Does routine amniotomy have a role in normal labor?
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Routine amniotomy doesn't significantly reduce the duration of first-stage labor in either primiparous or multiparous women (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, systematic review of several randomized, controlled trials [RCTs]); it slightly shortens second-stage labor in primiparous women only (SOR: A, systematic review of several RCTs). A trend toward increased rates of cesarean section has been noted in low-risk women who undergo routine amniotomy (SOR: A, systematic review of several RCTs). The procedure doesn't appear to affect neonatal outcomes (SOR: B, uncommon endpoint in several large RCTs).
Journal of Family Practice, 58(3) 2009: 161a-161b.