Stripping the membranes

Toward the end of your pregnancy, your healthcare provider may suggest stripping your membranes (also called a membrane sweep). The procedure can trigger uterine contractions within a few days so you don’t have to be artificially induced after 41 weeks (see Inducing labour).

A membrane sweep can be done during a vaginal exam to check the dilation and consistency of your cervix. It can be an uncomfortable, sometimes painful, procedure and may cause some spotting for the first 24 hours.