Discover a new, gentle and predictable approach to labour induction

Safe and gentle

One time application for more than 90% of mums

Excellent feedback on comfort

Cost effective for the NHS

What is the Induction of Labour?


In most pregnancies, labour will start naturally between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. Your cervix (the entrance to your womb) softens and starts to open, you’ll get contractions, or your water may break.

In some situations, your labour may need to be started artificially. This is called induced labour, or labour induction. It may involve mechanically softening and opening your cervix, breaking your waters, or using medicine to start off your contractions.

Don’t worry it is not uncommon, around 30% of all pregnancies need to be induced for different reasons.

Some typical reasons why labour is induced include if you are overdue, if your waters have broken but labour hasn’t begun, or if you or your baby have a health problem. Your clinician will explain if and why you might need to be induced. 



What is Dilapan-S®?


Dilapan-S® is a small dilator which helps soften and open (‘dilate’) your cervix to prepare you for your labour induciton in a gentle and natural way. The dilators are inserted into your cervix which grow in size over 12 hours.

This mechanical dilation involves no drugs or artificial hormones allowing safer, predictable and efficient cervical dilation. Because Dilapan-S® does not contain any pharmacological substances, the risk of hyperstimulation and fetal distress during the cervical ripening phase is low.

Dilapan-S® is also used for outpatients inductions so you may be able to go home whilst Dilapan-S® is in place.

Dilapan-S® dilators are supplied sterile. The device is manufactured in an ISO 13485 Certified facility, is FDA approved and CE Certified under the Medical Device Directive (93/42/EEC). Dilapan-S® is also FDA approved.


Ask your doctor or midwife at your next appointment to find out if your hospital offers Dilapan-S®.


How does Dilapan-S® work?

The Dilapan-S® dilators are made of a firm gel which attracts water when they are in your cervix, so they gradually increase in size. The expanding dilators also help your body release natural hormones to further prepare you for labour.

The thin 4 mm rod can expand up to 15 mm over 12-24 hours. This allows it to gently dilate and soften the cervix. Usually a set of 3–5 dilators are used to ripen your cervix sufficiently and make you ready for your labour.

    • Non-pharmaceutical, gentle and predictable
    • Safe for all inductions, including women that have had a previous caesarean section
    • Reduced risk of hyperstimulation (excessive womb contractions)
    • Suitable option for outpatient inductions
    • Dilators are latex-free and contain no animal product
    • Option for outpatient induction if your hospital allows
    • Can be used whether it is your 1st, 2nd or 3rd induction
    Dilapan dilators 12


    Why can’t I just be started on an oxytocin infusion to get my contractions going?

    Your Doctor can’t start you on an oxytocin infusion (the drug, which promotes your contractions) until your water has broken. Hopefully, following the insertion of Dilapan-S® your water will break either on its own or your physician or midwife will break it. The membranes are difficult to break artificially until your cervix is 2–3 cm dilated. Dilapan-S® is used to increase the dilation and prepare your cervix for a successful induction.

    Can I have Dilapan–S if I am a higher risk pregnancy or if I have had a previous caesarean section?

    Yes. Having no pharmacological content, Dilapan-S® has minimal limitations related to medical conditions. It can be used in pre-term, term, and post-term pregnancies, as well as in mothers with systemic disease such as hypertension, diabetes, etc. It is also suitable for mothers with previous Caesarean section. Cervical ripening is usually gentle and gradual and will not cause your womb to over-contract or cause your baby to get distressed. Dilapan-S® should not be used only if you currently have any clinically apparent genital tract infection.

    How will Dilapan–S be inserted? Is it painful?

    Dilapan-S® dilators are inserted into your cervix during a vaginal examination. It will take approximately 5–10 minutes. Your legs will be raised on the bed and the doctor or midwife may use a speculum to examine your cervix. The Dilapan-S® dilators will carefully be inserted into your cervix. The procedure can be temporarily uncomfortable, but it is generally well tolerated by most women. Shortly before and after inserting the dilators, your baby’s heartbeat may be monitored using a cardiotocography/CTG (this is a common practice regardless of the method being used). A small amount of bleeding might occur during or after insertion; this is common and should not be a concern. Because the dilators expand very gradually, they are gentle on your cervix and most women feel comfortable overall during the cervical ripening period. 

    When will Dilapan–S be removed and what occurs after the removal?

    The Dilapan-S® dilators will typically be removed around 12–15 hours after insertion. Your clinician will perform a vaginal examination, remove the Dilapan-S® and determine if your cervix has sufficiently dilated. As long as your cervix has sufficiently dilated and is ready for induction, the common induction protocol should be used. Usually the membranes are broken. After that, your clinician will wait for 1–2 hours to see if contractions start naturally on their own. If contractions have not started after this period, an oxytocin infusion may be started at this stage.

    Does my hospital offer Dilapan-S®?

    There are several methods of inductions and different hospitals use different methods. Dilapan-S® is becoming more popular as as safe, predictable and cost effective way to dilate the cervix.
    Ask your doctor or midwife at your next appointment to find out if Dilapan-S® is something your hospital offers.

    If you have more questions, please ask your doctor or midwife

    Follow Dilapan-S® UK on Social Media