cervical tumors/scar tissue and vaginal birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 09-30-2006, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i have a friend who has had precancerous cells removed from her cervix repeatedly over the past six years. she is wanting to do a natural vaginal birth (her EDD is in May) and her OB supports her in this decision but has told her that the tumors could possibly prevent her from dilating properly and this could lead to a c-section. can anyone tell me what would be good to build her immunity and reduce/eliminate the tumors, and to soften any leftover scar tissue from her previous surgeries? tia!

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#2 of 18 Old 09-30-2006, 09:56 AM
 
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I know little about tumors except that pregnancy can cause more rapid growth. I do kno wabout scar tissue though. One thing I have learned with scar tissue is that it can make a labor longer because the cervix has trouble dilating. Often, a woman will be acting like she's in hard labor but only dilated to 1. Doctor will come in and break the scar tissue and she'll go from 1 to 8 during the breaking. It is one of the few times I think to suggest an epidural. It is incredibly painful. I asked a bunch of docs about why they don't just inject numbing medication into the cervix and they said whata I though they would: the numbing medication causes the cervix to swell and can make it more challenging to break the scar tissue. It can be done though and is something to think about. I have attended a few biths with scar tissue (one where the mom didn't mention it to me beforehand but I figuredit out when she was laboring like she was near transition but wasn't dilating for anything). A scarred cervix can break open on its own, it just can take a very very long time and a lot of very powerful contractions. If I had a scarred cervix, I'd probably ask for it to be broken through (it is pulled with hands...it looks horrible to watch!) from the get-go. Best wishes to your friend!

Namaste, Tara
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#3 of 18 Old 09-30-2006, 10:20 AM
 
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I actually had pre-cancerous cells and then cervical cancer and had part of my cervix removed.
The cells that collect on the cervix aren't really tumors the way you would picture a tumor, they are tiny, that is why they are called pre-cancerous cells rather than tumors usually.
The issue would be the scar tissue that is left behind from removing the cells.
After I had my surgery I had a lot of scar tissue as you can imagine I had cancerous cells on 3 different areas of my cervix.
I have had 3 vaginal births since then including 2 at home.

Now, I will tell you with my second child - my first after my surgery - I did get stuck at 6cm for 18 hours as a result of the scar tissue. The doc was nowhere and the nurse didn't believe me (usually they will help break the scar tissue) well, it just broke on it's own and I went from 6cm to 10cm immediately.

My OB NEVER mentioned cesarean but then again this was in 1995 when the cesarean rate was half what it is now. Obviously, I haven't seen your friends cervix but I can't see of any reason why she could not deliver vaginally, it was never a concern for myself or my OB or later my MW. Oh, and after that difficult 22 hour 2nd birth I have had a 6 hour and 45 minute homebirths.

Her labor can be longer because of the scar tissue so I would encourage her to hire a doula but there is likely no reason for a cesarean.

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#4 of 18 Old 09-30-2006, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks ladies, i do appreciate it. i will tell her this. i was able to find some info on midwiferytoday.com about this and another thing on the site suggested that evening primrose oil towards the end of pregnancy applied to the cervix could help. i knew that it would help soften the cervix, but the site said that it could also help soften the scar tissue. anyways, thanks again for sharing.

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#5 of 18 Old 09-30-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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I think she needs to ask more questions. Precancerous cells are not "tumors" and they do not impede childbirth in any way. In fact - sometimes the cells will revert to normal after giving birth. She should get a second opinion - not with his OB partner - preferably with a woman.
Scar tissue can impede labor because the cervix is "tight" and cannot open as readily - but that is no reason to jump to a c-section. This kind of medicine makes me furious.
Carla
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#6 of 18 Old 10-01-2006, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i may have messed that up a bit, because i couldn't recall what exactly she said that her OB told her. when my sil was pregnant, she had some tumors on her cervix and she said her OB had told her that it could possibly cause problems during delivery, so perhaps i got the two instances confused. i'm only sure that my friend said that the scar tissue could cause a problem with dilation.

my friend doesn't want to see anyone else because she has had this OB since all of her female problems began 6 yrs ago and they have a certain closeness. she said her OB cried with her when they thought there was a possibility she might not be able to conceive because of some ovarian problem. the OB is female. i think her OB does understand that she doesn't want a c-section, but i don't know just how supportive her OB will be in helping her to attain a vaginal birth. she said she would share the info that i gave her with her OB. so i'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that the OB is open to knowledge and willing to honestly work with my friend on this!

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#7 of 18 Old 10-01-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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I had cervical cancer, and a cone biopsy 4 years prior to birthing my ds, and I birthed vaginally, but had the experience of hard labor with no results for hours, and ended up getting an epidural. After that kicked in, I dilated boom to 10 cm and laughed my baby out. It can be done, it can be more painful. I hadn't been given any recommendations about preparing my cervix, there was only concern that I would have an incompetent cervix during the pregnancy...which didn't end up being the case.
I hope everything goes well for your friend!!!
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#8 of 18 Old 10-02-2006, 01:32 AM
 
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I'll just add my experience. I had cryocautery to remove precancer cells and had cervical scarring.

My labor was long- pitocin augmented- long- epiduraled- long- and I did most of my dilating at the end. I did birth vaginally, but I had boat loads of patience and the patience of my family and friends and DOCTOR. Patience is of utmost importance.

(I should add that my baby was OP and asynclitc- so that may have been part of the slow. Help her make sure her baby is optimally positioned. www.spinningbabies.com)

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#9 of 18 Old 10-10-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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I too have scar tissue on my cervix from cryotherapy, and labored (hard) for 20 hours, and hadn't dilated past 1 cm. Agreed to pitocin and an epi, and immediately started dilate. Was able to birth vaginally thanks to a very patient midwife who was willing to try everything to avoid a c section. Have your friend ask her OB about evening primrose oil, encourage her to have a birth plan that communicates her desires, and talk with her OB about all the options and possibilities of what could happen during labor.
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#10 of 18 Old 10-10-2006, 04:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpenguin View Post
i have a friend who has had precancerous cells removed from her cervix repeatedly over the past six years. she is wanting to do a natural vaginal birth (her EDD is in May) and her OB supports her in this decision but has told her that the tumors could possibly prevent her from dilating properly and this could lead to a c-section. can anyone tell me what would be good to build her immunity and reduce/eliminate the tumors, and to soften any leftover scar tissue from her previous surgeries? tia!
My aunt had this problem in labor. She had PROM, was dilated to one, was put on PIT after 24 hours of no labor and went to 2cm for hours and hours and hours. My aunt really wanted a vaginal delivery. She wanted to go natural but PIT changed that. Anyway, my sister told the doc on call that my aunt had the cryo surgery several times in the past and a light bulb went on. The doctor went in and manually (lets say painful) stretched/manipulated the scar tissue in the cervix and she went to 2-8 in two hours, then 30 min laters was fully dilated and ready to push. A year later my friend had the same issue, and her OB had to do something to her cervix as well. Once that happened she dilated rapidly and had her baby.

From talking to various people this seems to be one of the reasons people are listed as FTP. Women sometimes, out of embarrassment may fail to tell their providers they had surgery for various reasons. From what I understand though it can be worked around, though painful.
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#11 of 18 Old 10-10-2006, 04:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Synchro246 View Post
I'll just add my experience. I had cryocautery to remove precancer cells and had cervical scarring.

My labor was long- pitocin augmented- long- epiduraled- long- and I did most of my dilating at the end. I did birth vaginally, but I had boat loads of patience and the patience of my family and friends and DOCTOR. Patience is of utmost importance.

(I should add that my baby was OP and asynclitc- so that may have been part of the slow. Help her make sure her baby is optimally positioned. www.spinningbabies.com)
Patience I believe is key. My aunt was lucky in that regard!
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#12 of 18 Old 10-10-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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It sounds like my experience was very similar to your aunts. Only thing with mine was that when the mw and the ob tried to strech my cervix they never got any more than a half a cm and it didn't change after that. Maybe they weren't being as agressive as they could have been. : It worked out ok though.

~laura
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#13 of 18 Old 10-10-2006, 08:25 PM
 
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I only had cryo one time (one of the biggest mistakes of my life) but it caused me to have so much cervical scarring that my midwife also had to manually break up the scar tissue and I still never dilated past 8cm. I was totally effaced so I was able to push ds past what cervix I had left and break up the rest of the scar tissue. I know I probably would have been sectioned if I had gone with an OB b/c my water had been broken for 20 hours and I was GBS+ and declined antibiotics (my son was totally fine and never showed signs of GBS). Patience and a good technical understanding of the situation are key- a section happy Dr. could easily label her as "failure to progress" without ever even trying to break up the scar tissue.

It can make for a very painful birth- you can read my birth story if you want to get an idea of how a birth might go. Click on ds's birthday in my siggie.

As far as preventing precancerous cells from forming or returning it is important to quit smoking (if she does), get off birth control pills and stay off them (the hormones in them block absorbtion of B vitamins and being in a vitamin deficient state will wreck the immune system), take antioxidants (Dr. Northrup recommends Grape seed extract and a high quality food-based multi-vitamin/mineral supplement. Since these cells are often caused by the HPV virus it helps to take anti-viral herbs like raw garlic, goldenseal, elderberry, etc. There are a lot of herbal/nutritional things you can do rather than jumping to surgery that can cause lots of labor/ pregnancy complications. I have been doing these things for 3 years now since my bad PAP and have had nothing but normal PAPs!

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#14 of 18 Old 10-10-2006, 08:59 PM
 
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The pain I felt at 1-3 cms was 100X's worse than the pain I felt later in transition. The pain I felt when my midwife manually dilated me almost blacked me out it was so awful. But it worked!! I gave birth vaginally - it was a very difficult experience.

I did EPO orally in large doses and vaginally as well and saw no improvement. I don't know though, maybe it would have been even more difficult to impossible for my midwife to dilate me without all that early prep work on my part. It certainly can't hurt.
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#15 of 18 Old 10-10-2006, 09:03 PM
 
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The pain I felt at 1-3 cms was 100X's worse than the pain I felt later in transition. The pain I felt when my midwife manually dilated me almost blacked me out it was so awful. But it worked!! I gave birth vaginally - it was a very difficult experience.

I did EPO orally in large doses and vaginally as well and saw no improvement. I don't know though, maybe it would have been even more difficult to impossible for my midwife to dilate me without all that early prep work on my part. It certainly can't hurt.
My aunt said the same thing. She let her epi wear off for the pushing stage and she pushed for over four hours ( a little baby at that) and she still says that the pain she had at 2cm was hell and then when they manually removed the scar tissue, even with an epidural, she felt like she could crawl the walls with pain.
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#16 of 18 Old 10-12-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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the removal not the HPV are usually the cause of scar tissue/adhesions that could prevent dilation- I have seen this where a woman has had the surgery and contracting well- what seems like very active labor but her cervix is 2 cm- and so effaced it feels like it could be the membranes- any how what can be done is something similar to stripping the membranes and the adhesions break up and dilation went instantly from 2 to 6 -- the problem is that some careproviders don't know to break up the adhesions and there is a danger that the cervix would tear rather than the adhesions break- the good news is that vaginal birth is associated with reduction of dysplasia-- probably the intense change in circulation---
someone else suggest some very good things like B vitamins and folic acid and I would say vitamin C RDA of vitamin A-the studies show that women who have HPV and or dysplasia also are low in these vitamins
after she stops bleeding in the postpartum she can topically yes I mean topically apply on her cervix calendula oil or gel and if she can't reach her cervix- then a tampon soaked in calendula oil or gel and placed on/near the cervix 3 x a week --
this is a classic remedy that works well and is anti inflammatory. antiyeast and antibacterial and must have some degree of antiviral activity what I know is that it works and others have reported it works and this kind of treatment was studied in 600+ cases and it held up even to long term followup
the study I read also used a vitamin A cap punctured and inserted up near the cervix at night as well
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#17 of 18 Old 10-13-2006, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone for your sharing your experiences and thoughts. this has been so enlightening!

mwherbs... is it oK to apply calendula during pregnancy?

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#18 of 18 Old 10-13-2006, 04:10 AM
 
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yes she can use the calendula during pregnancy- I would test it on the inside of my forearm or somewhere else first just to be sure there is no sensitivity- it would be a rare reaction but something to rule out before it is in such a tender area...
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