This guideline covers the circumstances for inducing labour, methods of induction, assessment, monitoring, pain relief and managing complications. It aims to improve advice and care for pregnant women who are thinking about or having induction of labour.

For information on related topics, see our women's and reproductive health summary page.

In this guideline we use the terms 'woman' and 'women', based on the evidence used in its development. The recommendations will also apply to people who do not identify as women but are pregnant or have given birth.


This guideline includes new and updated recommendations on:

It also includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Commissioners and providers
  • Pregnant women, their families and carers

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline was developed by the National Guideline Alliance (NGA) which is hosted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). This guideline was developed with complete independence from RCOG governance.

This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG70 (July 2008) and NICE evidence summary ESUOM11.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.