When labor does not start on its own and delivery needs to happen soon, contractions can be started (induced) with medicine. Some doctors avoid inducing labor when a woman is trying
vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). But others are okay with the careful use of certain medicines to start labor.
For a woman who has a
cesareanscar on her uterus, there is a chance the scar can break open during labor. This is called uterine rupture. Medicines used to induce labor may increase the risk of uterine rupture.
When a VBAC labor has not started on its own, certain medicines, such as oxytocin, may be carefully used to help start labor. Oxytocin may also be used to get a slow labor going again.
Inducing labor in a woman trying a VBAC may also increase the chance of needing a C-section. Women who try to have a VBAC may be more likely to have a successful vaginal birth if labor is allowed to start on its own (spontaneous labor).
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2017). Vaginal birth after cesarean delivery. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 184. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 130(5): e217–e233. DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002398. Accessed May 25, 2018.
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology