Jill Durocher

What Is the Most Effective, Low-Cost Method for Inducing Labor in Women With Pre-Eclampsia?

August 24th, 2017
Waite, C., Bracken, H.

Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard Chan School, Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Blog; August 24, 2017.

Pregnant women continue to suffer and die unnecessarily from hypertensive disorders, a leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide. Conditions such as pre-eclampsia and eclampsia (PE/E)—which are unique to pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period—are most often characterized by a rapid and unexpected rise in blood pressure. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, they can lead to seizure, stroke, organ failure as well as maternal and perinatal death.

While treatment with magnesium sulfate and drugs that lower blood pressure can reduce death and disability associated with PE/E, the only definitive way to cure this pregnancy complication is with delivery, preferably vaginal, of the baby. Inducing labor is often a critical component of care for women with pre-eclampsia.