Individual and Combined Administration of Intravaginal Misoprostol and Transcervical Foley Catheter in Cervical Ripening in Nulliparous Women

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran.

2 Instructor, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran.

3 Gynecologist, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran.

4 Instructor, Department of Biological Statistics, School of Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Introduction: The use of misoprostol and transcervical Foley catheter is an effective method in cervical ripening. According to the literature, there is a controversy surrounding the results of the comparison of these two methods and the combined method. This study was conducted to compare the individual and combined administration of misoprostol and transcervical Foley catheter in Ayatollah Mousavi Hospital, Zanjan, Iran, during 2013-14.
Methods: This randomized clinical trial was carried out among 85 nulliparous women with the gestational age of 40 weeks or more and the Bishop score of equal to or less than 4 with less than two contractions every 10 min. The subjects were randomly assigned into three groups of misoprostol (n=30), transcervical catheter (n=30), and combined (n=25). The misoprostol group received the maximum dose of 100 µg of misoprostol in equally divided doses every 4 h. A transcervical Foley catheter 18 F, inflated with 50 cc of normal saline was inserted into the cervices of the participants in the transcervical catheter group. Additionally, the combined group were simultaneously treated with both methods. The time interval between the intervention and the onset of labor, duration of the latent and active phases, and method of delivery (cesarean section or natural vaginal delivery), and the rates of neonatal and maternal complications were compared in these three groups. Data analysis was performed using the Chi-squared test and one-way analysis of variance in the SPSS software, version 22. The P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: No significant difference was observed between the groups in terms of the method of delivery, duration of the active phase, meconium, fetal distress, chorioamnionitis, and uterine tachysystole (P>0.05). However, the duration of latent phase was significantly shorter in the combined group compared to the misoprostol group (P=0.002, P=0.001). The duration of the first phase of labor was significantly shorter in the combined group in comparison to the transcervical Foley catheter group (P=0.009).
Conclusion: Given the results, both methods were effective in cervical ripening; nevertheless, the combined method was more effective than using transcervical Foley catheter in shortening the duration of the first phase of labor.


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