What exactly happens when you have a "sweep"?!

Hey ladies,

This may be a silly question but I was wondering what exactly the midwife does when she does a membrane sweep? I'm 39 weeks and saw my midwife today, she's booked me in for a sweep in 2 weeks time when i'll be 41 weeks - it's good that the end is in sight but the thought of being like this for another 2 weeks does not amuse me much!!!

I've heard from a few people that the sweep can be pretty uncomfortable - just thought i'd ask you guys for some feedback?


8 days to go..... (hopefully):\?


  • Hi there,

    I had a sweep on Wednesday.

    Basically the midwife uses a lubricant and puts her fingers inside your vagina reaching up to the cervix which she then 'sweeps' her fingers around. image

    It is a bit painful because your body goes into self-defence mode and you contract your muscles in an attempt to protect yourself but it may well get things going by stimulating your cervix. image

    Hopefully you won't have to have one but don't worry if you do, take a couple of paracetamol and remember it's worth it in the end (honestly!) image

    Good luck...x
  • Thank you for getting back to me!

    It doesn't sound like the nicest experience but I guess thats probably nothing compared with the birth huh?

    To be honest i'm pretty fed up with feeling like a beached whale and would kill for an unbroken nights sleep on my back so I will gladly put up with a sweep if it's gonna help encourage this bubba out!

    Thx again twonkle mum!
  • That about sums it up!

    Its uncomfy, a little painful and not the nicest experience you'll ever have but labour is worse! image

    Big BUT, you get a baby at the end of labour, so bear that in mind!!! :lol:

    Take care...x
  • Can be painful if ur cervix isn't ripe or in the right position for the sweep. Otherwise, it's just an uncomfortable prod n feel around that can, if ur lucky, get u going! Both my last 2 pregnancies were sweeps, 1st worked within 36hrs, the 2nd within 24-48 (really odd, can't remember now lol).
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