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I had an internal exam today (it was the strep B visit) and learned that the baby IS head down! Woohoo!

But...the exam really, really hurt. I've heard women say that they are uncomfortable. I've seen women in labor (on tv) say that the exam is REALLY painful. I would say on a scale of 1-10 mine was 7.5 painful. What's normal?

Also, I was so hoping to be a little bit dilated or that my cervix would be a little bit thinned. Nothing. No dilation and no thinning. Again, what's normal? How come some people are already dilating at 35 weeks?

On the positive side....I lost a pound but the uterus still grew 2 cm and is still right on track.
 

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I think it vary's from person to person and doctor to doctor. My exams are usually never painful when done by my regular doctor however I have had a couple done in the past by other people and it was horribly painful.

As far as dilation ect.. I wouldn't worry about it.. I am almost 35weeks with my 4th and I am not dilated or effaced yet. Normally for me things usually start to happen around 36-37 weeks but really it doesn't matter because things can change from one day to another
 

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With baby number 1 my intenals hurt worse than my contractions, even prior to labor- in fact prior to labor when I wasn't dilated or close they hurt the worst. I wouldn't say it was abnormal, it wasn't for me atleast.

Most women dilate sooner with each birth, first births can be very slow to dilate. It's not abnormal at all to not be dilated at 35 weeks with a first child, it's also not abnormal at all to be dilated to 1 cm - sometimes 2- the whole third trimester with consecutive pregnancies.

Hope that helps

-Angela
 

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I refuse all internals except the one they need to do before they can admit you to the hospital. They HURT. Crazy bad for me. I don't need to know how dilated I am in the weeks leading up to the birth...it doesn't tell me anything except where my cervix is at that precise point in time anyway. All it does is....well, hurt!
 

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It very common to not be dialated or effaced at 35 wks for any mom. A first time mom especially. It doesn't even mean anything anyways. With my first I was nothing at my appointment and I had my baby the next day. Then with others I have been 1-2 cm for weeks and nothing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
I would say it's normal if you have a cervix. There is no other "normal" at this point.
i completely agree. i have had painful and painless exams. it is also completely within your right to refuse all internal exams at this point ... it's my personal belief they are useless and plain uncomfortable.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tayndrewsmama View Post
Wow, I have never had a painful internal exam. The only time anything has ever been painful for an exam is when they do a pap, but not for anything else.
I wonder if some people are being more forceful than need be.
That was the case with my experience which is why I am going to refuse any checks during labor other than those from my doctor.
 

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My internals have always been painful, but I am chalking that up to an OB with larger than normal hands.
 

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I've never had a painful pap/annual exam, but my 36 week internal with my last pg was very painful. So painful that my mw didn't even finish, she said it wasn't that important to her. Sex also really hurt in the latter half of the third trimester, so I guess I'm just really sensitive at that point in pg.
 

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Ok TMI alert, but we're all in this together. Honestly my exams always feel wretched, because my cervix decide to go somewhere between my vagina and my throat during pregnancy. I mean they are high-like you have to have fingers that are abnormally long to reach right now. I don't even know where my cervix are because I sure can't reach that far. Even my Dr said at my first exam I did very well because it SO hard to even see where they are. So uh yeah for me it feels pretty awful.

As for dilation, uh you are 35 weeks with your first baby, yeah you could be dilated, but probably not right now. I got checked one time at 36 weeks and decided to hell with that I am NEVER doing that again, firstly a waste of time, secondly it sucks to hear nothing is happening, thirdly it hurt way bad. Plus I mean my water broke at 41 weeks and I was 1.5cm dilated I come of a family of women who are like on the world slowest dilation in the universe or something. Then there is my SIL who walked around for weeks dilated to a 2 or 3-it really is a case by case thing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mysticmomma View Post
I would say it's normal if you have a cervix. There is no other "normal" at this point.


I haven't had any internals this pregnancy, and won't until I go to the hospital. DD2 was born at 40 weeks 1 day and I had them check me at my last prenatal appointment before I went into labor (so, sometime after 39 weeks) and there was nothing going on.
 

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I've always thought they were painful if you haven't begun dilating or effacing yet. In that case your cervix is usually sooooo far back that your provider really has SHOVE their fingers deep in to find your cervical opening.

Personally, I didn't even slightly dilate with my first 2 babies until my labor began. I had an internal exam with both babies literally the day before they were born. I was SOOoo discouraged at the time to hear I wasn't even effacing, but it obviously meant nothing because they were born the very next day!


I'm another believer that internals are pretty pointless during pregnancy unless there are pre-term labor concerns. If you aren't exhibiting signs of, or have a history of, pre-term labor, cervical exams are going to tell you nothing. So what if you are or aren't dilating or effacing in late pregnancy?
It doesn't give any indication whatsoever of when labor will begin.

As for me personally, on baby #5, I haven't had any internals other than the ones I give myself & my cervix is still sooOOOO far back that I can't feel it at all. I don't think I've had any effacement or dilation. Which is fine.
 

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I would be very happy if I didn't have to be checked at all. I am convinced it was at a least a factor in my labor stalling last time.

I mean, I labor at home and things are slow but manageable. No checks at all. Arrive at hospital, find out I'm 7 and 100% effaced after an internal that hurts, and then go nowhere for the next 5 hours.
 

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With my other pregnancies I didn;t have any dilation until at least 38 weeks. And for me, internals only hurt during labor.

This time I'm not doing any. I only had one internal last time, and I requested it becuse I thhought I was in early labor.
 
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