15A Membrane Sweep

One of the most common ways to induce labor is via a membrane sweep. It is a relatively gentle induction technique and it is a pretty simple and straightforward procedure.

This process is usually done by a doctor or midwife before other induction process is used. It can be performed as

early as 38 weeks of pregnancy, though some healthcare professionals recommend waiting to do the procedure until you are 40 or 41 weeks pregnant.

A membrane sweep is performed during an internal vaginal examination. A lubricated, gloved finger is inserted into the opening of the cervix. The finger is gently moved around, which causes the membranes of the amniotic sac that surrounds your baby to separate from your cervix. As a result, specific hormones, known as prostaglandins, should be released. Labor often begins soon after.

After a membrane sweep, you may experience slight discomfort, slight bleeding and/or cramping or irregular contractions.

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