean section of which 74 (7.0%) were for failed induction of labour, 58 (5.5%) for fetal distress, 19 (1.8%) for cephalopelvic disproportion, 6 for malposition and 17 for other reasons. The mean cervical score at induction of labour was 5.7 and 5.5 for cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) and malposition respectively but was 4.0 for failed induction. The mean cervical dilatation at the time of Caesarean section was 5.7 cm and 6.6 cm for CPD and malposition respectively whereas it was 3.5 cm for failed induction. Mean maximum dose of oxytocin was 19.2 milliunits per minute (mu/min) and 22.5 mu/min for CPD and malposition respectively whereas it was 24.7 mu/min for cases of failed induction. Nulliparas with a cervical score of 3 or less had a 65.4% Caesarean section rate of which more than two-thirds were for failed induction of labour. Analysis of indications for induction of labour revealed that a fair number of inductions had debatable obstetric indications. Tailoring induction of labour to the cervical score and indication might reduce the Caesarean section rate for failed induction of labour. Rational management to ensure an adequate dose of oxytocin and sufficient time in the first stage of labour is important. Failed induction of labour may be differentiated from failure of labour progress due to CPD or malposition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Cervix Uteri / drug effects
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor Presentation
  • Labor, Induced*
  • Maternal Age
  • Oxytocin / administration & dosage
  • Oxytocin / pharmacology
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Prospective Studies


  • Oxytocin