What is Cervidil and what is it used for?

Cervidil is a vaginal insert used for the starting or continuing of cervical ripening (thinning and softening).  It is a small rectangular pouch with a retrieval cord similar to the cord on a tampon.  The medication in Cervidil is called dinoprostone.  This medication is a prostaglandin, which is one of the chemicals that plays a part in ripening the cervix.

Cervidil is most often given to women who are at or near term for labor, or when there is a need to induce labor.  It is given when there is a maternal or fetal complication which would make induction of labor necessary.  If it is agreed that your baby is safer to be born than to stay in the uterus, Cervidil may be used.  When the cervix is not ready to respond to contractions, Cervidil is the fist step in inducing labor.

The use of Cervidil is fairly simple.  Cervidil can be inserted digitally by a physician or trained obstetrical personnel in a hospital setting.  Unlike pills or creams, Cervidil allows the mother to use the medication for the prescribed amount of time an then remove it.

There are some risks involved in Cervidil.  For the mother, Cervidil increases the risk of infection.  The risk is even greater if your water is broken, and your physician may not use it in such a case.  Cervidil may increase the risk of uterine rupture, which leads to fetal death about 1 in 4 cases.  It may cause uterine hyperstimulation, which can cause abnormal fetal heart rate.  The use of Cervidil requires the constant monitoring of your baby’s heart rate, which greatly decreases your mobility during labor.



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