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REVIEW  LABOR AND DELIVERY 

Minerva Obstetrics and Gynecology 2021 February;73(1):67-73

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-606X.20.04667-5

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Ultrasound before operative vaginal delivery: why and how

Birgitte H. KAHRS 1, 2

1 National Center for Fetal Medicine, Trondheim University Hospital (St Olavs Hospital), Trondheim, Norway; 2 Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway



Safe management of the second stage of labor is important. Wait for spontaneous delivery, operative vaginal deliveries and second stage cesarean sections are all options when prolonged second stage occurs. The important question is which option to choose. Fetal head station and fetal head position are used to decide mode of delivery; this has traditionally been decided by performing a digital vaginal examination. Studies have shown that theses clinical examinations of both fetal head station and position are unreliable and that ultrasound might be better option. The International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG) published in 2018 guidelines on intrapartum ultrasound and recommends that ultrasound is performed for ascertainment of fetal head position and station before considering or performing an instrumental vaginal delivery for slow progress or arrested labor in the second stage. The determination of the fetal head position, fetal head station and the movement of the fetal head can easily be determined with the help of ultrasound and can help the clinicians in making the right decision on how to proceed when prolonged second stage of labor is diagnosed.


KEY WORDS: Ultrasonography; Labor stage, second; Review

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