Comparison of Vaginal Misoprostol with Foley Catheter for Cervical Ripening and Induction of Labor

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Women’s Health Research Center, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Medicosocial, Biostatics Unit, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad, Iran.

3 General Practitioner, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Cardio-Vascular Research Center, Mashhad, Iran.


At times, despite an unripe cervix, induction of labor may be needed. In these cases, a safe and suitable method should be considered for cervical ripening and pregnancy termination. The aim of this study is the comparison of vaginal misoprostol with Foley catheter for cervical ripening and induction of labor. This randomized clinical trial was performed on 108 pregnant women who had referred to the teaching hospitals of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences during a time period of September 2007 to March 2008. These women were randomly divided into two groups: Misoprostol (including 49 patients) and Foley catheter (including 59 patients). For the first group, 25 microgram vaginal misoprostol was administered every 4 h up to maximum 6 doses. For the second group, Foley catheter 18 F, inflated with 50 cc of sterile water, was placed through the internal os of the cervix. Data was analyzed using SPSS software. p< 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Two groups were similar in the view of demographic characteristics, cesarean indications, maternal and fetal outcomes and neonatal outcomes. Vaginal delivery was significantly higher in misoprostol group (89.9 vs. 62.7, p < 0.01). The mean of delivery time was significantly shorter in misoprostol group (11.08 ± 5.6 vs. 13.6 ± 16.0 h, p < 0.05). In the cases of pregnancy termination and unripe cervix, two methods of misoprostol and Foley catheter were considered suitable, but it seemed that misoprostol decreases the delivery time and was needed for the cesarean section.