When Labor Induction Doesn't Work
A percentage of inductions will end in failure and some reasons for labor induction have a higher failure rate than others.
Sometimes in an induction, the cervix just won't dilate. This is called a failed induction. Sometimes the cervix will reach a certain number and then won't open any further. This is called an arrest of dilatation. Sometimes the mother's or baby's medical condition will worsen more quickly than anticipated and the induction will be stopped because it is deemed unsafe for the induction to continue. At this point, a Cesarean section will be performed.
Some women question why their doctors don't just skip the induction and go straight to a Cesarean section. The first reason is that there's no reason to assume that an induction is going to fail. Most inductions are successful.
Secondly, Cesarean sections are not without their share of complications. While it is true that planned Cesarean sections have a lower complication rate than emergency Cesarean sections, the fact remains that Cesarean sections are still major abdominal surgeries and should not be taken lightly. As with any surgical procedure, there can be complications with bleeding, infection or anesthesia.
Finally, with each subsequent Cesarean section, there is a higher risk of complications. Therefore, if one is planning to have many children, it might be prudent to try to accomplish as many vaginal deliveries as possible.