Can checking the cervix cause labor? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My OB wants to start checking my cervix this week (I will be 36 weeks). Can this cause me to go into labor? My Baby does have SUA, so I have been monitored more closely.... however, I think this is the standard procedure in his office. I really want to know your thoughts!

Thank you!

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#2 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 02:36 AM
 
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If it were me, I would decline these routine exams.

Often, providers will strip your membranes during these routine vaginal exams in the last month of pregnancy, without even telling you. Stripping membranes can start labor (not always, though). However, with any vaginal exam, there is a risk of infection.

There is no real reason for your OB to be doing these weekly exams, except to 1. be monitoring your cervix for 'ripeness' to determine if you are favorable to induction : or 2. to be stripping your membranes to get labor started.

Knowing how dilated or effaced you are right now (or even in labor, for that matter) is pretty much meaningless. It isn't uncommon for women to either walk around for weeks at 4-5 cms. dilation or have a totally undilated cervix and have their baby the very next day.

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#3 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 02:47 AM
 
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Just decline the cervical check. It doesn't tell you or your doctor anything. You don't need anybody's fingers up there, gloved or not, for no reason, do you?
By declining the cervical check, you can be sure no one will rupture your membranes by accident, no one will "surprise" you with a membrane sweep; no one will be poking bacteria up into your cervical opening that would have otherwise stayed out. No one will tsk tsk at you that your cervix is making inadequate progress, or get you all excited because it *seems* like you are going to go into labor any moment (but then you don't, day after day.)
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#4 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 10:35 AM
 
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I agree with the pp.

Why does he want to start checking? What will he do with the info?

Find out the answers and then decide if you need the info or want to take the actions he would rec based on his findings.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#5 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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My peri has started this nonsense too and is being a real jerk about it. I liked him until now that he is showing himself to be a real control freak about checking me and being in charge of this delivery.

At 36 weeks his excuse was he needed to do the strep B which I agreed to because I want that negative test to avoid IV antibiotics at the birth. So I got something out of it.

At 37 weeks they decided I needed to be checked for Chlamidia? Nurse said he would take a swab, no speculum. Well he comes in and inserts a speculum, I am certain it was because he wanted a look at the cervix. He also was very arguementative telling me I didn't know what a contraction felt like and needed cervical checks.

He is not getting another chance.
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#6 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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One of the dr's in the practice I'm going to said she wanted to check me next week (at 28 weeks!) to "make sure nothing was happening early". Um...I don't think so. I have been having no symptoms of preterm labor and believe me, if I thought I was, I would let her know.
I really don't see what the point would be in doing an internal at this point, kwim?
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#7 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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They can use ultrasound at 28 weeks to check the cervix to see if it is shortening if they are worried about preterm labor. It is an external ultrasound.

I have had preterm, precipitous labor and a baby that went septic. I am not averse to prenatal care that helps to ensure a healthier outcome - I just want to know why they do what they do and decide with my care provider if it is what I want.

Momuveight2B - I would think you would know better than a male doctor what a contraction feels like.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#8 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all your great posts! I am planning on declining it as much as he will let me. I took some notes from this post that I will be taking with me to the appointment. I know that he wants to do a strep B test as well, I will let him do that one. Thank you so much again!!!

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#9 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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OK, get that "as much as he will let me" stuff out of your head now. He doesn't let you do anything. He is your employee. If anyone lets anyone do anything, it is YOU who lets him do stuff. He does not have a sovereign right to stick his hands up your hoo-ha. Goodness, you wouldn't let your husband do that without your permission, would you? Then why a near-stranger? Take a cue from Nancy Reagan & Just Say No.





And I swear I didn't mean that quite as bitchy as it sounded; it's just that I hate it when women feel they need to be subservient to their doctors in these cases.

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#10 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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I would agree with Sagesgirl. Doctors don't have a right to your body. You can definitely refuse this kind of procedure, and if they don't like it... too bad.

I was fortunate enough to have a midwife who let me do my own Strep B test. She didn't check me at all until I was 41 weeks with my son. I, coincidentally, did go into labor that evening, but I think that's because the big guy was too cooped up.
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#11 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 06:28 PM
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not to hijack this thread, but if you go past your due date, would you go ahead with an exam at that point? Just wondering, that's where I'm at now, and have had no exams yet.
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#12 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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I was past due date with my last child and seeing the OB every few days. The checks told us nothing. I desperately wanted to hear something wonderful that would let me know my baby was coming but I never did. We finally induced because of high blood pressure and I was still hard and closed. It is hard to know which happens first because being a watched pot causes it's own stress and that can lead to the high blood pressure.

I think as hard as it is that I feel better trusting my own body. It will happen and the baby will come when he is ready.
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#13 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenrose9 View Post
not to hijack this thread, but if you go past your due date, would you go ahead with an exam at that point? Just wondering, that's where I'm at now, and have had no exams yet.
I would not. Unless you're planning an induction (which you shouldn't be for merely being overdue), there is absolutely nothing of value to be gained by dilation/effacement checks. High, tight, & closed no more means you won't go into labor any time soon than being several centimeters dilated means labor is precipitous. My cousin was induced with her youngest for no other reason than because she was 4cm dilated, which of course is a horrendous reason.

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#14 of 14 Old 08-05-2007, 10:30 PM
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thanks mamas!
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