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Prolonged Latent Phase

Labor consists of regular, frequent uterine contractions leading to progressive change in the cervix. Usually, labors begin gradually, with very slow change up to 4 cm. This part of labor is called the latent phase. Latent phase labor can last hours or days, but is usually measured in a few hours.

Normal Latent Phase
Normal Latent Phase


Prolonged Latent Phase
Prolonged Latent Phase

Latent phase labor is considered abnormal (prolonged latent phase), if it lasts longer than:

  • 20 hours in a woman having her first baby, or

  • More than 14 hours in women who have already had a baby in the past.

Women with a prolonged latent phase risk exhaustion and an increased risk of uterine infection (chorioamnionitis).

No single treatment of prolonged latent phase will necessarily be successful in nudging the patient into active phase labor, but each of the following have been successful in many patients:


 

 

 

Military Obstetrics & Gynecology

This information is provided by The Brookside Associates Medical Education Division.  The Brookside Associates, Ltd. is a private organization, not affiliated with any governmental agency. The opinions presented here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Brookside Associates or the Department of Defense. The presence of any advertising on these pages does not constitute an endorsement of that product or service by either the US Department of Defense or the Brookside Associates. All material presented here is unclassified.

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