Pregnancy Home > Cervidil

If you are near the time of delivery and have a medical reason to be induced, your healthcare provider may prescribe Cervidil. This medication comes as a vaginal insert that is placed high in the vagina, near the cervix. It helps relax and soften the cervix in preparation for childbirth. Side effects may include strong uterine contractions and signs that the baby may be fatigued.

What Is Cervidil?

Cervidil® (dinoprostone vaginal insert) is a prescription medication approved to relax and soften the cervix (known as cervical ripening) in preparation for labor and delivery. It is used in women who are near the time of delivery and have a medical reason that labor must be induced.
The active ingredient in Cervidil is dinoprostone. Dinoprostone is also available in gel form (Prepidil®).
(Click Cervidil Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Cervidil is made by Controlled Therapeutics for Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does Cervidil Work?

Cervidil is a manufactured (synthetic) version of a hormone in the body known as prostaglandin E2. Prostaglandin E2 is naturally secreted by the fetus and placenta during pregnancy, and plays an important role in the steps leading to labor. Importantly, the hormone is involved in cervical ripening, which is when the cervix softens and relaxes to allow passage of the baby during birth.
The Cervidil vaginal insert slowly releases medication over a 12-hour period. The effects of the medication are expected to reverse quickly after the insert is removed.

Clinical Effects

In one clinical study, 65 percent of women were more likely to go into labor or deliver a baby vaginally within 12 hours of receiving Cervidil, compared with 28 percent of women who received a placebo (a similar product that did not contain any active ingredients). Women who received Cervidil also went into labor about 19.5 hours sooner than women who received a placebo.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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