1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nippon Medical School Tama-Nagayama Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan
Background: Although cervical dilatation curves are crucial for appropriate management of labor progression, abnormal labor progression and obstetric interventions were included in previous and widely-used cervical dilatation curves. We aimed to describe the cervical dilatation curves of normal labor progression in pregnant Japanese females without abnormal labor progression and obstetric interventions.
Methods: We completed retrospective obstetric record reviews on 3172 pregnant Japanese females (parity = 0, n = 1047; parity = 1, n = 1083; parity ≥ 2, n = 1042), aged 20 to 39 years old at delivery, with pregravid body mass indices of less than 30. All patients underwent spontaneous deliveries with term, singleton, cephalic and live newborns of appropriate-for-gestational age birthweight, without adverse neonatal outcomes. We characterized labor progression patterns by examining the relationship between elapsed times from the full dilatation and cervical dilatation stages, and labor durations by examining the distribution of time intervals from one cervical dilatation stage, to the next, and ultimately to the full dilatation.
Results: Fastest cervical changes occurred at 6 cm (primiparas) and 5 cm (multiparas) of dilatation. The 95%tile of labor progression took over 3 hours to progress from 6 cm to 7 cm (primiparas), and over 2 hours to progress from 5 cm to 6 cm (multiparas). The 5%tile of traverse time to the full dilatation, during the active phase, was less than 1 hour (primiparas) and 0.5 hours (multiparas). At the end of the active phase, no deceleration phase was observed.
Conclusions: Active labor may not start until 5 cm of dilatation. At the beginning of the active phase, cervical dilatation was slower than previously described. These results may reduce opportunities for obstetric interventions during labor progression.
Keywords: cervical dilatation, first stage of labor, labor curve, labor management, spontaneous delivery