Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 179, Issue 3, pp 381–383 | Cite as

How effective is amniotomy as a means of induction of labour?

  • S. M. Cooley
  • M. P. Geary
  • M. P. O’Connell
  • K. McQuillan
  • P. McParland
  • D. Keane
Original Article



Amniotomy or artificial rupture of membranes is routinely used for induction of labour.


To assess the efficacy of amniotomy alone for induction.


A retrospective descriptive study of 3,586 cases of amniotomy for induction of labour between July 1996 and December 1999.


In total, 26,670 women delivered in the National Maternity Hospital during the study period. Of these 4,928 women required induction of labour and 72.8% of these (n = 3,586) underwent amniotomy only for induction of labour. Spontaneous labour occurred in 90.1% of the women who underwent amniotomy within 24 h. Oxytocin as an induction agent was employed in 9.8% of cases. Overall, 80.5% of the women had a spontaneous delivery, 7.3% had a ventouse delivery, 4.3% had a forceps delivery, and 7.9% underwent a caesarean section. In total, 90.5% of multips and 63.4% of primips had a spontaneous vaginal delivery.


Amniotomy is a simple, safe and effective method of induction of labour.


Amniotomy Induction Labour Oxytocin Primip Multip Vaginal delivery 


  1. 1.
    Bricker L, Luckas M (2000) Amniotomy alone for induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 4Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Seyb ST, Berka RJ, Socol ML et al (1999) Risk of cesarean delivery with elective induction of labor at term in nulliparous women. Obstet Gynecol 94:600CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vrouenraets FP, Roumen FJ, Dehing CJ et al (2005) Bishop score and risk of cesarean delivery after induction of labor in nulliparous women. Obstet Gynecol 105:690Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Boulvain M, Kelly A, Lohse C et al (2001) Mechanical methods for induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 4Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Howarth GR, Botha DJ (2001) Amniotomy plus intravenous oxytocin for induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 3Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stephenson PA, Bakoula C, Hemminki E et al (2008) Patterns of use of obstetrical interventions in 12 countries. Paediatric Perinatal Epidemiol 7(1):45–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    O’Driscoll K, Jackson RJ, Gallagher JT (1969) Prevention of prolonged labour. Br Med J 2(5655):477–480CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Cooley
    • 1
  • M. P. Geary
    • 1
  • M. P. O’Connell
    • 2
  • K. McQuillan
    • 3
  • P. McParland
    • 3
  • D. Keane
    • 3
  1. 1.Rotunda HospitalDublin 1Ireland
  2. 2.Coombe Women’s HospitalDublin 8Ireland
  3. 3.National Maternity HospitalDublin 2Ireland

Personalised recommendations