Did you know that your care provider may recommend checking your cervix starting at 36-37 weeks? These cervical checks(often called pelvic exams or vaginal exams)can happen starting at 36 weeks, once a week until you deliver. Your care provider is looking for dilation, effacement, and position of baby. But what is the evidence for these invasive cervical checks?🤔 Are they necessary?🤔 Can they predict anything? 🤔 Can you refuse cervical checks?🤔
📌they can be very uncomfortable and painful
📌they introduce bacteria into your vaginal canal
📌your care provider does not need to see baby’s position by doing a cervical exam. baby’s position is detectable by ultrasound as well as feeling from mommy’s belly
📌if you’ve had sexual trauma in the past, it can bring up old feelings
📌it increases your chances of accidentally rupturing your water by 18%. This can lead to a needed medical induction, longer labor and chance of infection. a cesarean is often the outcome
📌these checks are mostly done out of tradition and routine
📌what your cervix is doing before labor starts tells us only stats of your cervix. you can dilated for weeks before your baby is born. you can be completely closed and have a baby that same day. it’s normal
📌it’s only a progress report of what the cervix has done so far, but the cervix can also begin to close again
📌they can leave you feeling one of two ways: feeling like baby is coming very soon because you’re dilated, or feeling like you’ll forever be pregnant because you’re not dilated. You’ll be on pins and needles when the information you were given means NOTHING
📌your provider may want to induce you if your cervix is tight and closed and not much progress has happened. this is not evidence based care
📌your provider may say your cervix is "favourable" for an induction, this is not evidence based care either
📌cervical exams can interupt the very important physiological process
📌many women have reported that providers have stripped their membranes without consent during routine cervical exams
📌they can cause painful contractions and bleeding that leave the mother exhausted and frustrated
🔮Luckily, many providers do not offer routine cervical exams. But we still have providers out there who are using your cervix as a crystal ball to predict birth and use it as a tool to push unnecessray interventions that can lead to poor outcoes for mother and baby 🔮
⚠️Can you decline cervical exams? YES! All you have to say is “No, thank you”. It’s important to remember that YOU are the consumer. It’s YOUR body and baby. You have the right to refuse cervical exams⚠️
ROUTINE CERVICAL EXAMS ARE INVASIVE, UNNECESSARY, UNCOMFORTABLE, DO NOT TELL YOU WHEN BABY WILL COME, INCREASES YOUR CHANCE OF RUPTURING YOUR WATERS, INCREASES YOUR CHANCE OF AN INDUCTION, INFECTION AND CESAREAN!
If your cervix was meant to be used as a crystal ball, it woud be on the outside of your body where we can all see it. But it's not. It's hidden from view for a reason........
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