Table of contents

Induction of labor

What's new

Added 2023 SOGC, 2022 WHO, and 2021 DGGG/OEGGG guidelines for induction of labor.


Key sources

The following summarized guidelines for the evaluation and management of induction of labor are prepared by our editorial team based on guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG 2024), the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC 2023), the World Health Organization (WHO 2022,2014), the Austrian Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (OEGGG/DGGG/SGGG 2021), and the Society ...
Show more

Classification and risk stratification

Bishop score: as per SOGC 2023 guidelines, use the modified Bishop score to determine if cervical ripening is required.
Create free account

Diagnostic investigations

Confirmation of fetal presentation: as per SOGC 2023 guidelines, conform fetal presentation by abdominal examination and/or ultrasound before labor induction.

More topics in this section

  • Digital vaginal examination

Medical management

Setting of care: as per WHO 2022 guidelines, do not offer routine outpatient induction of labor for improving birth outcomes.

More topics in this section

  • Indications for induction of labor

  • Oxytocin

  • Prostoglandins

Inpatient care

Monitoring of induction: as per WHO 2014 guidelines, obtain an active phase partogram with a 4-hour action line for monitoring the progress of labor.

More topics in this section

  • Electronic fetal monitoring

Nonpharmacologic interventions

Activity and positioning: as per WHO 2014 guidelines, encourage adopting mobility and upright position during labor in patients at low risk.

More topics in this section

  • Food intake

  • Companionship

  • Membrane sweeping

  • Alternative therapies

Therapeutic procedures

Balloon catheter
As per WHO 2022 guidelines:
Offer balloon catheter for induction of labor.
Offer the combination of balloon catheter plus oxytocin administration for induction of labor.

More topics in this section

  • Cervical dilators

  • Neuraxial anesthesia

Surgical interventions

Amniotomy: as per ACOG 2024 guidelines, perform amniotomy in patients undergoing induction of labor to reduce the duration of labor.

More topics in this section

  • Cesarean delivery

Patient education

General counseling: as per SOGC 2023 guidelines, decide on the induction of labor through a shared decision-making process between the pregnant individual and the care provider, with respect for an individual's choice. Document the consent discussion including the benefits and risks of both induction and expectant management, along with the induction process, including methods, timing, and how these May affect the patient and fetus.

Preventative measures

Prevention of delay: as per WHO 2014 guidelines, do not offer a package of care for active management of labor to prevent delay in labor.
Show 6 more