Membrane stripping is a procedure where your doctor or midwife inserts
their gloved finger through the cervix (the opening at the bottom of the
uterus) and moves their finger around
to separate the membranes from the uterus. Membrane stripping is also known as membrane sweeping
or "stretch and sweep" .
The procedure causes release of
prostaglandins , and may reduced the number of post-term pregnancies. However, "Routine use of sweeping of membranes from 38 weeks of
pregnancy onwards does not seem to produce clinically important benefits. " 
. Stripping of the membranes should not be done in women who may have placenta
previa, vasa previa, or a low lying placenta
Can my membranes be stripped if I'm GBS positive?
Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a bacteria normally found in the vagina
and/or rectum of about 1 in 4 of all healthy women. GBS bacteria passed
from the mother to the baby can cause some babies to become very sick and even
die. Two small studies publish in abstract (summary form) found membrane sweeping did not affect adequacy of antibiotic treatment
for GBS or need for infant antibiotic treatment . ACOG advises that
there is not enough available information to encourage or
discourage the practice of membrane stripping in GBS-colonized women .
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1 Boulvain M, et. al., Membrane sweeping for induction of labour.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jan 25;(1):CD000451.PMID: 15674873
2. Netta D, et. al., Does cervical membrane
stripping increase maternal colonization of group B
streptococcus?. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2002;187(6):S221.
3. Janakiraman V et. al., Membrane sweeping in GBS positive patients: a
randomized controlled trial
American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology Volume 204, Issue 1, Supplement ,
Pages S41-S42, January 2011
4.. Prevention of early-onset group B streptococcal disease in newborns.
Committee Opinion No. 485. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Obstet Gynecol 2011;117:
5.Andersen BB, et. al., Acupuncture and/or sweeping of the fetal membranes
before induction of labor: a prospective, randomized, controlled trial.
J Perinat Med. 2013 Sep 1;41(5):555-60.PMID: