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An exaggerated retraction ring seen as an oblique ridge above the symphasis pubis between the upper and lower uterine segments, a sign of advanced, obstructed labour. This sign denotes a marked difference in thickness between the tonically-retracted upper uterine segment and thinner lower segment, which is at risk of rupture. If allowed to persist, obstructed labour poses a high mortality risk to the fetus, the mother or both. By good antenatal care and close observation in early labour, the causes of obstructed labour can be recognised and treatment initiated before obstruction occurs.
Mayes' Midwifery 14th Edition. (2011) Sue Macdonald and Julia Magill-Cuerden (Eds). Baillère Tindall, Elsevier
World Health Organization. Managing prolonged and obstructed labour. Midwifery education module 3. http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/documents/3_9241546662/en/