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VBAC: Labour Induction

Topic Overview

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.

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.footnote 1

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

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: October 8, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Femi Olatunbosun MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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