Induction and cervical dilation

This is what makes all the labor worth it.

Your delivery starts
with your cervix

A relaxed and open cervix is the
first step in delivering your baby.

During pregnancy, your cervix plays the role of keeping your baby in your womb. For labor to begin, your cervix needs to be open (dilated) and relaxed. If your cervix isn’t ready, all the pushing in the world won’t help your baby come out.

Here's how it works



As labor begins, your cervix will
change from being as thick as
your nose to being as thin as a
piece of paper.



For months your cervix has
been firm, but now needs to
become soft and stretchy.


Open [Dilate]

While your cervix thins and softens,
it may also begin to dilate. Your cervix
will continue to open throughout
labor due to contractions.

Cervix During Pregnancy

Cervix is closed, thick and hard to protect the baby

Cervix during Labor

Cervix thin, softened, and open [dilated] so labor can begin

After your cervix is relaxed and dilated, you’ll be ready for the next step. This is when regular labor contractions will begin to help push your baby out.

My cervix may need a pep talk.

It’s showtime for your cervix

While you may be more than ready to start labor, your cervix might have other plans. Fortunately, CERVIDIL may be able to assist you (and your cervix) to keep things moving. Read on to learn more about the role your cervix plays as your due date draws near.

Checking on your Cervix

With regard to your cervix, you may feel a twinge from time to time, but it is entirely possible that you may not feel anything at all. The only way to know if your cervix is relaxed and dilated is for your doctor or midwife to check.

Only time will tell

Your cervix is on its own schedule when it comes to relaxation and dilation. All women are different, and it can be difficult to predict when cervical relaxation begins. It can begin at any time—a few weeks before your due date, the night before, or not at all. If very little or nothing has happened with your cervix, your doctor may recommend something to help, like CERVIDIL.

CERVIDIL may help

CERVIDIL is a vaginal insert specifically designed to help relax and open your cervix.

CERVIDIL is the only
FDA-approved vaginal insert
with time-released medication that may help your cervix gradually soften, thin, and dilate.

Why does that matter? Because your cervix needs to open in order for you to have a vaginal delivery. Explore more and see how CERVIDIL may assist you during induction.

mom and baby

Cervidil and Induction

See how CERVIDIL may assist
you during labor.
Learn About Cervidil

The ins and outs of induction

The induction experience



CERVIDIL® (dinoprostone, 10 mg) is a vaginal insert approved to start and/or continue the ripening of the cervix in pregnant women who are at or near the time of delivery and in whom there is a medical reason for inducing (bringing on) labor.

For the first two (2) hours following insertion, you should remain lying down. If you sit up or walk after the first two hours, you should be careful to ensure the insert remains in place. While CERVIDIL is inserted, your doctor will carefully monitor your progress and your baby’s well-being and will determine when the insert should be removed.

Important Safety Information about CERVIDIL

CERVIDIL should only be inserted by a trained healthcare professional in a hospital setting appropriate for childbirth.


You should NOT be given CERVIDIL if you have:

  • Experienced an allergic reaction to prostaglandins (certain hormone-like substances)
  • Experienced unexplained vaginal bleeding during your pregnancy
  • Already started receiving drugs to induce labor
  • Given birth six or more times in your lifetime

You should also NOT be given CERVIDIL if your doctor has determined that:

  • Your baby is in distress and needs to be delivered urgently
  • Your baby may be too large to fit through your birth canal (“cephalopelvic disproportion”)
  • Drugs used to induce labor are not appropriate for you or that prolonged contraction of your uterus may be harmful to you or your baby such as if you have had a previous cesarean section or major surgery on your uterus.

What are the most serious risks associated with the use of CERVIDIL?

The induction of labor has been associated with an increased risk of a disorder of abnormal clotting of the blood that results in excessive bleeding immediately after birth (“disseminated intravascular coagulation” or DIC). The risk is higher in women over age 30, those with complications during pregnancy, and those whose pregnancy has lasted longer than 40 weeks.

In rare cases, the use of CERVIDIL has been associated with an increased risk of a life-threatening event to the mother called “amniotic fluid embolism.” The cause of amniotic fluid embolism is not well understood but it is believed that some amniotic fluid or other substances can get into your bloodstream and start a severe reaction that can cause heart and lung collapse.

What should I discuss with my Doctor before labor induction begins or CERVIDIL is given?

As you would throughout your pregnancy, be sure to tell your doctor about all prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. Before CERVIDIL is given, be sure you have told your doctor about all your current and past medical conditions, including:

  • If your water has broken
  • Any unexplained vaginal bleeding during pregnancy
  • All uterine surgeries, especially previous cesarean section
  • A history of contractions lasting more than 2 minutes
  • Glaucoma
  • Asthma, even if you had childhood asthma and have had no asthma attacks as an adult

What are the most common side effects of CERVIDIL?

The most common side effects associated with the administration of CERVIDIL are contractions occurring at a rate faster than normal (tachysystole) and signs that the baby is exhausted or in distress (uterine hyperstimulation). In clinical trials, these effects occurred alone or together in less than 1 in 20 women who were given CERVIDIL.

In clinical trials, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain were noted in less than 1 in 100 women who were given CERVIDIL.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects.

If you experience an adverse event please discuss it with your doctor.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.

Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

People depicted in images are models. Images used for illustrative purposes.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

REFERENCES: 1. CERVIDIL [package insert]. Parsippany, NJ: Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. 2. 2018 FDA Orange Book. Accessed August 17,
2015. 3. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Frequently Asked Questions: Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum Care. Published 2017. Accessed March 5, 2018.