What is dinoprostone?

It’s time to get down and dirty with the details of dinoprostone! In this article, we’ll explore everything there is to know about this fascinating substance.


Dinoprostone, also known as prostaglandin E2, is a synthetic form of a naturally occurring hormone found in humans. It has been used for a variety of purposes over the years due to its ability to induce cervical ripening and uterine contractions.

A Brief History

The use of dinoprostone can be traced back to the late 1960s when scientists discovered its potent effects on uterine smooth muscle. Since then, it has been used extensively in both obstetrics and gynecology for various indications such as induction of labor, termination of pregnancy or missed abortions (don’t worry we will explain what that means shortly!)and management of postpartum hemorrhage.

How Does Dinoprostone Work?

Dinoprostone works by binding to specific receptors on the smooth muscles lining the uterus. This triggers a cascade of events leading ultimately leads towards weakening/dilating cervix (cervical ripening) and inducing contractions (uterotonic effect). As a result, it helps bring about childbirth or evacuate an unused pregnant tissue from within reproductive system i.e missed abortion.

Indications For Use

Labor Induction

Labor induction refers to artificially starting labor by giving medications like dinoprostone when spontaneous onset does not occur or delayed.(Is there anyone who likes being induced?)Here are some reasons why doctors might choose this option:

  • Prolonged gestation: When pregnancy lasts more than 42 weeks.
  • Maternal conditions: Sometimes certain medical conditions put mother’s health at risk if she continues carrying baby full term e.g preeclampsia , poorly controlled diabetes etc
  • Fetal Complications/Wellbeing: In cases when baby is suspected to be not doing well within womb or showing any signs of distress.

Missed Abortion / Termination Of Pregnancy

Missed abortion refers to incomplete placental or fetal tissue happening due to a variety of factors while termination involves active efforts from physician in stopping the unwanted pregnancy. Dinoprostone can help with both these situations, softening cervix and inducing contractions required for passing out all leftover material instead of waiting for it naturally.

Postpartum Hemorrhage

Postpartum hemorrhage refers to excessive bleeding after childbirth , often caused by the uterus not contracting down as it should after delivery. By stimulating contractions through use of dinoprostone, this medication can help prevent severe blood loss and related complications.

Forms Of Dinoprostone

Dinoprostone comes in various forms, including vaginal suppositories/pessaries (most commonly used), gel(opthalmic) preparations (yes, you read that right – Eye drops)and intrauterine inserts/devices(IUI’s). The type chosen will depend on individual circumstances such as reason for administration & gestational age etc

Risks And Potential Side Effects

Like any other drug there are some risks associated with using dinoprostone:

  • Excessive uterine stimulation leading towards Fetal Distress(Monitoring Required).
  • Hyperstimulation- Uterus contraction happens too close together leading towards risk of rupture(perforation)/tearing > Leading ultimately into Emergency cesarean section.
  • Allergies : Women who have allergies with Prostaglandins and ingredients used in formulation should avoid its usage.(Seems quite logical)

As far as side effects go, here are some common ones experienced while taking dinoprostone:

  • Nausea/Jitteriness/Tremors resulting due to generalised effect on receptors all over body
  • Flushing/skin redness during procedure
  • Pyrexia- High fever (in some cases)

Is Dinoprostone Right For You?

At the end of the day, whether or not dinoprostone is right for you depends on a variety of factors. ( Of course!)Your healthcare provider will assess your individual situation and help determine if it’s an appropriate option.

However, We hope with above article we were able to educate & clarify all doubts around dinoprostone use especially in Obstetrics/Gynecology field so that when/if it comes up – you’ll know what’s going down(or coming out).

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