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Mothering › Groups › July 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Anyone not doing pelvic exams, at least not yet?

Anyone not doing pelvic exams, at least not yet?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I havent gotten the books some of you recommended yet. So here i am nervous about my upcoming apt, &then i remembered that i have a choice in my care. I need to get those books to learn more about making informed choices though. At my intake apt, i was asking about not doing the pelvic exam& the nurse kinda just said its what they normally do & to talk about it at that time with the midwife when i go in again. I want to show up knowing what i want, &preferably with my clothes staying on, &hopefully not in a little exam room, like i can tell them ahead of time. I just dont want to be "that difficult person", but i feel like l gave the nurse a chance to explain it &she didnt, &i am not good with last minute decisions. I feel like if i go there doing as i am told , putting on the robe and then sitting there explaining i am uncomfortable is just not how i want it to go. At least i can get my worries out here smile.gif, feels good to release my feelings. I want to meet the midwife on good terms, not where i am having trauma about the pelvic exam. Do i really need this exam? Why? What good does it do? Isnt there some other way to tell things are going fine? I am not ready for someone i have never met seeing my most private parts!
post #2 of 23
I have never had a pelvic exam in any of my pregnancies, and only one (or two?) during my long labor. This suits me because I am very hands off (literally) during pregnancy.
You could simply tell your midwife that you are nervous/uncomfortable with it, would like to talk about it further and decide what you'd like to do for your NEXT visit. No reason to decide tomorrow, especially if you are concerned about any kind of trauma. Give yourself an out just in case you dont feel safe in the moment, and dont put yourself under any pressure to be touched in a way you aren't sure of. You can always change your mind later and ask for one.

But if you're not certain, ask why, take notes and research later. I did that with a nurse midwife in my first pregnancy who wanted me to have an ultrasound and I politely asked her why and she got angry with me, rattled off a bunch of medical conditions in medical terms and left the room. So I went home and looked up all the terms she had thrown at me, and not one of them applied to me. So I chose not to have the ultrasound, because there was no compelling reason to do so. And when her doc called and tried to bully me into it but all I had to say no thank you. And it was done with. And I went to a different practice that was ok with me asking basic questions.
Sometimes it is ok to be 'that difficult person' if it means you have made a decision you can live with in the end.
I hope you find that your midwife to be kind and understanding, and worthy of your trust.
post #3 of 23

I had one in the beginning of the pregnancy, as I was due for one anyway. I've been having them every 3 months for about 18 months now, as I had CIN-3 cervical changes, and a LEEP August of 2011. The last three have been normal, which is such a huge relief. My ob/gyn did tell me I wouldn't have to have anymore for the rest of the pregnancy, as if something changed, he wouldn't treat it until after the baby was born anyway. So I'm enjoying keeping my privates private for a while! For a year or so there, I felt like my doctor was spending more time in my pants than my husband!

post #4 of 23

I agree, if you are due for a Pap and comfortable doing it while pregnant then they usually do it in the very beginning.  Otherwise there would be NO reason for a pelvic exam unless you went into preterm labor and they needed to find out if your cervix was changing. 
 

post #5 of 23
My ob did one during the first appointment. He took some cultures to rule out any infections and ' felt' the size and position of my uterus. Turned out I had a yeast infection I did not even know about!
post #6 of 23

There are infections that don't affect the mom that could affect the baby. Also, pelvic exams are a good way for the doctor/midwife/nurse to actually see your cervix and if there are abnormalities. 

post #7 of 23

Interesting.  I havent had my first appt yet but with my midwife and my first pregnancy there were no pelvic exams at all until I got my membranes swept at 41 weeks.

She wouldnt do a pap smear until after the baby was born

post #8 of 23

I told my midwife that I will not be doing a 'pap smear' until after the birth even though I am 'due' for one.  It is not convenient for 'me' to do one right now while I am pregnant.  I have had cervical checks in my third trimester of my other pregnancies and I may allow it this time around.  I did have less requests by the Midwife than I did with the OBGYN that I used.   I am using a Midwife this time and she seems to listen to my needs rather well.  I may have a need to 'know' if she thinks my cervix is dialated to a certain extent as I get anxious about my due date, for instance.   I do allow for the vaginal swab to test for 'group b strep' because I have had that and I try to take measures to get rid of it (I tried garlic and it did not help.)  I have had the typical tests to rule out some of the other infections that may harm baby, and I think that it gave me peace of mind.

 

I hope that you are able to feel supported and strengthened by your caregivers.  I think that you should have no problem!   

 

 

(edited to fix a spelling error)

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate everyones input. I feel better, but at the same time more worried about not doing the pelvic exams b/c what if i have an infection or abnormality..is there some other way to know? I havent had a pap in more than a few years so maybe thats what raised red flags for them? I guess either way, i can just delay, after i get to talk about it more. I love being able to delay, but sometimes i am just sortof avoiding making a decision.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenmoon View Post

I have never had a pelvic exam in any of my pregnancies, and only one (or two?) during my long labor. This suits me because I am very hands off (literally) during pregnancy.
You could simply tell your midwife that you are nervous/uncomfortable with it, would like to talk about it further and decide what you'd like to do for your NEXT visit. No reason to decide tomorrow, especially if you are concerned about any kind of trauma. Give yourself an out just in case you dont feel safe in the moment, and dont put yourself under any pressure to be touched in a way you aren't sure of. You can always change your mind later and ask for one.
But if you're not certain, ask why, take notes and research later. I did that with a nurse midwife in my first pregnancy who wanted me to have an ultrasound and I politely asked her why and she got angry with me, rattled off a bunch of medical conditions in medical terms and left the room. So I went home and looked up all the terms she had thrown at me, and not one of them applied to me. So I chose not to have the ultrasound, because there was no compelling reason to do so. And when her doc called and tried to bully me into it but all I had to say no thank you. And it was done with. And I went to a different practice that was ok with me asking basic questions.
Sometimes it is ok to be 'that difficult person' if it means you have made a decision you can live with in the end.
I hope you find that your midwife to be kind and understanding, and worthy of your trust.

this sounds exactly like me :) how did your appointment go here we are? 

post #11 of 23

I don't like pelvic exams at all. I'm going to avoid it this time. My midwife seems pretty cool, so I don't think it'll be a problem. I find pelvic exams very painful. Any vaginal exams at all cause me pain. I have involuntary tensing down there. It isn't a problem when giving birth, but it is a problem if someone tries to do an exam. I would do whatever you feel comfortable with. You can say you would like to put off the pap until after pregnancy because you've heard it is more accurate and you'd just feel better about that. That's what I'm planning on doing. 

 

I've done 2 mostly unassisted pregnancies and had no issues. I'm happy to have a midwife this time, but I'm just saying not to stress too much over things. Do your research and do what you feel good doing. Occasionally you may have to compromise on anything that isn't something you are dead set on either way just to keep from stressing the relationship too much, but if you are really against something and it's not required by law (the STD test for example) then go with your gut. 


Edited by dayiscoming2006 - 1/8/13 at 5:28pm
post #12 of 23

Also, during pregnancy the cervix can change and those changes may not be present when NOT pregnant and could cause unnecessary worry.  With my last 3 pregnancies I have avoided pelvic exams (see NO pap during as well) until I start contracting early and they need to find out if it's changing my cervix.
 

post #13 of 23
My last pregnancy no exams until I was 39 wks i wanted to know out of curiosity if i was dialated and had my baby 4days later.
post #14 of 23
My midwife actually told me there was no real reason to do a pelvic now, even though I'm overdue for a pap. She said we should just wait until after baby is born.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
I told them ahead of time &when i got there they didnt mention it like they already knew what i wanted smile.gif. You all gave me the strength, now I see how good it feels to do what I want. I need more time to decide things, and especially now. Everyone there (&the whole world :)needs to slow down to a breathing pace for me, no pressure or I cant think. I let them know that. The midwife was nice, she still wanted to hear the heartbeat with a doppler so i let her and she quickly felt my belly with her gentle hands. The baby kept moving away from the doppler but it was nice but scary to hear it, with the heartbeat echiong all over the room. I wonder what it sounded like for the baby, it sure got moving around&then i kept feeling "quickening".
Edited by here we are - 1/12/13 at 12:54am
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Now i am worrying about the doppler...researching it. I know i shouldnt worry too much &i think my midwife needed to do it, but now i am confused. I thought doppler was one of those old horns&when she pulled it out, it was just all to new for me to say "WAIT!" It scared me seeing the gooey stuff like an ultrasound but i kibda froze up. I guess i need to tell her that i dont want to be asked to make any in the moment decisions because this is what happens. I hope she had a good reason, b/c everything was fine as i knew it would be anyway.
post #17 of 23

My Dr told me last week that the new recommendation for PAP's is 3 years as long as the last 3 were normal.  So there would be no need for one unless you were way over due and again, your comfort doing one while pregnant matters too.

 

I don't think there is any compelling evidence that using a doppler to confirm baby is alive is a big deal.  Here we Go, I'm positive you're safe!!!  I've had 5 ultrasounds already and will have another in 2.5 weeks.  It's a matter of personal preference and history.
 

post #18 of 23
With my first child I never used a Doppler, except when in labor, my second never because she was born so fast the midwife missed her arrival. I used a fetascope (that's the thing with the bell on the end) and listened to their heartbeats every night before sleep. I personally feel the same way with dooplers as I do about pelvic exams and ultrasounds, I ask the questions,

why is this being used, convenience or solid medical reason? What are they looking for and most importantly, what would I do with the information?
Then I ask, can it wait? You can hear a heartbeat at around 17 weeks with a fetascope.
I personally found that I don't trust the technology used so frequently in prenatal care, and if there was a non invasive way to get useful information, I would wait until that was available.
It meant not having extra reassurance earlier on but it is worth it to me when I sit with the question. This time around we did listen to the hb with a Doppler, just to ease my miscarriage paranoid mind, and we did so for less than five seconds. So like I said before you can always change your mind.
I think you are doing all the right things, here we are, questions and consideration are part of becoming an informed parent, and it's a process that we all go through when becoming mothers. It will continue when your sweet babe is born, through nursing and toddler years and when it comes time for school. It is daunting when you're looking at the big picture but it is really like they say, one day, one issue at a time. Asking for help here, and with your midwife, and feeling it out with other mamas is exactly what you are supposed to be doing. It's a steep learning curve, you're doing a good job tackling it.
post #19 of 23

Dopplers are non-invasive and the goo is so that the sound waves travel better, because if she didn't use the goo the sound waves would go all over the room instead of down to hear the heartbeat. I personally feel that there is a medical reasoning behind using the doppler, it is a health assessment tool for early fetal health. That also being said, you should never feel like you can't say, wait, can you explain this a little further, it's not what I expected. 

post #20 of 23

After having an early miscarriage, I'm more open to using the doppler. I may want to switch to fetoscope once I'm far enough along for that to be effective. But, it calms my nerves to hear the heartbeat. I may also not worry about it so much once I can really feel baby moving. I think you should definitely speak up if you want more information or want to make informed consent. I know I had a similar feeling about my midwife using a doppler during my last pregnancy. I was at an appointment and she yanked it out and used it without even seeing if I was OK with it. That really bothered me. She did other things later that made me decide to drop her. 

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