Cytotec: What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You

Cytotec, also known as Misoprostol, evokes two very strong reactions from everyone in the birth industry who knows about it. For a large amount of women who have had horrific experiences from it, it is an abomination. For many doctors in developing countries it is considered a miracle drug. These two opinions clash drastically, and whether or not you believe it can make birth progress faster, what cannot be disputed is that it is intended use is NOT for use in the birth room at all.

During my doula training I studied various forms of intervention and the consequences that could result both in intervening and in not intervening in the body’s natural process. I learned about a healthy woman named Tatia who lost her own –and her daughter’s- life in an emergency cesarean due to complications caused by Cytotec.

Cytotec is a drug created for the treatment of stomach ulcers, but is used off-label for abortions, in birth to induce labor, ripen the cervix, and prevent postpartum hemorrhaging. Some hospitals have banned the drug completely in use in pregnant women, but many still use it regularly. We are strong believers in a women’s right to Informed Consent during a birth, and the majority of women who are given Cytotec are not told that it is being used off-label. They are told that it is “safe” and “we use it all the time,” instead of being informed of its risks and warnings.

No part of birth is risk free, but our job is to reduce unnecessary risks through our knowledge of various options. This article is a collection of facts about Cytotec gathered from reputable sources that every woman, doula, and birth worker should know before making an informed decision about whether they condone its use.

 Read the rest on Doula Spot 

Lucent San Fran (1)
Children at Angkor Wat, Cambodia