5 Medical Reasons to Have an Induction
While many patients choose inductions for non-medical reasons (family is in town, work conflicts, they are tired of being pregnant), there are several medical reasons that your care provider may suggest an induction for you.
Inductions, especially in first-time mothers, can lead to a longer labor, more complications, and an increased risk for a c-section, so it is important to carefully evaluate your need for an induction.
If you have one or more of the following medical conditions during your pregnancy, an induction may be right for you:
- High blood pressure, also known as preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH). For reasons no one quite understands, some women develop high blood pressure during their pregnancy. If your blood pressure becomes uncontrolled and you develop other symptoms like swelling in your feet and ankles, or protein in your urine (You know that pee sample you leave every time? That’s what they are looking for!), it may be time to induce. Delivering the baby is the only cure for pregnancy-induced hypertension, so usually a care provider will choose an induction when the baby is full-term.
- Gestational diabetes. Like pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes only shows up while a woman is pregnant. There are risk factors, such as obesity and age, but any pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes. The high levels of sugar in the body produced by gestational diabetes can lead to complications for both you and the baby that can only increase as the baby grows.
- Clotting disorders. Some women have certain types of blood clotting disorders (such as Factor V) that place them at increased risk for complications during pregnancy. Often times, women will not even know they have a blood clotting disorder until they are pregnant, or it may disappear altogether when they are not pregnant. (What’s up with the weird diseases popping up in pregnancy? Like there isn’t enough going on with the whole growing-a-human thing?)
- Placental insufficiency. If your placenta shows any signs of deterioration, the benefits of an induction with far outweigh the risks. Your placenta is the #1 single source of oxygen and nourishment to you baby, so if there’s a major problem with the placenta, doing its job, it’s time to get the baby out.
- Low amniotic fluid. If your care provider suspects that your amniotic fluid is running a bit low, he or she will most likely do some additional testing to determine if an induction is necessary. Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds your baby in the uterus and it is essential for the safety of the baby. If the amniotic fluid is low, due to different reasons like your water breaking or a condition with the baby, an induction is usually warranted.
If you have one or more of these conditions, be sure to speak to your healthcare provider early in your pregnancy and gain all the knowledge you can to help you have a healthy, successful induction.
Have you had a condition that required an induction? Did you choose an induction for personal reasons?
Image via Flickr: dchasteen