What exactly does it mean to have your membranes stripped and... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-14-2003, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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what are the advantages and disadvantages to it. With my first pregnancy, the OB stripped my membranes (I think) at 38 weeks WITHOUT asking or even telling me. This time I'm pretty sure I'm going to ask them to not do it. But just wondered what exactly it is and what exactly they are doing and what the risks involved are.
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#2 of 11 Old 03-14-2003, 12:29 PM
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"Stripping the membranes" (to my understanding) is when your doctor or midwife goes in your uterus and pushes the amniotic sac off of the cervix. One of the big risks of it is your water breaking during the procedure. Then you would end up having to induce labor with pitocin, electric fetal monitor, etc. There's really no reason to do it, especially if you're not past 42 weeks. You will go into labor on your own. You also don't have to let your doctor do internal exams if you think he'll do this to you. (They increase the risk of infection.)

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#3 of 11 Old 03-14-2003, 12:42 PM
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It's completely unnecessary, and it's more likely that if your membranes gets stripped you will also have other interventions.
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#4 of 11 Old 03-14-2003, 05:32 PM
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I had my last appointment with my dr on my due date. I hadn't had any vaginal checks before that other than one at 38 weeks b/c of my birth plan. My dr. was very supportive of my plan. I had friends who had their membranes stripped and it was very painful and did nothing. I knew I was going into labor soon, I was having prodromal labor that week already. I asked him to do a final check and see how far along I was. I was 3 cms dialated and hadn't lost my plug yet. He asked if I wanted him to strip my membranes and I said no. I could tell that he did something but it wasn't painful. I think he just gently opened the area a little. Later that afternoon I lost my plug and the 2 days later went into labor. For me it was very helpful with a first time baby. I don't think i'll need it with this baby but I still wouldn't recommend a full on stripping of membranes.
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#5 of 11 Old 03-15-2003, 12:07 AM
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I think I had that done, but I'm not sure. My OB said that she was going to do a little something to get things started, then I felt a searing pain in my cervical area and had a little blood afterwards. She did it again at the next appointment. I don't know if it actually started anything, but I went into labor 4 days later. I also had sex on my due date to try and help things along.
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#6 of 11 Old 03-15-2003, 12:26 AM
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I had it done at two consecutive apts with dd#1. Didn't seem to do much except cause me pain and make me bleed a little. She was still born on time, but a big, big girl.
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#7 of 11 Old 03-15-2003, 12:51 AM
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I had my membranes stripped twice by my midwife, once the day after my due date and then again 6 days after my due date and I went into active labor that afternoon, was already having prelabor or early labor contractions that morning I believe. Didn't really cause me any pain at all, but then I've never really found gynecological exams to be uncomfortable or much of a nusiance anyways, the way some women seem to. Her trying to reach my cervix, which was very posterior was more uncomfortable than the membrane stripping.

I would probably not let someone strip my membranes if I were strep B positive.

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#8 of 11 Old 03-15-2003, 01:24 AM
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It doesn't hurt nearly as bad if at all if you are already dialated some. But if they go in through a closed cervix it hurts like crazy. My midwife only does it if you are oer do and her only other option is inducing. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. At least she can tell the Dr. she has started the process. Sometimes it starts labor sometimes it buys her time. it is one of those it will help if you are ready things. I certainly wouldn't do it unless you were over due.

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#9 of 11 Old 03-15-2003, 04:06 AM
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I had this done three times. The first time I was at 38 1/2 weeks and I was diated to 2. Then I had it done a week later. And then again. Never hurt at all, but never got me into labor. Finally, on my due date, I went in and they broke my water to get labor started. I was at 5 cm when I walked into the door. After my water was broken I went into almost constant ctx. 6 hours later, I delivered a nearly 10 lb baby. Ugh.....

Anyhow, those doctors get pesky down there when you are too big to reach down and slap them... LOL. But, my experience with stripping the cervix... not painful but not productive either.
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#10 of 11 Old 03-15-2003, 02:58 PM
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i am thankful that my doc stripped my membranes. #1 and #2 were inductions and i was desperate not to be induced with #3. after having them stripped i went into labor and had baby that night.

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#11 of 11 Old 03-15-2003, 04:24 PM
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I didn't find it painful. And, with dd#2, I stripped my own every other day trying to bring on labour. It's basically just wiping around the inside of the cervix to loosen the mucous membranes that plug the cervix. A finger shouldn't break your water unless it's ready to break already.

Congrats on the impending arrival of your wee one!!!
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