Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 297, Issue 3, pp 623–630 | Cite as

Membrane sweeping added to formal induction method to increase the spontaneous vaginal delivery: a meta-analysis

  • Jing Liu
  • Guang Song
  • Tao Meng
  • Ge Zhao
Maternal-Fetal Medicine



Membrane sweeping (MS) could increase the likelihood of spontaneous labor within 48 h. However, the rationale for performing routinely an intervention with the potential to induce labor in women with an uneventful pregnancy at 38 weeks of gestation is, at least, questionable. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies to assess evaluated the effect of MS added to formal induction method on the spontaneous vaginal delivery, compared with formal induction alone.


PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library databases, Web of Science, and Clinical Trials were searched from their inception to March 8, 2017. We estimate summarized relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for dichotomous outcomes. The primary outcome was vaginal delivery, and second outcomes (side effects of MS) included meconium-stained liquor, admission to the neonatal unit, instrumental delivery.


Four RCTs with a total of 1377 participants were identified. The summary RR in the overall group was 1.12 (95% CI 1.05–1.18), with moderate heterogeneity (P = 0.22, I2 = 33%). The summary RR in the nulliparas’ subgroup was 1.32 (95% CI 1.18–1.48), with no heterogeneity (P = 0.79, I2 = 0%). MS did not increase the risk of side effects.


MS added to formal induction significantly increased vaginal delivery rates, especially in nulliparas compared with formal induction alone. Notably, there are no obvious side effects of MS. Meanwhile, more RCTs studies are needed to investigate the side effects of MS on instrumental delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, and cervical laceration.


Membrane sweeping Spontaneous vaginal delivery Meta-analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was not funded.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

404_2017_4643_MOESM1_ESM.doc (623 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 623 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ObstetricsThe First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.Department of UltrasoundShengjing Hospital of China Medical UniversityShenyangChina

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