Induction Methods – Prostaglandin Gels

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A synthetic version of prostaglandin hormones is inserted into your vagina either as tablets, gels, suppositories or pessaries.

You will need to remain in hospital for this and once inserted it is recommended that you lie down for at least 30 minutes so the gel can stimulate the cervix.

The dose, number of doses and time between doses may vary considerably. If repeat doses are necessary this is usually given every six to eight hours. The suppository slowly releases the prostaglandins over 12 to 24 hours.

medical induction, prostaglandins, Vicki Hobbs, hypnobirthing, induction of labor, birth, maternity, childbirth

The prostaglandins allow your cervix to soften and open, however it may not be enough to get your contractions going on their own, in which case you will need extra help usually with the synthetic oxytocin drug (Syntocinon or Pitocin).

If you have had a previous caesarean birth, it is contraindicated for you to have prostaglandins and a balloon catheter will be used instead.

Prostaglandin Benefits

  • Vaginal prostaglandins increase the likelihood of vaginal birth within 24 hours;


Prostaglandin Risks

  • Overstimulation of the uterus to contract too much;
  • May cause baby’s heart rate to slow or become abnormal;
  • You may experience back and / or stomach pain;
  • You may experience a sore / sensitive vagina;
  • You may feel heat in the vagina;
  • Nausea and / or vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;


Prostaglandin Severe Risks

  • Rash or hives;
  • Breathing difficulty;
  • Tightness in chest;
  • Swelling of mouth, face, lips or tongue;


Here are the RANZCOG Guidelines for a medical induction of labour in Australia and New Zealand.




Stretch & Sweep – CLICK HERE

Balloon Catheter (Foley’s or Cook’s) – CLICK HERE

Artificial Rupture of Membranes (AROM) – CLICK HERE

Synthetic Oxytocin (Syntocinon) – CLICK HERE

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My name is Vicki Hobbs and I am a Childbirth Educator (Back to Basics Birthing), Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, Certified VBAC Educator, Remedial Massage Therapist specialising in Pregnancy & Postpartum Massage, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Placenta Encapsulator, Hypnotherapist, Aromatherapist, Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach. I am a serial workshopper and learner, so that I keep up to date with new research and information so that I can provide you with up to date resources. My focus has always been on the mind, the body and the emotions and how they all need to be in balance for harmony. You can subscribe to my newsletter by adding your details in the box on the right-hand side and when you do I will send you a free relaxation meditation to help you feel calm and relaxed. I am based in the northern suburbs of Perth and can be contacted by email at [email protected] or phone (08) 9303 9111 or click here to go back to my Blog Page for more great articles and information.



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