The impact of sweeping the membranes on cervical length and labor: a randomize clinical trial
Parlakgumus, Huriye A.
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Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate to what extent sweeping of the membranes contributes to cervical shortening and if cervical shortening is related to the time to onset of labor and duration of the active phase of labor. Methods: This prospective randomized clinical trial was performed at Baskent University between February and March 2011. Women were randomly assigned to receive membrane sweeping (Sweeping Group) (n=69) or no membrane sweeping (Control Group) (n=71). Cervical length was measured (cervix 1) in both groups by examiner 1 and the Bishap Score was determined in the control group and sweeping was performed in the sweeping group by examiner 2. Two days later the patients had another cervical length measurement (cervix 2) by examiner 1, blinded to the group and results of the examiner 2. t test, Mann-Whitney U test and Chi-square test were used for statistical analyses. Results: Cervix 1 was 27.4 +/- 8.4 mm and 29.6 +/- 8.9 mm (p = 0.14), cervix 2 was 23.3 +/- 8.8 mm and 23.8 +/- 8.5mm (p = 0.28) and cervical shortening was 5 +/- 4 mm and 5 +/- 4mm (p = 0.446), time to onset of labor was 6.3 +/- 4.6 and 5.7 +/- 4.1 (p = 0.38) and duration of labor was 5.8 +/- 2.89 and 5.7 +/- 2.4 (p = 0.82) for the sweeping and the control groups, respectively. Conclusions: Sweeping of the membranes does not reduce cervical length and does not shorten time to onset of labor and duration of the active phase of labor.