Is membrane sweeping at term effective for decreasing postdates inductions?
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Sweeping of membranes at term results in fewer pregnancies continuing beyond 41 to 42 weeks of gestation, but is associated with minor vaginal bleeding, uterine irritability, and patient discomfort. (SOR A, based on a meta-analysis.) The technique appears to be just as effective in nulliparous and multiparous women. (SOR B, based on a single RCT.) There is a slight increase in the risk of premature rupture of membranes (PROM) in women dilated more than 1 cm. (SOR B, based on a single RCT.) In addition, membrane sweeping at the time of labor induction decreases both the need for oxytocin and induction-to-delivery time. (SOR B, based on a single RCT.)
Evidence Based Practice 13(4): 12.