[Skip to Content]
Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Induction of labour

There are three methods of induction used depending on clinical examination and cervical assessment.

Cervical Ripening Balloon

This is a specifically designed catheter which is gently inserted through the cervix. The balloon is inflated with water to hold the device in place, for a minimum of 12 hours and maxim of of 24 hours.

 Prostaglandin Vaginal Pessaries/Tampons

  • This is an alternative method to the CRB and options will be discussed with you.Prostin tampon is inserted and left for up to 24 hours or until labour begins or
  • Pessary is placed behind the cervix, at the top of the vagina where it dissolves
  • Hormones in the pessary cause the cervix to soften and the uterus to contract
  • If labour has not begun 6 hours later, the process is repeated
  • A 3rd pessary is sometimes given the following day, if indicated

Artificial Rupture of Membranes and Oxytocin

Artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) is a further method if you meet a suitable criteria and is performed with a vaginal examination:-

  • A small, slim instrument is used to puncture the bag of membranes, releasing some of the fluid
  • Often this is sufficient stimulation for the uterus to start contracting and labour begins
  • An intravenous infusion of a hormone called oxytocin can be used to stimulate the uterus to begin contracting