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VBAC: Labor Induction

Topic Overview

When labor does not start on its own and delivery needs to happen soon, contractions can be started (induced) with medicine. Some doctors avoid inducing labor when a woman is trying vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). But others are okay with the careful use of certain medicines to start labor.

For a woman who has a cesarean scar on her uterus, there is a chance the scar can break open during labor. This is called uterine rupture. Medicines used to induce labor may increase the risk of uterine rupture.

When a VBAC labor has not started on its own, certain medicines, such as oxytocin, may be carefully used to help start labor. Oxytocin may also be used to get a slow labor going again.

Inducing labor in a woman trying a VBAC may also increase the chance of needing a C-section. Women who try to have a VBAC may be more likely to have a successful vaginal birth if labor is allowed to start on its own (spontaneous labor).

References

Citations

  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2017). Vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 184. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 130(5): e217–e233. DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002398. Accessed May 25, 2018.

Credits

Current as of: February 11, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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