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Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Jun;87(6):927-31.

Stripping of membranes as a safe method to reduce prolonged pregnancies.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York Downtown Hospital, New York, USA.



To evaluate weekly stripping of membranes at term to determine its safety and effectiveness in reducing the incidence of prolonged and postterm pregnancies.


One hundred forty-two pregnant women with certain gestational dates were randomly selected to receive, starting at 38 weeks, either weekly stripping of membranes (73 patients) or weekly gentle cervical examinations (69 patients).


Women who received stripping had earlier delivery (8.2 versus 12.2 days; P < .005) and less incidence of delivery at 41 weeks or greater (three versus 13 patients; P < .01). The reduction remained consistent for favorable and unfavorable Bishop scores, and for nulliparas and multiparas. Only three subjects in the study delivered at 42 weeks or greater. No woman reported rupture of membranes after stripping.


Stripping of membranes is a safe method to reduce the incidence of prolonged pregnancies and the length of term gestations. Larger trials on populations with a higher incidence of postterm pregnancies are needed to evaluate its efficacy in reducing the incidence of postterm pregnancies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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