How to Strip the Membranes When Pregnant

When a woman has gone passed her due date, she may be ready to begin the labor process.

However, she may not want to begin labor by an unnatural process. One natural process is to strip the membranes. This may not put her into labor, but it may begin the progression.

Some doctors believe that stripping the membranes will cause a woman to go into labor that day.

However, although some women go into labor that day, some go weeks until they give birth. Some women even have this procedure done several times with no change.

Keep in mind that it is only appropriate to perform this procedure when you are approaching your due date--around week 37--or after you have gone past your due date. Do not attempt this procedure until you have discussed it with your health care professional.

Wash hands thoroughly and put on sterile gloves. This will prevent germs from entering the area.

Lie on a hard surface. Elevate your bottom on a pillow to give you a better angle.

Gently insert one, then two, fingers into vagina. This may be uncomfortable or slightly painful.

Check cervix. You should will feel a balloon-like membrane. This is where the membranes are attached to the amniotic sac.

Stretch the cervix. You should feel it opening and closing slightly.

Move the amniotic sac, which will feel like a water balloon, forward from where it is attached to the cervix. This procedure will break the "bridging molecules, which stick the membranes to the inside rim of the cervix," according to This process will release prostaglandins, hormone-like substances, according to Dr. Spock's website. This will help to prepare your body for labor.

Gently sweep around in a circular motion. Do not do this too long. Sweep for 3 to 5 seconds and stop.

Remove fingers from area and discard gloves.


Even though stripping the membranes is a non-medical intervention, you may want to see your doctor to have this done.


Your risk of rupturing your membranes is increased after this procedure.

Be aware that stripping your membranes may cause infection.

You may see spotting or have cramping right after the procedure. This may or may not last.