Labor Induction at 39 Weeks' Gestation Does Not Increase Cesarean Rates in Older Mothers — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 3, 2016

Labor Induction at 39 Weeks' Gestation Does Not Increase Cesarean Rates in Older Mothers

By Robert L. Barbieri, MD

Dr. Barbieri is an associate editor of NEJM Journal Watch Women's Health, from which this story was adapted. Full coverage is available to subscribers at the link below.

Labor induction at 39 weeks' gestation in women of advanced maternal age — often performed in order to lower risk for stillbirth — is not associated with increased risk for cesarean delivery, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study.

U.K. researchers randomized over 600 women aged 35 and older and at 39 weeks' gestation to induction of labor or expectant management. About one-third of each group underwent cesarean delivery, and these rates rose with advancing maternal age in both groups. In the induction group, cesarean rates ranged from 25% among women aged 35–37 to 42% among those 40 and older.

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