VBAC: Labour Induction
When labour does not start on its own and delivery needs to happen soon, contractions can be started (induced) with medicine. Some doctors avoid inducing labour when a woman is trying vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC). But others are okay with the careful use of certain medicines to start labour or strengthen contractions.
For a woman who has a caesarean scar on her uterus, there is a chance the scar can break open during labour. This is called uterine rupture. Medicines used to induce labour may increase the risk of uterine rupture.
When a VBAC labour has not started on its own, certain medicines, such as oxytocin, may be carefully used to help start labour. Oxytocin may also be used to get a slow labour going again. Oxytocin is less likely than the medicine misoprostol to increase the risk of uterine rupture. Misoprostol is not recommended for use in VBAC.footnote 1
In one large study, uterine rupture occurred in:footnote 1
- About 14 out of 1,000 women who were induced with misoprostol.
- About 11 out of 1,000 women who were induced with oxytocin.
- About 4 out of 1,000 women who had a spontaneous labour.
Inducing labour 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 labour is allowed to start on its own (spontaneous labour).footnote 1
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMarch 16, 2017
Current as of: March 16, 2017
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