Stripping Your Membranes: What This Process Is, And Why Your OB Wants To Do It

Posted on: 6 September 2019

If you are 38 or more weeks along in your pregnancy but you want to induce labor without drugs, your doctor might suggest any number of natural ways to do it. One of those ways is membrane stripping, and it could be as uncomfortable for you as it sounds. However, it is proven effective at jump-starting labor and delivery. Here is what the process is, what it feels like, what you can expect, and why your OB might suggest it over some other methods. 

Your OB Inserts a Finger and Prods Your Cervix 

With your feet in the exam stirrups and your entire bottom exposed, the OB inserts a gloved finger into your vagina. He or she then reaches your cervix and beings pushing on it. When you are ready for delivery, your cervix becomes really soft, but at this time, it probably will not be soft at all. The idea is to get the finger past your cervix and to the amniotic sac, where the OB will sweep his or her finger around to detach the lower part of the amniotic membranes from your lower uterus and the cervix. Your body, sensing that something is off with the amniotic sac, may start labor within a few hours or a of couple days. 

What It Feels Like

There will be a lot of pressure as the OB pushes toward your cervix. It can be very painful as he or she tries to soften your cervix and get a finger through. When the membranes are stripped, you may feel some pain and pressure simultaneously. This pain will increase as labor starts coming on. 

What You Can Expect

You will experience some bleeding as a result of having the cervix pushed upon and opened. Some amniotic fluid may begin to leak too. If the membrane stripping is successful, and if your body responds as expected, delivery usually begins within seven days of this procedure, if not sooner. 

Other Reasons Why Your OB May Suggest This Procedure

Some first-time moms just go on and on with their pregnancies, often well beyond the allowed extra week. This is dangerous to both you and the child due to the extra weight gain, heart problems, delivery issues, and increased size of the baby. The OB might have his or her own personal reasons for trying to get your labor going, too, but the choice is ultimately yours. 

To get more information, contact your obstetrician.


All About OBGYN Services

Hello. I’m Kaitlyn Masters. Welcome to my website about OBGYN services. When I was pregnant with my first child, I had severe morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy. It was so bad that I had to have regular IV fluids to keep my baby and I hydrated and healthy. My OBGYN acted as a constant source of support in keeping us healthy and comfortable through this process. I decided to create this site to help others understand the value of having a quality OBGYN on your side. Whether you are pregnant or never plan to be, you can benefit from having this professional looking out for you.


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