Document Detail

Sweeping of the membranes to prevent post-term pregnancy and to induce labour: a systematic review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10430199     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of sweeping of the membranes to prevent post-term pregnancy and to induce labour. DESIGN: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials. METHODS: Potentially eligible trials were identified in Medline and in the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register. Inclusion of studies and data extraction were performed by two reviewers working independently. Summary estimates of the effect of the intervention were computed as relative risks, risk differences and weighted mean differences. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Use of formal methods of labour induction, delay before spontaneous onset of labour, prevention of post-term pregnancy, side effects, maternal and perinatal morbidity. RESULTS: Sixteen reports were identified. Thirteen were included in the review, with a total of 1992 women. Sweeping of the membranes, when performed at term, reduced the duration of pregnancy and the proportion of women continuing pregnancy beyond 41 and 42 weeks. When sweeping of the membranes was performed, a reduction in the use of formal methods for labour induction was observed (RR = 0.48; 95% CI 0.28-0.85). There was no difference between groups in the mode of delivery or in the risk of infection. Discomfort during vaginal examination and other side effects (e.g. bleeding, irregular contractions) were more frequently reported by women allocated to sweeping. CONCLUSIONS: While sweeping of the membranes reduces the interval to spontaneous onset of labour, there is no evidence of a reduction in maternal or neonatal morbidity. When used as a means of induction of labour, the reduction in the use of formal methods must be balanced against women's discomfort and other side effects attributable to the procedure.
M Boulvain; O Irion; S Marcoux; W Fraser
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British journal of obstetrics and gynaecology     Volume:  106     ISSN:  0306-5456     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Obstet Gynaecol     Publication Date:  1999 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-09-02     Completed Date:  1999-09-02     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503752     Medline TA:  Br J Obstet Gynaecol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  481-5     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Unité de Développement en Obstétrique, Département de Gynécologie et d'Obstétrique, Geneva, Switzerland.
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MeSH Terms
Extraembryonic Membranes
Labor, Induced / methods*
Pregnancy Outcome
Pregnancy, Prolonged*
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Risk Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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