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DILAPAN-S induction: A closer look at the non-hormonal approach

DILAPAN-S induction: A closer look at the non-hormonal approach

A new shift offers new options:

As we mentioned in previous blog, cervical ripening is a crucial step to prepare for a successful labour. There are several approaches to ensure this happens. Around the world, pharmacological methods still dominate, but in recent years, mechanical methods have been gaining popularity. This shift is due to an increasing demand for pharma-free methods by women themselves, but also among healthcare professionals, as mechanical methods offer comparable efficacy while providing potential safety benefits. Mechanical methods also offer options to women who may not be eligible for pharmacological choices. 

Inspired by nature, elevated by science

Although mechanical methods have recently become more popular, the concept of mechanical dilation is not a new one. One of the representatives of mechanical methods is the synthetic osmotic dilator DILAPAN-S.

Did you know that there is a seaweed that can absorb water and increase its diameter? With DILAPAN-S we took inspiration from nature, and by using the newest scientific and technological developments, we were able to elevate the final product to a reliable and effective solution.

Predictability through the patented technology

DILAPAN-S is made from a synthetic material – hydrogel (it is not latex), which was specially developed for use in gynecology and obstetrics. The patented material itself is specific and unique, tailored to behave consistently and predictably. As an outcome, DILAPAN-S offers a high standard of both efficacy and safety profile.

What to expect with DILAPAN-S?

DILAPAN-S starts off as a very thin dilator, just slightly larger than a matchstick. It is common to insert multiple rods into the cervix simultaneously to ensure successful cervical ripening. Do not worry, it might sound worse than it actually is. Most women say it is slightly uncomfortable for a few minutes of insertion, but comfortable for the next fifteen or so hours they are free to move and live their normal lives.

The dilator has multiple modes of action. After the DILAPAN-S is inserted into the cervical canal, it begins to absorb fluids from the surrounding tissue of the cervix.  This absorption is gradual and over time causes the dilators to slowly expand. The main mode of action for DILAPAN-S is opening the cervix however it also stimulates other important changes.  The process of pulling fluid from the cervix causes the tissue to naturally soften, which as mentioned is an important change that occurs during the cervical ripening process. Another action is, as the dilators expands, the gentle stretching of the cervix stimulates the natural release of prostaglandins. This naturally occurring hormone also causes the cervix to soften and begin the thinning process.  These multiple modes of action impact all the elements of cervical ripening, softening, thinning, and opening. 


Trusted by mothers around the world

DILAPAN-S and its modes of action, provide an option for cervical ripening for many women.   Are you giving birth for the first time? Are you post-term? Do you have a complex pregnancy and need to be induced pre-term?  Are you considering a vaginal birth after a caesarean section? Well, no problem, DILAPAN-S may be an option in any of these cases.   Always ask your clinician for your options and their recommendation. As already mentioned, this is a non-pharmacological method, which makes DILAPAN-S suitable for almost every woman undergoing labour induction. The only contraindication is an apparent infection of the genital tract.

Nowadays, DILAPAN-S is available in over 30 countries, where physicians and mothers alike can benefit from this gentle option for cervical ripening. It’s comforting to know that this method is being used and trusted worldwide, isn’t it?

DILAPAN-S induction step by step

So, how does the whole process of preparing the cervix with DILAPAN-S happen?

  • Before your induction, you will discuss all the details, risks, and benefits of induction with your clinician. They will also conclude whether you need cervical ripening.
  • In case you do, you will be able to choose your method. At this point, you’re in charge. It’s great to be informed beforehand, so you can make a calm, confident decision. Let’s assume that you select DILAPAN-S. You can also ask if your hospital offers outpatient ripening and whether it would be suitable for you.
  • Your clinician will carry out all necessary examinations, and then insert DILAPAN-S dilators (usually 4–5) into your cervix. The process might be slightly uncomfortable and maybe even a bit painful for some, but most mothers say it feels similar to an ordinary vaginal examination. It usually takes just a few minutes, and then you can benefit from the gentleness of the ripening.
  • If you are admitted to the hospital, just sit back and get yourself comfortable. With the dilator inserted, you can keep doing what you want. Take a walk in the halls, enjoy a shower, spend the day with your dream team, crank up your labour playlist, or just rest until your baby’s due! That being said, it is helpful to remain as mobile as you can during cervical ripening and labour.  It can be something as simple as sitting on a stability ball or gently swaying to the beats of your playlist! With DILAPAN-S you will have the choice to enjoy some or all these activities.
  • If your clinician decides that you can go home, great! Enjoy a nice meal, take a walk in the fresh air, binge-watch an entire season of your favourite show, simply enjoy the comfort of your home as much as you can. And most importantly, rest up. In any case, always follow your clinician’s directions.
  • After usually 12–15 hours, your clinician will check in with your cervix. If you underwent outpatient ripening, please come back in the specified time. Removing the dilators is generally straightforward. Some women have a fully-closed or stiffer cervix and one round is not enough. If this is your case, don’t worry. The process can be repeated.
  • Once your clinician concludes that your cervix is ready, the goal should be to stimulate your contractions. Please, always ask your clinician about the next step, they will choose the best course of action for you.

 Remember, knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your body and your baby. We hope this blog has made the concept of cervical ripening a bit clearer and you have learned more about a non-pharma and gentle option for you if you require cervical ripening as a part of your labour experience.    So, keep asking questions, stay informed, and trust in your ability to make the best- informed decisions for you.

Until next time, take care and keep glowing on your incredible journey to motherhood!


Monica Myron

certified registered nurse

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