What the heck in a Bishop Score?


The Bishop score is all about your cervix. There are 5 different categories assessed during a vaginal exam to determine “readiness” for labor and whether induction would be necessary. Knowing this information before labor begins can help you realistically know how your labor is progressing.

Dilation: measured in centimeters, the opening of the cervix

Effacement: measured as a percentage, thinning of the cervix

Station: location of the baby in the pelvis

Consistency: how soft/firm the cervix is

Position: direction the cervix is pointing in relation to vaginal walls


Cervical Features

Bishop Score

0 points

1 points 2 points 3 points

Dilation (cm)

0 cm

1-2 cm 3-4 cm

5 cm +

Effacement (%)

0% – 30%

31% – 50% 51% – 80%

81% +



-2 -1 , 0

+1 , +2



Medium Soft

Not evaluated

Position Posterior Intermediate Anterior

Not evaluated

  • The highest score is 13
  • 5 or less–labor unlikely to start
  • 9 or more– labor likely to start spontaneously


When your provider is doing your vaginal exam, it is suggested to ask him for your score and what it means for induction. Having knowledge of what it means before this point is important, it’ll help you understand exactly where you are so you can discuss your options with your provider.


Source & ProDoula Labor Doula Certification Workbook


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