Induction of Labor and Cesarean: What is the True Relationship?

Sarah E. Little, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


It is a commonly held belief that labor induction increases the risk of cesarean delivery; women who are induced are at higher risk of cesarean as compared with those in spontaneous labor. This comparison group is inaccurate, however, as women and providers cannot choose spontaneous labor as the alternative to labor induction. With expectant management, spontaneous labor may occur, but as gestation advances, pregnancy complications may occur, or women may progress postterm requiring induction at a later gestation. Using the proper comparison group, studies find that labor induction is actually associated with a small decreased risk of cesarean delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalClinical obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Induction of labor
  • cesarean delivery
  • elective induction
  • primary cesarean delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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