Artificial rupture of membranes

An artificial rupture of membranes (AROM) is a procedure that can be used for the induction of labour.


A sterile, plastic, thin hook is brushed against the membranes just inside the cervix (termed a membrane sweep) This causes the fetal head to move down against the cervix, usually resulting in the contractions becoming stronger and eventually causing the membranes to rupture.

  • labour may be shortened by an hour
  • facilitates collection of the amniotic fluid, which can be examined, e.g. for the presence of meconium, indicating fetal distress.
  • the fetal heart rate can be monitored with cardiotocography directly on the baby's scalp
  • the baby may turn to a breech position, making birth more difficult if the membranes are ruptured before head engagement
  • increased risk of umbilical cord prolapse
  • increased risk of infection if there is a prolonged time between rupture and birth.

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Article information

rID: 15573
System: Obstetrics
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Artificial rupture of membranes (AROM)
  • Artificial rupture of fetal membranes (AROM)
  • Artificial rupture of membranes - AROM
  • Amniotomy

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