Back to Definitions

Membrane sweep

Routinely offered at 41 weeks for first time mothers, and forty weeks for second or subsequent mothers, the membrane sweep involves inserting a finger(s) into the cervix (definition link) and sweeping the finger(s) round the cervix in a circular motion to separate it from the membranes above and to stimulate the release of natural hormones such as prostaglandins. A Cochrane review from 2020 that included 44 randomized studies that included 6940 women from a range of countries found that membrane sweeps appear to be effective in reducing the rate of formal induction of labour (definition link) (Cochrane, 2020).

We would love you to join our community.

Receive a free Hospital Bag Checklist when you sign up to the newsletter

Please select one of the options below

/ /
/ /
We use cookies and similar technologies to enable services and functionality on our site and to understand your interaction with our service. By clicking on accept, you agree to our use of such technologies for marketing and analytics.