Is Being Induced More Painful?
This is the big question for most women. Unfortunately, there's no good evidence from studies to suggest one way or another.
You will hear (particularly on the internet) about how awful inductions are from some women, but others report it being not much different to when they went into labour on their own.
Some places (especially in the US) don't use prostaglandin gels, as it has only recently been licensed, although their use is increasing. This means that contractions are started with an unfavourable cervix, often with the membranes still intact.
So, not only is it unnatural for the contractions to start with the cervix still thick, the contractions are less effective.
When oxytocin is started, contractions do come on more suddenly than they might do if you went into labour spontaneously, so you've not been prepared by the early/prelabour contractions.
The contractions aren't necessarily more painful per se, just that they started more quickly. It is usual to start the drip slowly and increase it gradually as your contractions start.
Aim for three to four contractions in 10 minutes, which is about the same as established natural labour. The drip can be turned down as well as up.
For more information on your labor and delivery check out our pregnancy videos.