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Can anyone bluntly explain what a 'sweep' is?

(28 Posts)
OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 18:01:55

I think I know, but everyone I ask puts in euphamisms.

CountessDracula Sun 26-Oct-08 18:02:45

They stick their fingers up your minge and furtle about with your cervix in the hope of starting something

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 18:03:42


That's what I thought!

Thank you Countess.

pushchair Sun 26-Oct-08 18:05:50

you know when vets are seen inserting whole arm into cow well thats what its like. Oh sorry is that too euphemistic?

lulumama Sun 26-Oct-08 18:06:23


that is pretty much it

the aim is to insert a fingertip into your cervix to stretch it and sweep it and strip the membranes away from the inside.. the hope being it will irritate your cervix and encourage the right hormones to be released to get labour going

they are best done when 41+ weeks and will work if you would have gone into labour anyway wityhin 24 - 48 hours

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 18:16:30

Fuck me

People should tell you this!

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 18:17:07

Do't call it a sweep - a rummage?

pushchair Sun 26-Oct-08 18:24:30

Lots of rummaging and some hoiking [of the cervix]

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 18:59:08

But, before childbirth and the obligatory stretching that comes with that, isn't this going to feel immensely uncomfortable and a bit like a violation if you actually don't know whats coming and are expecting a tickle with a feathery implement?!

expatinscotland Sun 26-Oct-08 19:00:41

i had one when i was having contractions with DD1 with no progress in dilation.

pushchair Sun 26-Oct-08 20:15:40

I felt a bit uncomfortable because midwife had become a bit of a friend and friend sticking fingers up bits is odd. But when it came to it, it was just like childbirth situation and I thought ce sera,sera. It is uncomfortable. Not as uncomfortable as internals I had during first induced labour though. Mine was with third child and bits maybe more acommodating.

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 21:34:05

Oh Expat. You brevity of post makes me think it was not a good experience?

How on earth do your sexual partners contend with seeing this though? Its all well and good during childbirth, bit its still hallowed groud before then - isn;t it??

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 21:36:30

(I am tempte dnow Cod has gone to be the first not to have to sxpelle check and get a wat woith it as an id!)

Geepers Sun 26-Oct-08 21:49:43

If you imagine a balloon sat on top of a donut, it's a bit like the midwife putting her fingers in through the middles of the donut (your cervix) and sweeping her fingers around between the donut and the balloon (your bag of waters).

DippyDora Sun 26-Oct-08 21:54:01

There is a reason you are not told things like this.
Sometimes there is a thing as too much information.

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 22:14:00

No me - and I (and my partner)- would thank the NHS for not generalising on this and giving as much info as poss as with any procedue - becasue having a man force his hand up your fanny withou conesnt, breaking membranes asunder (and withholding info on what is about to happen) is a violation of mind and body. Especially as the evidence for sweeps working is negiuliagble. Gettiong seruosu now

DippyDora Sun 26-Oct-08 22:29:29

In that case they fucking hurt, it is not a good experience and the complete opposite of being tickled with a feather IME.

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 22:59:22

post this as a sticky on pragnancy FGS!

PortofinoPumpkin Sun 26-Oct-08 23:04:41

It's weird pregnancy though - you're more than happy to have a complete stranger stick her fingers up your fanjo and have a poke around. It's kind of good practice for when you DO start labour and half a dozen people have a poke/look up there to see what's going on. Not that you care by that point! grin

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 23:15:09

I was okay with it whist they were respectful and kepy iot below the knuckle!!!

OldLadyDay Sun 26-Oct-08 23:16:05

I should add agrin

bvut I knw some peopel wjo weren;t laughing! hm

pushchair Mon 27-Oct-08 08:52:11

I swore during my first internal, that was sore. However I cant say any others were painful just uncomfortable so perhaps it is like much else in pregnancy and is different for everyone. I never saw it as a violation. My midwife wanted to help me avoid another induced labour and she succeeded in this. It is a mistake to go into it with a fixed view imo.

frazzledoldbag34 Mon 27-Oct-08 10:09:24

I was so shocked after my 'sweep' with DD2 that I was crying and couldn't speak. The doctor came back in and apologised! I think she may have been a bit too rough and TBH I swear she had her entire hand and arm (up to the elbow) in there for a jolly good (and bloody painful) rummage.
I did have DD2 a couple of days later.
However, I wouldn't have a sweep again. Too painful, I did feel 'violated' - and bear in mind that I am a qualified midwife so should have known what to expect. Perhaps I was just very unlucky? Or maybe I'm just a total wimp. Either way, next time I'l be saying 'ER, NO THANKS!'

frazzledoldbag34 Mon 27-Oct-08 10:13:03

Sorry if that was TMI. From what I gather from friends etc I don't think it's normally as bad as what I experienced. I think the doc I had was trying her hardest to get me into labour (as she actually wanted me booked for induction immediately but the wards were so busy they had no space for about 5 days and I think she was concerned). I think that's probably why it was so 'thorough'.

expatinscotland Mon 27-Oct-08 10:13:05

Yeah, that 'it's uncomfortable' line is utter bullshit.

I tell them that, too, when they say it.

I say, 'That's a crock. The TRUTH is that it hurts. Why don't healthcare professionals treat people as if they're intelligent enough to hear the truth?'

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