Evid Based Med 18:117-118 doi:10.1136/ebmed-2012-100862
  • Aetiology
  • Cohort study

Elective induction of labour is associated with decreased perinatal mortality and lower odds of caesarean section at 40 and 41 weeks

  1. Aaron B Caughey
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Aaron B Caughey
    OHSU, OB Gyn, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA; caughey{at}

Commentary on:


Induction of labour can be utilised to intervene in a pregnancy when the risks of ongoing pregnancy outweigh that of intervention. Elective induction of labour is labour induction without a clear medical or obstetric indication. It is widely believed to increase caesarean delivery, posing unnecessary risks to mother and fetus.1 ,2 However, little objective information supports this conclusion, and a meta-analysis of randomised trials3 found that elective induction decreased caesarean delivery compared to expectant management (ie, allowing the pregnancy to progress, leading to delivery at a later gestational age).

While many past observational studies1 ,2 have found higher risk of adverse outcomes with elective induction, these …

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