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Old 03-14-2005, 02:35 AM   #1
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worried about cervix being open

i am about 10 weeks pregnant. i am beginning to get really worried that something is wrong...

i often check my cervix so that i know when i am ovulating. well, when i learned that i was pregnant, i did a search online to find out what my cervix should be doing now that i am pregnant. i have learned that it should be closed. well, it is not. it has been open for more than 8 weeks now!
at first it was just open like it would normally be during ovulation (i couldn't quite fit the tip of my finger into the small "dimple"). i kept waiting for it to eventually close, but instead it has opened more and more. it is now open wide enough so that i can fit my finger almost an inch into it!
sorry for all the details, but i don't know how to explain it any other way.
i have felt no abnormal pain or bleeding. what could be happening?
i am really worried about this. i have searched online, and everything i have seen so far makes it sound as though my cervix should be closed.
could i have an incompentent cervix?
thank you for any help.

 
Old 03-14-2005, 04:02 AM   #2
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Re: worried about cervix being open

I might be wrong, but one of the things that I think all your internet searches should have indicated is that pregnant women should not check their cervixes- EVER! The risk of introducing bacteria is just way too high, and for what? I was charting and checking my cervix too, so I (like you) was pretty familiar with what was "normal" up there, but absolutely no good can come from checking it when you're pregnant.

Have you had your first doctor appointment yet? Did they check you then?

If it's something you really can't relax about, I would just explain your fears to your doctor. Maybe you just don't understand what you're feeling now that your pregnant. I know you've been doing some reading, but I still think when it comes to these things the doctors know best. If the doctor seems unconcerned by your fears and unwilling to do an internal exam, you could fib just a little and say you have a close friend or a sister who lost a baby due to an incompetent cervix and you're just worried it could happen to you too. If that still doesn't make the doctor responsive to your needs, I would find a new doctor.

I know every newly-pregnant woman has worries. Believe me, when I was in the first trimester I must have posted a new question on here every day, freaking out about something! But the best advice for right now is for you to eat well and relax. And please don't stick your finger an inch into your cervix while you're pregnant (or anytime, really!)! I'm sure that cannot be good for you, no matter how clean you think your hands are. There could always be some sort of bacteria up under your nail, for instance, that could end up causing an infection, and that's the last thing you want.

I wish you the best of luck!
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Old 03-14-2005, 05:44 AM   #3
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Re: worried about cervix being open

I agree that you should only have your doctor do the exam and NEVER check your own cervix while pregnant. You could do a lot more harm than good. Mention your concern at your next doctor's appointment and have the doctor check.

 
Old 03-14-2005, 05:23 PM   #4
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Re: worried about cervix being open

new mommy,
your doctor should be able to check the length of your cervix with a vaginal u/s. I had an incompetent cervix due to a cone biopsy to remove cervical cancer and my doctor measured my cervix every week until at 20 weeks he decided to go ahead with a cerclage. I was on moderate bed rest until 25 weeks and went on full bed rest due to preterm labor. Have your doctor measure your cervix and I agree with the other ladies, please do not check your own. Good luck

 
Old 03-14-2005, 06:51 PM   #5
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Frynd1 HB User
Re: worried about cervix being open

Bring it up at your next appt. They will check you. However, when I was 26 weeks and having cramps, mine still didn't check me.

Doesn't it hurt to have you cervix checked? Isn't that way up in there?

 
Old 03-14-2005, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: worried about cervix being open

here is a topic from the archives of this board-
[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/archive/index.php/t-82286.html[/url]

fntsyangel
10-09-2002, 03:24 PM
Ok ... I am sure this will seem a bit strange, but I had good reasons for learning, and this is going to be pretty graphic (sorry) but I cant think of any other way to explain.

First, you have got to make sure to wash your hands well before and after (or use sterile med gloves, I suppose).

It is easiest done sitting on the toilet because it tips the uterus forward and shortens the vaginal passage.

You take one finger and reach inside the vaginal passage to the uppermost and locate your cervix (which is circular with a "dimple" in the middle of it). You feel around the edges, the middle, etc. Basically become familiar with what it feels like. It changes at different times in the cycle, and with pregnancy. That's it. If you are mid - late pregnancy you can also feel the tissue just behind it to see if you can feel the baby's head (sign of effacement).

I am not sure what use this is except for checking for pregnancy and during pregnancy (the reasons I learned) but it could be useful in TTC, I imagine. I am extremely thankful that I learned to do this because during my last pregnancy my doctor kept trying to tell me that all the contractions were fine, no big deal, and had I not personally felt the changes - dialation of the opening, loss of all length, feeling baby's head - I probably would have believed him, never demanded he do a pelvic, and would probably have given birth at 30 weeks if not before. Now, instead of calling the doc everytime I have an instance of severe, prolonged, frequent contractions, I only call if I am not sure what to think of what I feel in my cervix. It helps me to feel more secure about my sittuation of being at high risk for PTL.

Anyway, there ya go - I am SURE its not for the ultra-shy or faint of heart, but after my history, I prefer to know every little intimate detail about my body!!

------------------
Angel
Stephanie (7), Caitlen (5), Arica (1), Kai Thomas EDD 1-23-03
hunnybear201
10-09-2002, 06:03 PM
Just wanted to add to Angel's message. I read somewhere that before and during the first 4-5 weeks of pregnancy that your cervix should be hard like the way the tip of your nose feels "maybe even harder" when you touch it and if and when you are pregnant the cervix will become soft like the way your earlobe feels. I tested this theory and it was right. my cervix was soft last week and I was about 5 1/2 weeks. I have also read that before preg. and in the early weeks of preg. Your cervix is low and within a few weeks of preg. the cervix pulls itself up making it harder for you to reach with one finger. This for me was also true. I have to say I have learned more about my body during pregnancy than ever! lol!
P.S. my very first symptom of preg. was a week after my af (period) I began cramping and then a few weeks later my nipples bagan to tingle and then I began making frequent trips to the bathroom.
Best of luck to you Amanda



that's not where i first learned about this, i forget exactly where i read it, but you get the idea.
anyways, i did go to the doctor's today, but i didn't get to see the doctor, instead i got the nurse. when i asked her if it was ok for my cervix to be open, she asked how i knew that it was. i told her how, and she didn't know that it was possible to even reach your cervix, much less tell if it was open or closed. she wouldn't tell me anything about it...
i hear doubt in all of your words, but i know where my cervix is, and i am very familiar with it. it has never been open like this, so that is what worried me. it is also very low.
it wasn't like i was trying to put my finger into the cervix opening, but when i felt to see if it was open, it was unavoidable.
it does not hurt at all, and depending on what stage of your mentrual cycle you are in, it is reachable. i check it while sitting on the toilet.
this is not my first pregnancy, i have a 3 year old son. during my pregnancy with him, at about 5 or 6 weeks, my cervix was almost unreachable, and very tightly closed. it stayed that way through the entire pregnancy.

 
Old 03-14-2005, 09:15 PM   #7
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Re: worried about cervix being open

I'm not going to yell at you for checking your cervix. IMO, it's your body, and as I've mentioned before, sex is okay through pregnancy, and Lord knows a penis stuck in sweaty underwear all day is a bacteria haven. And I know for a fact that it hits my cervix sometimes! LOL. I can feel it. Doctors don't recommend that you both shower and sterilize before sex. KWIM?

So I'm not going to lecture you about that.

However, I will say that I was told by the doctor (this is my second PG) it's common for the bottom of your cervix to be slightly open in a second PG. This doesn't mean your entire cervix is open. I had a cervical exam b/c of pressure and pain a few months back and was told my cervix was "open on the outside (bottom) but long and closed on the inside (top)" by the doc. She then went on to explain the common fingertip dilation of subsequent pregnancies, the reason 2nd labors go alot faster. As my pregnancy this time had progressed, my cervix has gotten progressively higher and more tilted back. At my 36 week appt. the doc said she could barely get to it. LOL. Which kind of stinks because I'm ready for this baby to come OUT. But anyway, I had fairly regular cervical exams because I have an irritable uterus, and they always mention the typical fingertip dilation at the bottom, but follow up with "long and closed." Plus remember everything is going to be lower this time because your uterus, muscles, and ligaments have already sagged under the weight of one baby.

I'd just ask for one the next time I went it and try not to worry too much. At this point in pregnancy there isn't much anyone could do if something were wrong anyway. But if you had a healthy full term baby the first time with no major trauma and have had no cervical procedures like a biopsy or a DNC since then, I'd say the chances you have an incompetent cervix are very low.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:17 PM   #8
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Re: worried about cervix being open

ok, thanks. that eases my mind somewhat.
yeah, i would say i definately had a healthy full term baby. i had him one day before my due date, and he was whopping 9 lbs. and 6oz.

 
Old 03-15-2005, 07:13 AM   #9
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Re: worried about cervix being open

i'm sorry, i have to disagree with Siren. I spent several weeks in the perinatal unit at my local hospital on bed rest waiting for my daughter to arrive safely and I met several women who had 1,2, even 3 normal preganancies and were in the unit with me because they had developed cervical problems and had to have cerclages like i did. I have a lot of experience with this. Please young mommy have your cervix checked with a vaginal u/s it does not hurt and it could save your babies life - it saved my daughter. Good luck

 
Old 03-15-2005, 06:42 PM   #10
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Re: worried about cervix being open

Hi- I just wanted to say I didn't mean to sound negative. It's just that when I was charting to get pregnant I read on a lot of message boards where women had posted asking what their cervix should feel like during pregnancy. So when I read those questions, I searched around on the internet and found lots of articles by doctors that really recommend against checking your cervix after ovulation even if you THINK you might be pregnant.

The post about sex being much more bacteria-ridden than a clean finger, well that just plain makes sense- I hadn't even thought of it like that! But I still think the best thing to do is mention it to your doctor. If your doctor or nurse doesn't give your concern the respect it deserves, then maybe I might think about looking for a doctor I felt more comfortable with, but that's just me.

I don't doubt that you know what your cervix normally feels like, and again, I definitely didn't mean to be unsupportive! I hope everything is ok for you!
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:48 PM   #11
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Re: worried about cervix being open

thanks lawgirl. i did mention it to the nurse, (i hardly ever get to see the actual doctor), and i would love to change doctors, but having medi-cal doesn't give me many options. its a big hassle to change doctors...

 
Old 03-15-2005, 07:37 PM   #12
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Re: worried about cervix being open

Okay yall all correct me if I am wrong....Some women's cervix is lower and can be checked easier, so it's not always far up. Now if your still having sex, doesn't your husband use his hand on occasion? and is that not also up where your cervix is at? But people don't stop doing that, do they?
and your cervix is suppose to be closed. Getting an infection is not very likely.
If it were then sex would be completely off limits....
I too checked mine and found that it didn't feel closed when I first found out that I was pregnant, But later had the doctor check it and was told that everything was normal. If it is open then you do stand a greater chance of getting an infection, but even then you have what they call a mucus plug protecting you from getting anything inside of the uterus.
But to ease your fears talk to your doctor....I am sure he will do a pelvic exam to make sure your not dilating. But chances are every thing will be normal....Let me know all your opinions on this....Like I said I could be wrong on this, but I have done research and found nothing to say it is dangerous.
But that is what this board is far...to share opinions.....

 
Old 03-16-2005, 02:21 AM   #13
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Re: worried about cervix being open

yeah, i guess ill just have to wait till i see my doctor.

it was just really wierd and scared me when i felt it open so much! i know this may sound odd (and sorta gross maybe) but the only analogy i can think to give would be a fish mouth. (the opening of my cervix has the same shape too, or at least it feels that way.) imagine a good sized fish- like one you'd see in a fish tank in someone's house, the mouth of the fish would have to be open about 3/4 of an inch. then imagine you could fit your finger about an inch into the fish!
sorry, i don't mean to be gross comparing a cervix to a fish mouth, but it's all i can think of.

 
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