Background of the Study: The present study was a prospective observational study done to evaluate elective induction of labour (e-IOL)* in overdate pregnancies (40 1/7 to 40 6/7 weeks) versus expectant management (EM)* up to 41 weeks. The primary objective was to compare rates of Caesarean section among the two groups. Study design: Women at 40 weeks of gestation satisfying the inclusion and exclusion criteria were recruited for the study. Total sample size was 112. The e-IOL group 1, included 56 participants who were induced at 40 1/7 to 40 6/7 weeks of gestation and EM group 2 had 56 participants, who were given expectant management till 41 weeks of gestation. Group 2 was further divided as group 2a who went into spontaneous labour while on expectant management and group 2b as those who were induced while on expectant management for maternal / fetal reasons or ? 41 0/7 weeks of gestation.
Result: Expectant management till 41 weeks of gestation beyond the due date increased the likelihood of spontaneous labour without adversely affecting the perinatal outcome. 73.2% of participants went into spontaneous labour in the EM group and 78% of them delivered vaginally. Caesarean section rates were lesser with EM (37.5%) as compared to e-IOL (58.9%) in our study (p=0.002).
Conclusion: Caesarean section rates were lesser among women with post date pregnancies when expectant management was followed as compared to elective induction of labour. No difference in perinatal outcomes was noted amongst the two groups. Participants who went into spontaneous labour when on expectant management were more likely to deliver vaginally.
Induction of labour, Overdate pregnancy.