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Measuring postpartum uterine contractions during the third stage of labour: a pilot study, using a novel minimally invasive technique

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DOI: 10.4236/ojog.2011.13023    3,979 Downloads   7,082 Views  


Objectives: To determine the feasibility of measuring intra-uterine pressure prior to placental delivery, using a novel minimally invasive method. Design: A prospective exploratory physiological study. Methods: Thirty-six low risk women undergoing normal vaginal delivery were randomly allocated to four groups. Group A received 600 mcg rectal misoprostol; group B received 600 mcg oral misoprostol; group C received 10 international units oxytocin intramuscularly after delivery of the anterior shoulder; group D received intramuscular oxytocin, 30 minutes after delivery of the baby. A calibrated catheter-tip intrauterine pressure transducer was used to measure the intrauterine pressure. This was introduced into the placenta via the umbilical vein, and recorded on a standard tocograph. Results: It was technically easy to introduce the catheter through the umbilical vessels in all mothers. On assessment of the tocograms, it was possible to interpret 95 out of 108 recordings (88%). Conclusions: This study demonstrated the simplicity of a novel, minimally invasive method of measuring the duration and frequency of postpartum uterine contractions prior to delivery of the placenta.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Akin, B. , Justus, H. and Cheryl, N. (2011) Measuring postpartum uterine contractions during the third stage of labour: a pilot study, using a novel minimally invasive technique. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1, 128-130. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2011.13023.


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[2] Choo, W.L., Chua, S., Chong, Y.S., Vanaja, K., Oei, P.L., Ho, L.M., Roy, A.C. and Arulkumaran, S. (1998) Correlation of change in uterine activity to blood loss in the third stage of labour. Gynecology and Obstetrics Investigation, 46, 178-180. doi:10.1159/000010028

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