What Is Cervidil?

What is cervidil, and how will it be used in my induction?
profile picture of Ashley Roman, MD
ByAshley Roman, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
Dec 2019
pregnant woman looking at sonogram
Photo: Yuko Hirao

Cervidil is a vaginal insert that contains a type of medication called a prostaglandin. It helps jumpstart labor by softening the cervix and preparing it for birth. That’s why it’s typically used in women who need to have labor induced but whose cervix is closed or hasn’t “ripened” yet.

The insert is placed by your health care provider (it’s kind of like putting in a tampon!) and remains in place until your provider removes it. For the first two hours after you’re given Cervidil, you’ll need to stay in bed so baby’s fetal heart rate and your contractions can be closely monitored.

The main risk to Cervidil, as with all medications used for labor induction, is that the medication can cause too many contractions, which can affect baby’s heart rate over time. So, your OB will watch you and baby closely throughout your induction.

Once your cervix is ripe, you may be given another medication, Pitocin (aka oxytocin), which can cause contractions or make them stronger, to progress your labor.

Plus, more from The Bump:

 

Related Video

Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension (PIH)

C. Joseph Cadle, MD
OB-GYN

Unborn Baby Receives Lifesaving Surgery From Inside the Womb

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
02/12/2019

Woah! Baby Boy Born in Amniotic Sac

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
02/26/2015

New Study Finds Non-Invasive Test Can Detect Preeclampsia Early in Pregnancy

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
03/13/2019

Will Baby Be Breech?

The Bump Editors

How This Baby Was Born for the Second Time

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
10/24/2016

Jordin Sparks Says Baby's Cord Was Wrapped Around His Neck During Delivery

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
05/07/2018

Q&A: Preventing IUGR?

Karen Moise, RN
Registered Nurse

This Is What It Looks Like to Separate Conjoined Twins

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/25/2018
Advertisement