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What is Cervidil?

Cervidil is a medication delivered through a vaginal insert that assists with labor by softening the cervix and preparing it for birth. It is often used at the beginning of labor induction. Cervidil is a thin, flat vaginal wafer with a long tape attached to allow for easy removal when labor contractions occur regularly or if difficulties arise. that releases dinoprostone, a synthetic version of prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is a hormone found naturally in the body that is responsible for controlling the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and inducing labor in the female reproductive system. Dinoprostone, the synthetic version in cervadril, helps signal the cervix to relax and dilate. This process, called cervical ripening, is essential to beginning labor and contractions.

How is Cervidil used?

Cervidil is used for induction in pregnant individuals that are at or near term. If induction is necessary and the baby’s due date is near, Cervidil can help stimulate labor that is like normal labor because it uses an ingredient similar to a hormone the body naturally produces to begin cervical ripening.

Can Cervidil alone start labor?

Generally, Cervidil is given to prep the cervix by softening it, not to induce labor directly. For labor to begin, your cervix needs to be open (dilated) and relaxed, and Cervidil can help aid this process. You may experience cramping or mild contractions as it works.

What to expect with Cervidil?

This drug is inserted high in the back of the vagina next to the cervix by a medical professional in a hospital or clinic setting. This may be uncomfortable. You will be lying down while the medication is placed, and you will usually need to continue lying down for up to 2 hours after insertion under the observation or instruction of a medical professional. You will be monitored for changes in your cervix, for signs of active labor (such as water breaking or strong sustained contractions), and for your baby's vitals and condition. Two to three inches of the string will remain outside of the vagina so that the insert may be pulled out by a medical professional if there are side effects, after 12 hours, or when it is no longer needed. The drug's effects wear off quickly after the insert is removed.

Does Cervidil hurt?

The Cervidil insertion process is much like your yearly pap smear and doesn’t typically hurt most patients. However, once Cervidil is in place and begins releasing dinoprostone into the body, you may experience cramps, stinging sensations, and other discomfort or pain.

How long after Cervidil do you deliver?

It usually takes several hours for any changes to happen. Cervidil does report significant efficacy, claiming that a single dose of Cervidil successfully ripened the cervix in the majority of patients. Your cervix is on its own schedule when it comes to relaxation and dilation. While it can be difficult to predict exactly how long it takes to deliver after Cervidil, studies on Cervidil’s website report a shorter median time to delivery and reduced median time to onset of labor vs. a placebo.

Cervidil vs Cytotec

Cervidil and Cytotec both use synthetic forms of proglastandin to induce cervical ripening, but there are some key differences between the two. Cervidil is FDA approved for this use specifically, while Cytotec is actually a stomach ulcer medication that also functions in a way that softens the cervix.

Risks Associated with Cervidil

Cervidil can be unsafe for anyone who has had a past C-section or any major surgery of the uterus because there is a risk of serious delivery complications, including the tearing of the uterus wall (uterine rupture) or the death of your baby. Cervidil can also cause frequent or prolonged uterine contractions, which can sometimes cause a drop in your baby’s heart rate. Labor induction can also raise the risk of blood clots or blood clotting problems after delivery. These risks are higher if you are over 30 years old, if you’ve had complications during pregnancy, or if you are more than 40 weeks pregnant at the time of induction/delivery. A rare but serious risk is that Cervidil can potentially cause tissues in the amniotic fluid in your uterus to clump together and enter into your bloodstream. This can lead to the development of a rare but life-threatening condition called amniotic fluid embolism syndrome.

Side Effects of Cervidil

Cervidil is frequently reported to cause backaches, discomfort similar to menstrual cramping, and a sensation compared to “zaps” or “twinges.” Side effects from dinoprostone are not common, but they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

● upset stomach

● vomiting

● diarrhea

● dizziness

● flushing of the skin

● headache

● fever If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

● unpleasant vaginal discharge

● continued fever

● chills and shivering

● increase in vaginal bleeding several days after treatment

● chest pain or tightness

● skin rash

● hives

● difficulty breathing

● unusual swelling of the face