During the period between July 1, 1993 and July 31, 1994 the authors preinduced 52 pregnant women in term using the cervical dilator Dilapan. The group comprised patients with single pregnancies > or = 38 weeks, vertex presentation, cervical score < 5 and reactive NST. They introduced into the cervical canal 4 Dilapan rods for 12-18 hours and after extraction of the rods, depending on the finding, the patients were induced with Prostin e.a. or oxytocin i.v. The preinduction was successful in 46 patients (88.5%), in 16 patients (30.8%) uterine contractions were induced by Dilapan alone. Forceps delivery was performed 4 times (7.7%) and Caesarean section 12 times (23.1%). Apart from pain in the hypogastrium resembling menstruation pain, no side-effects were recorded. There were no irregularities such as the length of labour stages, blood loss due to injury during labour and the incidence of neonatal hypoxia. Based on the described experience Dilapan can be recommended as a preinduction method for maturation of the portio uteri.