Balloon catheter induction associated with more favorable neonatal outcomes than vaginal prostaglandins

Clinical Question

What is the comparative safety and effectiveness of balloon catheters versus vaginal prostaglandins for induction of labor?

Bottom line

Balloon catheters and vaginal prostaglandins as single agents are similarly effective for induction of labor with regard to a principal outcome of cesarean delivery rate. Individual participant meta-analysis allowed for analysis of composite outcomes of safety for mothers and infants. The use of balloon catheter was associated with reduced adverse outcomes for infants. For mothers, there was no difference in safety profile between the 2 methods. These results cannot be extrapolated to combination interventions including both vaginal prostaglandin and balloon catheter. 1a

Study design: Meta-analysis (randomized controlled trials)

Funding: Government

Setting: Various (meta-analysis)


Linda Speer, MD
Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine
University of Toledo
Toledo, OH

Discuss this POEM



balloon vs vag prostaglandins for induction

balloon induction less neg neonatal complications


Impact assessment

Very good