Induction of labour in low-risk pregnancies before 40 weeks of gestation: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials Journal Articles uri icon

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  • This systematic review of 16 randomized trials, which included 8796 pregnancies, did not demonstrate a reduction in caesarean births or perinatal morbidity from induction of labour (IoL) at 39-40 weeks for non-medical indications. However, IoL at 39-40 weeks may be associated with a lower incidence of maternal hypertensive disorders, a shorter duration of the first stage of labour, fewer instances of meconium-stained amniotic fluid, lower mean birth weights, longer duration of (maternal) hospitalization, and higher epidural usage. Until regional data on clinical benefits, resource implications and long-term impact are available, a prudent approach would be to encourage shared decision-making, wherein birthing persons with low-risk pregnancies are given the opportunity to assess the risks and benefits of IoL at 39-40 weeks over expectant management and allowed to consider their decision in the light of their values and preferences and local resource availability.


  • Dong, Susan
  • Bapoo, Shakira
  • Shukla, Minakshi
  • Abbasi, Nimrah
  • Horn, Daphne
  • D'Souza, Rohan

publication date

  • March 2022