Cervidil, prostaglandin gel or a Foley catheter can be used to get your cervix ready for labour. Your maternity care provider will choose the method for your induction based on how ready your cervix is for labour as well as other factors.
A small ribbon containing prostaglandin is inserted into your vagina and placed near your cervix by your care provider. The end of the ribbon is reachable at the entrance to the vagina. Prostaglandin is used to soften, shorten and open your cervix. You will stay in the hospital for monitoring for at least one hour to see how you and your baby respond to the prostaglandin. The ribbon usually needs to be replaced after 12-24 hours, if you have not gone into labour. Cervidil is not used to induce women who have had a previous caesarean section.
A gel containing prostaglandin is inserted into your vagina to soften, shorten, and open your cervix. You will stay in the hospital for monitoring for at least one hour to see how you and your baby respond to the prostaglandin. More than one dose of gel is usually needed to get your cervix ready for labour, and these doses are usually given about 6 hours apart, so you might go home between doses. Prostaglandin gel is not used to induce women who have had a previous caesarean section.
This is a tablet that is either swallowed or placed in the vagina every 4 hours to start your labour. You will remain in hospital during this process.
A thin tube (catheter) is inserted through your cervix. The balloon-tip of the catheter is slowly inflated with water to put pressure on your cervix and help get your labour started. The other end of the tube is pulled tight and taped to your leg while is the catheter is in place. It can be uncomfortable but is usually not painful. Women who have had a previous caesarean section can be induced safely with this method.
You will usually go home after these methods are started (with directions on when to return to hospital). However you may need to stay in hospital if the baby needs more regular monitoring or if there are other medical concerns.
If you do go home, we recommend that you have someone drive you. You may start to feel contractions within a few hours or not notice anything different at all.
At home, contact your care provider or to come to hospital if you have any of the following:
painful contractions coming regularly every 5 minutes;
painful contractions that last more than 2 minutes each
a leak or gush of fluid from the vagina (water breaking);
bleeding from the vagina;
less than 6 movements of your baby in 2 hours;
the Cervidil ribbon falls out.
If you cannot reach your care provider, call BC Women’s and speak to one of the Urgent Care Centre nurses at 604-875-3070.