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What is a Bishop score?

A Bishop score is a calculation that doctors use to determine if your body is ready for labor based on how thin, soft and dilated your cervix is. As early as a few weeks before labor begins naturally, your cervix starts to thin, soften and open. The Bishop score is a number from 0 to 13 that rates your readiness for labor based on an examination of your cervix. A Bishop score of less than six means you are not ready for labor. A Bishop score of six or greater means you are likely to have a successful vaginal delivery and a relatively short labor time. If your doctor wants to induce labor, he or she may prescribe medications called prostaglandins or use medical devices to speed up the dilation of your cervix. The Bishop score gets its name from Edward Bishop, M.D., the doctor who created the scale in 1964.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.