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Oxytocin Side Effects To Be Known

Oxytocin Side Effects To Be Known

What is oxytocin? And why do we hear about it in relation to childbirth? Oxytocin is a hormone produced by our body, in particular the pituitary gland and put into circulation through the blood. Oxytocin is responsible for contractile activity and its increase reflects the rhythmicity and intensity of contractions, until completion of delivery.


Induced birth

Oxytocin as a drug, administered in hospital, is instead of synthetic origin. It is indicated for the medical induction of labor in the event of pregnancy beyond the term, premature rupture of the membranes and pre-eclampsia.



It is also indicated in case of primary and secondary uterine inertia and in case of postpartum hemorrhage (for this indication it is preferable to use methylergometrine because it is characterized by a longer duration of action).


Oxytocin side effects
Oxytocin side effects

Induction delivery

The induction of labor is a medical intervention put in place to interrupt the evolution of pregnancy, when this leads to greater maternal-fetal benefits and lower risks than waiting for the spontaneous onset of labor.



The stimulation of childbirth by pharmacological method also involves the use of prostaglandins and misoprostol.



The type of drug to use is designed in light of the calculation of the score of Bishop: score assigned based on 4 parameters related to the cervix (consistency, position, shortening, dilation) and one related to the part presented (-3 to +3) .



The use of prostaglandins is preferred in the case of Bishop <4 (in the form of gel or tape placed in the vagina), while the use of oxytocin in the case of Bishop> 4.




Meaning of induced: we talk about induced labor or driven birth when we resort to some pharmacological techniques to start labor delivery, that is to stimulate changes in the uterine neck and contractions necessary to start the labor.



About 10% of pregnancies do not reach childbirth within the 41 weeks of pregnancy. Studies have shown that, at 41 weeks plus 3-5 days, the risk of the fetus bearing badly the labor is very high because the now aged placenta may no longer be able to oxygenate and nourish it properly. This is why it is preferable to induce childbirth rather than waiting for it to occur naturally beyond the term.



Induction at birth

Risks of induced labor. Beware of overdosage of synthetic oxytocin!

A larger dose of oxytocin leads the uterus to contract more and more intensely, the pain of the contractions increases exponentially, without giving the body time to get used to. This is why women claim that induced labor is more painful.



A prolonged and high dose administration of the synthetic hormone can stress the muscle of the uterus so much that it causes it to stop totally shrinking, becoming atonic. This condition inevitably leads to a caesarean section.


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