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Cervical Checking?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello wonderful birth professionals.  I need some quick advice from your well of wisdom.  Is it safe for me to check my own cervix?  I am 23 weeks pregnant (baby no 2), and was having cramps.  I decided to explore my anatomy to see if something was up.  My cervix has felt firm like a prear up until last week, but it has changed dramatically.  It is soft and shorter and my fingertip slipped into it (accidentally) up to the cuticle of my nail but it was closed after that point.  It has also moved farther back (lengthening my vagina) and is tilted so the opening is pointing slightly toward my rectum.  I went to L&D for the cramps and contractions were observed on the monitor. I've increased my fluid intake and decreased my salt.  I've stopped drinking my 1 cup of tea in the morning and switch to an herbal pregnancy tea.  This morning i was overwhelmed with curiosity, so (with gloved hand) i inserted my finger into my cervix again.  This time it easily fit to the first knuckle. (about 2.5 cm).  At my 20 week ultrasound my servix was 5.5 cm long.  My first child came vaginally exactly on his due date.

What doese this mean in reguards to dialation and effacement?  My doctor(s) and the L&D nurses have not explained this situation to my liking.  I seems to me that they believe that i will either not understand, or freak out if they tell me what this means.  They have not recomended any restrictions (which suits me fine) and i have continued having intercorse (including orgasm and ejactulation).  I am just burningly curiois about the state of my cervix, and these contractions that i conture to have.

Thanks for reading and your input is so appreciated.  I'll answer and questions you have, so please ask.  I just need to know.

post #2 of 3

I am not a professional, but didn't want to read and run.


Did they check your CL at L&D? If not, I would call my dr., explain the self-check situation- no need to be embarrassed- and ask that they see you to check your cervix.


Contractions can be completely harmless and normal, OR a warning sign for infection or preterm labor. With a fingertip dilation, I would not take chances.

post #3 of 3
There are some circumstances when in which dIgital examination of the cervix is a very bad idea. Placenta praevia is one, premature rupture of membranes is anther. Threatened preterm labour is not an absolute contraindication but it's wise not to fiddle with the cervix too much IMO. Especially if you notice an increase in contractions afterwards.

It sounds from what you described like your external is is open but not your internal os. This is quite common among women who have had more than one baby. The fact that you have noticed changes associated with contractions is a little more worrying but doesn't mean you will progress to premature labour. Especially as they stop on their own.

I suspect the hospital staff have been vague with you because it is a vague situation. What you describe doesn't really have any predictive value in determining whether you will go to term or not.

Sorry I can't be more definite for you.

Oh and unless the gloves you have are sterile they won't make much difference. You're probably better off fiving your hands a thorough 3-5 minute wash with soap and water instead.
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