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Stripping the Membranes


When you have passed your due date and you are still pregnant, your doctor may want to strip your membranes. This won’t necessarily put you into labor, but some doctors think it helps to start the process.

To strip the membranes, your doctor will do a kind of pelvic exam in which she will feel around just inside your cervix where the membranes of the amniotic sac are attached. With her finger, she will push the amniotic sac away from where it has attached to the cervix. This process breaks the bridging molecules, which stick the membranes to the inside rim of the cervix. These bridging molecules are then converted into prostaglandins, which stimulate labor.

This “pelvic exam” is not the greatest experience. Some have complained that it is a little painful, if not just rough. But when you’re past your due date and still pregnant, you’ll do just about anything to get that baby out. And you thought stripping was just for show!

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