The Role Of Oxytocin In Labour

The precise mechanisms triggering the onset of labour are unknown. There are many changes that occur while preparing the uterus and foetus for the onset of labour. However, it is clear that regulation of both oxytocin and the oxytocin receptor plays an important role in childbirth.

Oxytocin is well established as an inducer of labour and is frequently used clinically for this purpose. Oxytocin acts by both direct and indirect mechanisms to stimulate uterine contraction. Firstly, it acts directly on the my-ometrium to cause uterine contractions and secondly, oxytocin acts to stimulate the production of other mediators of uterine contractions, most notably prostaglandins [8].

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