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VBAC: Labor Induction

Overview

When labor does not start on its own and delivery needs to happen soon, contractions can be started (induced) with medicine. Some doctors avoid inducing labor when a woman is trying vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). But others are okay with the careful use of certain medicines to start labor.

For a woman who has a cesarean scar on her uterus, there is a chance the scar can break open during labor. This is called uterine rupture. Medicines used to induce labor may increase the risk of uterine rupture.

When a VBAC labor has not started on its own, certain medicines, such as oxytocin, may be carefully used to help start labor. Oxytocin may also be used to get a slow labor going again. footnote 1

Inducing labor in a woman trying a VBAC may also increase the chance of needing a C-section. Women who try to have a VBAC may be more likely to have a successful vaginal birth if labor is allowed to start on its own (spontaneous labor).footnote 1

References

Citations

  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2017). Vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 184. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 130(5): e217–e233. DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002398. Accessed May 25, 2018.

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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