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To Induce, or Not to Induce: That is the Question

By John J. Cote, MD June 21, 2009 Posted in: Wellness

Inducing birth can be necessary, but it also might make sense for other reasons

I was just recalling a funny story while in residency. One early Tuesday morning a family came into labor & delivery and checked in. The husband looked terrified and was carrying his wife’s bag over his shoulder. He set the bag down at the check in counter and nervously presented his insurance card to the secretary and said in a cracking voice: “We are here for my wife’s seduction.” I laughed to myself and thought, “I hope he means induction or we are in a lot of trouble”

This brings up a point that a lot of patients ask me about: inductions. Are inductions safe? Should I have an induction? What options do I have?

There are two types of inductions: elective and medically indicated. Medical indications include, maternal and fetal reasons. There are a multitude of medical indications. Some women have to deliver because their baby could be hurt if it wasn’t delivered. Other women have to deliver because they themselves are at risk.

If done properly, elective inductions are legitimate options for women

The medical community or laypersons rarely question medically indicated inductions. Elective inductions on the other hand are a different story.
In my humble opinion elective inductions are legitimate options for women, if done properly. Properly you may ask, what is a proper elective induction? One in which a women is informed about all of the risks and or benefits associated with the induction.

In this age of medicine where people can electively choose to enlarge or change their body parts, electively choosing to deliver should be a legitimate option for all women if they are educated about all of their options. As long as it is safe, a woman should be allowed to deliver or not deliver, that is the answer.

John J. Cote, MD
John J. Cote, MD

John J. Cote, MD, FACOG is an OB-GYN physician at CHI Health.

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