Induction with Cervidil: Tips from a doula and childbirth educator
What is Cervidil:
Cervidil is a medication used in the induction of labor. In the most basic of descriptions it looks like a tampon with gel on the end of it. Its generic name is dinoprostone.
When is it used:
Care providers will often use Cervidil as the first step in an induction. If a woman’s cervix is not dilated or dilated only a little, cervidil can be used.
How does it work:
Cervidil is inserted vaginally. Some women report a discomfort with this process. It stays in and is usually removed 12 hours later or if regular labor contractions begin. Sometimes it will fall out. Usually moms stay in bed or in a chair during the 12 hours, but can get up and go to the bathroom. Most care providers monitor women while they have cervidil (this means contraction and fetal monitoring). In some areas of the world, providers have sent women home with cervidil inserted and have them return for removal (this doesn’t seem to be the norm).
Tips and other information
- Most care providers insert the cervidil at night so that mom can sleep for the 12 hours that it is in. It is important to eat a good dinner before you arrive at the hospital for the insertion.
- Sometimes cervidil causes regular labor contractions. (yahoo! This is the goal of an induction. If you have a doula, give her an update!)
- Sometimes cervidil does nothing. This means the cervix is the same before and after the cervidil. (very annoying to most women)
- Sometimes cervidil dilates the cervix a bit. (yahoo! This means mom is closer to the goal of 10cm)
- Usually cervidil only softens the cervix. This means that a woman’s cervix is more effaced/thinned after cervidil. (in my experience this happens most of the time)
- Occasionally cervidil causes extreme contractions (uterine hyperstimulation) that are right on top of each other. In this case you should alert your nurse and care provider. They usually can remove the cervidil if this happens.(this does happen! I've witnessed it)
- Alice Turner