Labor induction in overdue pregnancies does not lead to more caesarean sections, study shows

May 30, 2001

DALLAS - May 31, 2001 - Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have shown that labor induction alone does not increase the probability of Caesarean section in pregnant women who exceed their due date.

The rate of labor induction in the United States has increased steadily since 1989. Currently about one in five women undergo labor induction, with the highest rates occurring in women who are at least one week past their due dates (at least 41 weeks gestation).

In an article published today in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. James Alexander, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern, and his colleagues report that Caesarean deliveries were, in fact, increased in patients whose labors were induced, but this was due to risk factors intrinsic to the patient, rather than to labor induction itself. Correcting for risk factors like first-time pregnancy, undilated cervix prior to induction and epidural analgesia, the physicians concluded that these circumstances, not induction of labor per se, accounted for the increase in Caesarean deliveries.

Physicians examined 1,325 women in a special post-term clinic at Parkland Memorial Hospital between Dec. 1, 1997, and April 4, 2000. These women had reached 41 weeks gestation and were scheduled for induction of labor at 42 weeks.

"We studied a group of women whose pregnancies extended beyond their due date and who were scheduled for induction of labor," Alexander said. "We found that inducing labor resulted in more Caesarean deliveries in women who were not fully dilated and in those who were experiencing their first pregnancy."

The Caesarean delivery rates were compared to those who entered spontaneous labor (52 percent) and those who underwent induction. Women with diabetes, prior Caesarean delivery, multiple fetuses, breach presentation or other medical or obstetric problems were excluded from the study.

In the spontaneous labor group, 14 percent of the women underwent Caesarean section. In those whose labor was induced, 19 percent delivered by Caesarean.

"Patients' failure to progress resulted in a higher percentage of Caesarean deliveries in the induced group," Alexander said. "However, the risk factors intrinsic to the patients - rather than the labor induction itself - resulted in an excess of Caesarean deliveries in the women we studied."

Other findings showed that labor was longer and more likely to extend over 10 hours in women who were induced. The average labor time for spontaneous labors was less than six hours.
-end-
Dr. Donald McIntire, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and Dr. Kenneth Leveno, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern, also participated in the study.

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related Caesarean Section Articles from Brightsurf:

Risk of childhood asthma by caesarean section is mediated through the early gut microbiome
New study highlights long-term perturbations of the early gut microbiome as a possible mechanism for the observed association between caesarean section and increased risk of developing asthma.

During COVID-19 first wave, the proportion of caesarean section deliveries done under
New research from north-west England published in Anaesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anaesthetists) shows that during the first wave of COVID-19, the proportion of caesarean section deliveries carried out under general anaesthesia approximately halved, from 7.7% to 3.7%.

Caesarean birth, prolonged labour influence infant gut bacteria, risk of childhood obesity
Events at birth may affect the microbes living in a baby's gut during the first few months of life, leading to a higher risk of childhood obesity and allergies, according to a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology.

Fecal transplantation can restore the gut microbiota of C-section babies
Birth by Cesarean section is detrimental to normal gut microbiota development.

Women who deliver by C-section are less likely to conceive subsequent children
Women who deliver their first child by cesarean section (C-section) are less likely to conceive a second child than those who deliver vaginally, despite being just as likely to plan a subsequent pregnancy, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Caesarean birth has little impact on children developing allergies
A caesarean birth had little impact on whether a child would go onto develop allergies, a new study has shown.

Different views on vaginal birth after previous caesarean section (VBAC)
There is considerable variations in different countries┬┤ health care systems and professionals in the views on vaginal birth after previous caesarean section (VBAC), according to a European study.

Outcomes of birth options after a previous cesarean section
A large cohort study of women who have had one or more previous cesarean sections suggests that attempting a vaginal birth in a subsequent pregnancy is associated with higher health risks to both the mother and the infant than electing for another cesarean.

Death rates from cesarean section far higher in developing countries
Cesarean sections are disproportionately threatening the lives of women and babies in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.

Altered microbiome after caesarean section impacts baby's immune system
Together with colleagues from Sweden and Luxembourg, scientists from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have observed that, during a natural vaginal birth, specific bacteria from the mother's gut are passed on to the baby and stimulate the baby's immune responses.

Read More: Caesarean Section News and Caesarean Section Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.