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Cerclage Anyone?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay, so for some reason I decided to have an US even though I was planning a home birth. I just couldn't fathom having a real live baby inside of me so I had to see, you know? Well, anyway, against my midwife, DH and many friend's advice, I went back for a second one at 24 weeks because I just needed to. They told me that my cervix was effacing and I could lose the baby any time. So I quit my job, dropped out of school and went on immediate bedrest, started seeing a specialist for an US every week, began progesterone shots and after my cervix began to dilate at 27 weeks, finally agreed to the steroid shot. My water broke at 30 weeks and we held on for another 2 weeks and then my DS was born naturally and vaginally, hollering and screaming (music to my ears). After almost a month in the NICU we brought him home and are now living happily ever after. To make a short story long, it seems that for my next pregnancy, a cerclage will be recommended and, I don't know about you, but stitching my cervix shut sounds like a freaking nightmare. Has anyone had this done and how god-awful is it? I would agree to do it if it meant no bedrest and homebirth. How effective is it? Love to hear some stories...

In Solidarity- Vegarchist
post #2 of 7
I recently read something about a new study saying that cerclage has no effect in preventing preterm labor. I wish I could remember where I read it! It was probably in the NY Times Science Times section in the last few months. I'll try to find it for you.
post #3 of 7
Yup, all the recent studies suggest that cerclage has no effect on preterm labor.

Think about it - would your body say "Hmm, there are stiches in my cervix, so I will not allow hormones to put me into labor." It makes no sense at all. Babies don't simply drop out of the cervix. And the cervix has nothing to do with starting labor....
post #4 of 7
You can do a search in the Cochrane Consumer research database about cerclage and find more specific support for cervical cerclage not preventing pregnancy loss or preterm labor. I'm not sure if it's still there, but visit www.informedhealthonline.org for the most recent Cochrane reserach reviews.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, this is pretty disturbing. I trusted my doctors and that is no small thing. I do not, as a rule, EVER trust doctors. But when I found myself in this situation I had to have them and they were great. But now I am deeply disturbed by what I am reading. Anyone considering this should check this out.

Obstetrics and Gynocology

As far as what to do for my next pregnancy... I just do not know..
post #6 of 7
I agree that they're probably not all that helpful in all situations. I have had one in a very specialized case (one twin died at 22 weeks and I started dilating and contracting) so we used drugs, rest, cerclage, and blood thinners. But that's not a normal preterm birth situation. I had a spinal to put it in so it didn't hurt. I never noticed it was there. There are a few different kinds, I had one stitch at the top and one at the bottom, sort of purse string-like. One was easy to get out, but after all the contrax the top one was imbedded and it hurt to try to get it...so I needed a spinal to get it out too. Geneerally they can be removed just in bed or on an exam table without a lot of pain or trouble. I don't know what effect it might have had on my birth...when my contrax got too persistant at 36 weeks, we removed it and the drugs and I went into labor. But the demised twin was transverse over the cervix and we couldn't turn her easily. So my other DD couldn't descend properly to keep dilation going. (more saga there...) Other women I have talkjed to who had them did dilate properly. Also, there is no apparant permanent scarring on my cervix.

I'd take a look at the cochrane info, research, and come to your own decision, not just rely on the doc which often is a one-size-fits-all solution. For example...many preterm women are not properly screened for infection (uti, vaginal, gum disease) so a cerclage does not help if the cause is an underlying infection whether chronic or occasional.
post #7 of 7
i have a cerclage in place right now. i think its the best thing in the world. i have delivered prematurely in the past, losing my baby. no, the baby does not know theres a stitch holding him in, however, like stitches anywhere else, it is keeping my cervix closed. hormones are still battling with my stitch, trying to cause it to dilate, but my stitch is strong and secure, and im currently 34 weeks pg, a week that no one thought we'd make it to. my cervix has thinned almost completely and the baby is putting constant pressure on my cervix, but, thank god i have a cerclage in place. i am positive that if i did not have my stitch right now, i would have an extremely premature baby. i also have a friend who lost three babies before getting a cerclage, and with her fourth baby, ended up getting her cerclage removed at 36 weeks, and immediately going into labor. so, as far as the research everyone is doing...im sure in some cases it may not be necessary, but in mine, i am VERY grateful for it and will absolutely have it next time. theres no research proving bed rest actually stops preterm labor either, but ive been on bedrest as well. if it means the life of my child, im willing to deal with it.
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