FPIN's Help Desk Answers

Membrane Sweeping to Decrease Rates of Postdate Induction

 

Am Fam Physician. 2017 Jan 1;95(1):35-36.

Clinical Question

Does membrane sweeping at term reduce rates of postdate induction?

Evidence-Based Answer

In uncomplicated pregnancies, membrane sweeping at 38 to 40 weeks' gestation safely decreases the rate of postdate inductions. Membrane sweeping increases the incidence of spontaneous labor, especially in the subsequent seven days, and results in fewer pregnancies extending beyond 41 weeks. (Strength of Recommendation: A, based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [RCTs].)

Evidence Summary

Membrane sweeping or stripping is routinely used in late pregnancy. It involves inserting a finger into the cervical os and sweeping it circumferentially to separate the fetal membranes from the uterus. A 2005 Cochrane review evaluated membrane sweeping for induction of labor in 22 RCTs with a total of 2,797 pregnant women at term.1 Sweeping was primarily compared with no intervention, although several small trials compared it with prostaglandin or oxytocin (Pitocin) administration. Time to spontaneous delivery was 2.5

Address correspondence to Rae Adams, MD, at raadams@medicine.tamhsc.edu. Reprints are not available from the authors.

Author disclosure: No relevant financial affiliations.

REFERENCES

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1. Boulvain M, Stan C, Irion O. Membrane sweeping for induction of labor. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005;(1):CD000451....

2. Yildirim G, Güngördük K, Karadag OI, Aslan H, Turhan E, Ceylan Y. Membrane sweeping to induce labor in low-risk patients at term pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010;23(7):681–687.

3. de Miranda E, van der Bom JG, Bonsel GJ, Bleker OP, Rosendaal FR. Membrane sweeping and prevention of post-term pregnancy in low-risk pregnancies: a randomized controlled trial. BJOG. 2006;113(4):402–408.

4. ACOG committee opinion no. 579: definition of term pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2013;122(5):1139–1140.

Help Desk Answers provides answers to questions submitted by practicing family physicians to the Family Physicians Inquiries Network (FPIN). Members of the network select questions based on their relevance to family medicine. Answers are drawn from an approved set of evidence-based resources and undergo peer review. The strength of recommendations and the level of evidence for individual studies are rated using criteria developed by the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group (http://www.cebm.net/?o=1025).

The complete database of evidence-based questions and answers is copyrighted by FPIN. If interested in submitting questions or writing answers for this series, go to http://www.fpin.org or e-mail: questions@fpin.org.

This series is coordinated by John E. Delzell Jr., MD, MSPH, Assistant Medical Editor.

A collection of FPIN's Help Desk Answers published in AFP is available at http://www.aafp.org/afp/hda.


 

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