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Pregnancy Pregnancy

Strip Your Own Membranes

Posted by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:21 PM
  • 14 Replies
Ok, it's not that I plan on doing this.  I don't.  I am simply curious.  I never truly understood what "stripping the membranes" was about.  However, in an article I was reading, it said that a doctor strips your membranes by sticking a gloved finger into your vagina and sweeping it back and forth.

Well that doesn't sound complicated.  Technically, are you able to strip your own?  Why is it that the penis doesn't end up accidently stripping them?  (Maybe dumb questions, but I'm honestly confused.)
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:21 PM
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Replies (1-10):
RedheadMama18
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:25 PM
It's not a dumb question!  The only reason I know is I had it done.  The nurse practitioner stuck her finger up into my cervix and swirled it around to pull the membranes out.  It's supposed to induce labor.  I can't tell you if it actually helped or if it was just my time.  I was a day overdue when I had membranes stripped.  That was on a Tuesday and I went into the hospital Friday, had my daughter Saturday.  I had some pretty intense contractions on Thursday too along with feeling sick and cramping.  I am not sure if you could actually do it yourself and I think it doesn't happen during sex because the penis doesn't get up inside the cervix.  I hope this helps?!
mama_kujo
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:35 PM
I need to go back to Anatomy class.  I'm still a little lost.  My SO's penis is definitely longer than my doctor's finger.  If the finger can get up in there, then why not the penis?

Wow.  I am 23 years old, working on my teaching degree AND STILL not able to understand my own body!

Anyway, thanks for the response!
Quoting RedheadMama18:

It's not a dumb question!  The only reason I know is I had it done.  The nurse practitioner stuck her finger up into my cervix and swirled it around to pull the membranes out.  It's supposed to induce labor.  I can't tell you if it actually helped or if it was just my time.  I was a day overdue when I had membranes stripped.  That was on a Tuesday and I went into the hospital Friday, had my daughter Saturday.  I had some pretty intense contractions on Thursday too along with feeling sick and cramping.  I am not sure if you could actually do it yourself and I think it doesn't happen during sex because the penis doesn't get up inside the cervix.  I hope this helps?!
LilMissBossy
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:41 PM
Hmm good question....

pregnancy due date

 

mama_kujo
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:44 PM
Thankful to know I'm not the only one who doesn't get it!  Lol.
Quoting LilMissBossy:

Hmm good question....
isbellfam
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:46 PM
Ok guys,lets think here,a the membranes are behind the cervix,the penis is way to wide get "inside" of the cervix and move around. A finger can fit inside,wiggle around,and seperate the bag of water and membrabes away from the cervix. Google it! Hope this helps!
jaysmama71
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:51 PM
The penis can't actually fit inside the cervix. It can touch it but not get inside. If it could then they wouldn't allow you to have sex during pregnancy. When the Dr strips your membranes he/she sticks a finger in your cervix and sweeps it around in a circle to detach the membrane from the cervix in the hopes that it will get labor going. Most of the time it works but in some circumstances it won't. If you are alreay starting to soften and dilate then your chances are better. Here is an excerpt from an article that can explain it better. HTH!

Stripping the membranes is where a health care provider will separate your bag of water from the cervix, it is not intended to break your water, however, it may. It may also cause infection, and may be painful for some.

 

The reason that we tell people that we are stripping their membranes is to "get things going" in regards to labor. This little technique is usually done during a vaginal exam at the end of pregnancy, with or without the knowledge or consent of the woman.

 

Stripping the membranes, we are told, is supposed to stimulate production of prostiglandins in the cervix and bring on contractions. I have heard doctors tell my clients after stripping their membranes they will have the baby in two days. While this may appear to work for some, at term it's all a guessing game. There is no scientific work to date that can back up the routine procedure of stripping membranes.

 

You may want to ask your care provider to avoid this procedure if you are worried about the effects and risks. Or you may want to avoid vaginal exams during the end of pregnancy for the same reasons, because unfortunately the cannot accurately predict when we will give birth.

mama_kujo
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:56 PM
Ah, I see.  I must really be dumb.  I didn't realize the membranes were behind the cervix.  That makes sense.  THANKS!
Quoting isbellfam:

Ok guys,lets think here,a the membranes are behind the cervix,the penis is way to wide get "inside" of the cervix and move around. A finger can fit inside,wiggle around,and seperate the bag of water and membrabes away from the cervix. Google it! Hope this helps!
mbmomof3
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:57 PM
And it is definitely NOT something anyone should ever do on their own.  Even a dr. risks accidentally breaking the water which in itself carries significant risks, so obviously we shouldn't be doing this on our own (or at all?)
mama_kujo
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 7:57 PM
Doctors will strip membranes without telling the mother?!?!  THAT IS SOOOOO WRONG!!!

Thanks for the info!
Quoting jaysmama71:

The penis can't actually fit inside the cervix. It can touch it but not get inside. If it could then they wouldn't allow you to have sex during pregnancy. When the Dr strips your membranes he/she sticks a finger in your cervix and sweeps it around in a circle to detach the membrane from the cervix in the hopes that it will get labor going. Most of the time it works but in some circumstances it won't. If you are alreay starting to soften and dilate then your chances are better. Here is an excerpt from an article that can explain it better. HTH!

Stripping the membranes is where a health care provider will separate your bag of water from the cervix, it is not intended to break your water, however, it may. It may also cause infection, and may be painful for some.
The reason that we tell people that we are stripping their membranes is to "get things going" in regards to labor. This little technique is usually done during a vaginal exam at the end of pregnancy, with or without the knowledge or consent of the woman.
Stripping the membranes, we are told, is supposed to stimulate production of prostiglandins in the cervix and bring on contractions. I have heard doctors tell my clients after stripping their membranes they will have the baby in two days. While this may appear to work for some, at term it's all a guessing game. There is no scientific work to date that can back up the routine procedure of stripping membranes.
You may want to ask your care provider to avoid this procedure if you are worried about the effects and risks. Or you may want to avoid vaginal exams during the end of pregnancy for the same reasons, because unfortunately the cannot accurately predict when we will give birth.
mama_kujo
by on Jul. 10, 2008 at 8:00 PM
I completely agree.  I have no intention of trying this.  I was just trying to understand it.     = : > )
Quoting mbmomof3:

And it is definitely NOT something anyone should ever do on their own.  Even a dr. risks accidentally breaking the water which in itself carries significant risks, so obviously we shouldn't be doing this on our own (or at all?)
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