The Efficacy of Membrane Sweeping at Term and Effect on the Duration of Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Tarik Y. Zamzami, Nawal S. Al Senani


Background: This study aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of membrane sweeping on the duration of pregnancy at term and induction rate. The study design was a randomized controlled trial.

Method: The study conducted at the King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from January 1, 2011 to January 1 2012. One hundred and sixty women with uncomplicated pregnancy attending the antenatal clinic and delivery room were randomized to membrane sweeping (study group, n = 80) or no sweeping (control group, n = 80) at 38 weeks of gestation.

Results: Most of the women who underwent membrane sweeping entered spontaneous labor (90 vs. 75%), with a significant difference in mean gestational age (39.5 0.9 vs. 40.0 1.2, P = 0.004). The overall incidence of pregnant women at 41 week gestation was 10 % in women who underwent membrane sweeping and 25% in the controls (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.2 - 7.3, P = 0.01). The induction rate was less in study compared to control group (10 % vs. 25%; P = 0.01). There were no differences in the incidence of cesarean delivery, or maternal or fetal morbidity between the two groups.

Conclusion: Sweeping of the membranes at term is safe and reduces the incidence of post-date gestation. Most women required only a single cervical sweeping.

J Clin Gynecol Obstet. 2014;3(1):30-34


Membrane sweeping; Induction; Cesarean section

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Journal of Clinical Gynecology & Obstetrics, quarterly, ISSN 1927-1271 (print), 1927-128X (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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