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Trends in induction of labour: implications for Sri Lanka


Malik Goonewardene

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, LK
About Malik

Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Emeritus Professor, University of Ruhuna

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The methods used for induction of labour (IOL) and the indications for IOL have markedly changed over the last 20 centuries. Mammary stimulation and mechanical dilation of the cervical canal was described more than 20 centuries ago. Since then, the methods used include: amniotomy; strong purgatives and various herbal preparations; a pituitary extract; amniotomy combined with synthetic oxytocin; artificial separation of membranes; a supra cervical balloon catheter; vaginal prostaglandins; hygroscopic cervical dilatation. Currently, there is a great interest in oral prostaglandins and supracervical balloon catheters as well as the possibility of IOL in  an outpatient setting. The indications for IOL 20 centuries ago were probably for maternal reasons, and fetal reasons are likely to have been added much later. During the 20th century, social reasons also become indications for IOL. Recently, routine IOL at or above 37 weeks’ gestation has been recommended to reduce perinatal mortality including still births. Almost all the methods used globally for IOL and the indications for IOL, are applicable to Sri Lanka. However, before implementing them in Sri Lanka, their justification, feasibility, safety, and acceptability to the pregnant women and their care givers, must be carefully assessed.
How to Cite: Goonewardene M. Trends in induction of labour: implications for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Perinatal Medicine. 2021;2(2):3–11. DOI:
Published on 13 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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