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What Is Dinoprostone Vaginal Insert Used For?

A healthcare provider may recommend using a dinoprostone vaginal insert if a woman is close to delivery and has a medical purpose for labor induction. This prescription medicine contains a synthetic version of a hormone found naturally in the body, which is needed to help relax and soften ("ripen") the cervix so the baby can pass through.

An Overview of Uses for Dinoprostone Vaginal Inserts

The dinoprostone vaginal insert (Cervidil®) is a prescription medication used to start or continue cervical ripening in pregnant women who are close to delivery. It is used when there is a medical reason to induce labor. The medicine comes as a thin, flat vaginal insert. It is placed near the cervix, and removed when labor begins or when it is no longer needed.
The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus, located at the top of the vagina. Throughout pregnancy, the cervix remains closed and firm. This is important to help the developing fetus remain in the uterus. As the body prepares for labor and delivery, however, the cervix will thin and soften. This process, known as cervical ripening, is necessary for the cervix to dilate and allow the fetus to pass through.
Dinoprostone vaginal inserts are used to bring about cervical ripening, often so labor can be induced. Labor induction is when contractions are started artificially, using medications or another medical procedure. In general, labor is induced when there are risks of continuing a pregnancy until labor can occur naturally. For example, labor may be induced when:
  • It is not progressing as expected
  • Your health is at risk
  • Your baby's health is at risk.
The most common reasons for induction include being overdue (beyond 41 weeks pregnant) and having pregnancy-induced hypertension (see Hypertension in Pregnancy).
Prostaglandins are often used to bring about cervical ripening. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that occur naturally in the body. Dinoprostone vaginal inserts contain the prostaglandin dinoprostone, which is also available as a gel (Prepidil®). Misoprostol (Cytotec®) is an example of another prostaglandin medication.
Pregnancy and Pain

Dinoprostone Vaginal Insert Information

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