Cervical ripening

Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 1 Apr 2021

Cervical ripening is the softening of the cervix that needs to occur before induction of labor and delivery of the fetus. The use of appropriate interventions (e.g. isoprostol, nitric oxide, PGE2, Foley's balloon in case of low-risk females, acupuncture 1-5) can lead to satisfactory cervical ripening without significant effect over uterine contractions/labor.

Practical points

  • a Bishop score <6 it is recommended that a cervical ripening agent should be used before induction of labor
  • if the Bishop score is satisfactory, the choice of medicine is oxytocin 2,3

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