Elective labor induction is an increasingly common practice not only in high-income countries, but also in many low-income and middle-income countries. Many questions remain unanswered on the safety and cost-effectiveness of elective labor induction, particularly in resource-constrained settings where there may be a high unmet need for medically indicated inductions, as well as limited or no access to appropriate medications and equipment for induction and monitoring, comprehensive emergency obstetric care, safe and timely cesarean section, and appropriate supervision from health professionals. This article considers the global perspective on the epidemiology, practices, safety, and costs associated with elective labor induction.
*School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
†UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP), Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland;
‡Effective Care Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand/Fort Hare, Eastern Cape Department of Health, Eastern Cape, South Africa
The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose. The views contained herein represent the views of the named authors only.
Correspondence: Ahmet M. Gülmezoglu, MD, PhD, UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP), Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. E-mail: email@example.com