Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of sweeping of fetal membranes for induction of labor in uncomplicated term pregnancies. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was performed in 122 pregnant women beyond 39 weeks of gestation with no complications. The women were assigned to have their membranes swept or not (controls) for labor induction. The main outcome measures included duration of pregnancy and possible complications of sweeping of membranes, including rupture of membranes, postpartum infections, and vaginal bleeding. Results: Twenty-one patients did not give birth in our hospital and were, therefore, excluded from the study; 101 women completed the study (51 patients in the control group and 50 women in the study group). There were no statistically significant differences in maternal age, parity, birth weight, and Bishop score in the two groups. The mean interval between sweeping (stripping) and vaginal examination until delivery was 7.7 ± (SD) 6.9 and 7.1 ± 5.6 days in the sweeping and in the control group, respectively (p = 0.61). Of the 101 pregnant women, only 6 patients had premature rupture of membranes (2 in the sweeping group and 4 in the control group). There were no statistically significant differences between these individuals (p = 0.68). Significant vaginal bleeding was not observed in the two groups. Meconium-stained amniotic fluid was seen in 13 women: 8 in the sweeping group and 5 in the control group. There were no statistically significant differences among the women who had meconium-stained fluid in case and control groups (p = 0.39).There were no differences between women who had puerperal fever (3 in the sweeping group and 2 in the control group; p = 0.68).12 of the 101 women (6 in each group) had cesarean section performed, but there was no difference betweeen the two groups. Conclusion: Sweeping of membranes at 39 weeks of gestation has no significant clinical effect on the duration of pregnancy.

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