Sometimes it is necessary to bring on labour artificially because of safety concerns for the mother or baby. This review is one of a series of reviews of methods of labour induction using a standardised protocol.
Induction of labour occurs in approximately 20% of pregnancies in the UK. The ideal agent for induction of labour would induce cervical ripening without causing uterine contractions. Currently most commonly used cervical ripening or induction agents result in uterine activity or contractions, or both. Cervical ripening without uterine contractility could occur safely in an outpatient setting and it may be expected that this would result in greater maternal satisfaction and lower costs.