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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

Stripping the Membranes

By July 15, 2013

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Vaginal Exam

Stripping the membranes that is something done at the end of pregnancy to try to lessen the chances of you going to a full 42 weeks of gestation and hopefully decreasing the risk of having an induction of labor. It is done during a vaginal exam and most women find it fairly uncomfortable to very painful. Most moms say they would be okay with the stripping of the membranes, if they were asked about it before it was done. Though there are some practitioners who do discuss the risks and benefits of this procedure, some also fail to mention it all together until after the woman has had a painful exam with no understanding of what's being done to her cervix. So if she then has some bleeding or irregular contractions afterwards, she might not understand why and be frightened.

So, as you go to your last few prenatal appointments, if your practitioner is going to do a vaginal exam, ask about stripping the membranes before you take your pants off!

Have you had your membranes stripped? Did your practitioner talk to you about it before?



Boulvain M, Stan C, Irion O. Membrane sweeping for induction of labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000451. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000451.pub2

Photo Mark Scott/Getty Images

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