For the induction of labour prostaglandin (PG) E2 has been recommended either as intracervical gel (0.5 mg) or as vaginal tablet (3 mg) depending on the Bishop score of the cervix. A prospective trial was conducted in 79, mainly postterm, pregnancies (59 with a Bishop score < 5), in whom either PG-E2 tablet or gel was given randomly without respect to the cervical score. In addition, 51 inductions in primiparous women (44 with a Bishop score < 5) were analysed retrospectively. In pregnancies with a Bishop score < 5 the rate of successful inductions, duration of labour or incidence of neonatal acidosis was not different in both groups. Similar results were obtained in the prospective trial for inductions with a cervical score > 4. These data suggest the lack of superiority of the intracervical over the vaginal route of PG-E2 administration for the induction of labour.