Women who have their labor induced or are given medication to stimulate contractions are at greater risk of developing chorioamnionitis, an infection of the placental tissues and amniotic fluid, new Saint Louis University research finds.
Elisabeth Erekson, M.D., a resident in obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, presented her research at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in May.
Her advice to women who are tired of being pregnant and thinking of speeding things along by asking their doctors to induce labor? Let nature take its course.
“Induction is not a benign process and is associated with risk factors, one of them being an infection inside the uterus. Women who are tired of being pregnant and looking at induction for elective reasons need to closely consider that an elective induction may have more risk than spontaneous labor,” she said.
“So, enjoy the pregnancy. You won’t be getting lots of rest after delivery.”
Chorioamnionitis can lead to severe infections in the mother with risks of sepsis, abnormal bleeding and future infertility, as well as infections in the newborn baby.
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first M.D. degree west of the Mississippi River. Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a pioneer in geriatric medicine, organ transplantation, chronic disease prevention, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and vaccine research, among others. The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level.
Source: Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center
Revision date: June 21, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD