In Induction of Labor

Using a balloon catheter to ripen the cervix* in preparation for labor induction results in similar rates of cesarean, chorioamnionitis (inflammation of the fetal membranes), and low Apgar scores, and as with misoprostol, the cost is low.

A Swedish study compared outcomes between 314 women who had cervical ripening with balloon catheter and 274 women who had oral misoprostol. In both cases, cervical ripening treatment was followed by rupturing membranes and IV oxytocin if needed. Cesarean rates overall were 23% with the catheter vs. 19% with misoprostol and 29% vs. 25% in 1st-time mothers. Chorioamnionitis rates were reported as “comparable,” and 2% of newborns had 5-min Apgar score < 7 in both groups. Time to vaginal birth was shorter in the balloon catheter group, but this may have been because women receiving misoprostol were more likely to have Bishop score 0-2, a measurement of cervical readiness for labor, than women having the catheter (42% vs. 9%) as well as being more likely to be 1st-time mothers (62% vs. 55%). Five doses of misoprostol, the average needed to prepare the cervix adequately, cost 9 euros and one balloon catheter cost 2 euros.

The Take-Away: Equivalency makes the balloon catheter the better option because unlike balloon catheters, misoprostol can cause severe adverse outcomes.

*The balloon catheter is threaded through the cervix, and the balloon is inflated with saline to hold it in place.Theory has it that the inflammatory response to the irritation promotes the ripening process. Once the cervix begins dilating, the catheter falls out, and the induction proceeds.

Recommended Posts
0
  • Choosing a Place of Birth during COVID-19 (free eBook)

    Sign up to get the free eBook download, “Choosing a Place of Birth During COVID-19”

  • Choosing a Place of Birth during COVID-19 (free eBook)

    Sign up to receive the free eBook, “Choosing a Place of Birth During COVID-19”

  • Apply to be a CBU Partner

  • Newsletter Signup Form:

    Your contact info will be used solely to send you news on birth issues that we think may interest you.

    Be sure to add henci@childbirth-u.com to your contact list to ensure receiving CBU communications.

  • FREE

    Looking for 

    Childbirth Advice?

    Download our FREE eBook

    "Choosing a Place of Birth

    During the Time of COVID-19"