Requesting no cervical check…

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
834 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I had a pap smear done prior to getting pregnant. I’m 26 weeks now and haven’t had anocheck internal check since. I know when it gets closer to my due date the dr will want to check for efface net dilation etc.. But I’m not going to let him do it every appointment.them going to limit them to not interfere with the natural process/progression. I also heard horror stories of drs sweeping u without telling u and that worries me enough to not allow unlimited checks. Tell your dr how u feel…it should be noproblem to keep them to a very minimum. 

Post # 4
3677 posts
Sugar bee

I think it really depends on the individual doctor and his/her attitude toward their role and the patient’s role. If your doctor sees you as an active partner in determining your care, an agent in making decisions, and the authority about your own body, the response will be very different from that of a doctor who sees him/herself as the authority and thinks the patient’s role is to shut up and obey.

I would say, too, that you seem to indirectly be asking “What should I do? Should I stay with this doctor? Should I fight this battle or is it not worth it?” And I think that depends on whether it’s more important to you to stay with your current doctor (and save the trouble of looking for a new provider, etc.) or to find out how his/her philosophy aligns with yours so that you can know if you should look for a new provider …?

You might try phrasing it as “What are your thoughts about doing cervical checks only on my request?” rather than “no cervical checks” … that couches it in more neutral and less confrontational terms, for one thing, and it is also possible that you might get to a certain point in your labor and genuinely want to be checked to find out how far you are … so, asking the question that way just leaves the door a little bit more open on both sides?

Post # 5
415 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I haven’t been checked since 8 weeks. I’m 39 weeks now. They might check me next week. I have a midwife though. She said she’s willing to check if I’d like to be checked but it’s really not necessary unless there are indicators of a problem (miscarriage, heavy bleeding), I’m in labour, or I’m coming up to 42 weeks.

Post # 6
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I agree with @KCKnd2:  about phrasing it as a conversation – are we on the same page, as opposed to making demands without even knowing the reason behind things.

I had a pelvic at my first OB visit – didn’t need a pap smear as I wasn’t due for one (if they’ve always been normal, they only need to be done every 3-5 years starting at age 21), got gonorrhea/chlamydia testing (standard part of prenatal testing), and she did a manual exam to feel if my uterus was the right size for my gestational age, what position it was in, and whether I had any abnormalities/masses/etc.  I won’t need another exam until 36 weeks, and even that doesn’t require a manual exam if I don’t want one – they really just need to swab for group b strep.  You can say you don’t want to have a cervical exam ever until you present in labor, although a lot of people get curious as they get close to their due dates, or if you need to be induced then they’ll probably want to know where you’re at so they know what medications to give.

In general, I would approach it from the standpoint of asking questions to understand why any proposed interventions are being suggested.  Is it to check for infections that could harm you or your baby?  Then I’d say to trust your OB’s judgment.  Is it because of an arbitrary timeline and “just to check?”  Then feel free to decline.  You’re in control of what happens to your body, but you are seeing a medical professional for a reason, so I don’t think you should flat-out refuse anything until you’ve discussed the reasoning behind it.  But that’s just my opinion.

Post # 7
8824 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I’m 30 weeks and haven’t had a pap done at all. I had one done a few months prior and it came back fine so my doctor said it wasn’t necessary.

However, if I suspected I had any issues down there (infections or what not) I would definitely be willing to be checked out and swabbed. Whatever it takes to keep baby safe 🙂

Post # 8
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Father's Vineyard Church/ A Touch of Class Banquet Center

I had to have one done at 10 weeks but it was because I was spotting and it turned out I actually had an infection in my cervix. I also just had one done this week at 33 weeks because we thought I was leaking fluid (I’m not thank goodness!). If it wasn’t because of those complications, I definitely would not have had one until 37 weeks. They will only start doing them then because they like to get an idea of how things are progressing, but knowing my midwives, if I asked for none, they would probably respect my wishes.

Post # 9
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@tampalove35:  they don’t do cervical checks until te end. You can refuse them if you want. A pap is not a cervical check but you can also refuse that if you want.

Post # 10
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

@tampalove35:  I wouldn’t worry about having any type of cervical check until you’re in labour. My sister had a planned homebirth in a birthing tub with a midwife. The midwife did her cervical check, and actually felt the cord. Meaning a cord-prolapse. Meaning call 911, get your ass to the hospital to get that baby out by a c section, or your baby will 1.Die or 2. Live, but with brain damage. Cord Prolapse affects 0.5% of pregnancies. Doctors usually don’t even check for it, her nurses at the hospital were astonished. They had never heard of anyone “catching” it. Her midwife had actually caught a cord prolapse just the week before her as well.. so weird, but so so lucky. She now has a perfect 1 year old boy!

Post # 12
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

@tampalove35:  Maybe be upfront and tell your doctor right away that in the past doctors have made you feel as if you are backed into a corner and that “The HPV shot is so important!” or “You must be on birth control!” I always felt the same way! I dropped birth control a while ago cause I was sick of the hormones. My mom pressured me to get the HPV shot as well.. I went for the first shot and honestly I was too lazy to get the rest. I’m so happy I didn’t complete it!

Be upfront and say you want as little intervention as possible. That is your right as a patient!

Post # 13
1802 posts
Buzzing bee

@tampalove35:  I agree with you about the HPV thing. I got them when I was quite young. I think I started them when I was around 12. They basically told my mom that there was no other option really, almost like I was certain to get HPV and then die if I didn’t get these shots. More recently I’ve started seeing things in the news about the result of them and everything. It’s pretty scary to think that the people you trust to give you sound advice on your health don’t know the end result themselves.

As for your question, in general you really do have to be the voice and advocate of your own health. Doctors will do exactly what they think is right based on what worked and didn’t work for a majority of patients, but you know your own body, and you also know that you are unique and aren’t exactly like anyone else. Healthcare is becoming more and more like a business everyday, and from working in healthcare, I’ve experienced firsthand that if you just sit back and allow them to do whatever they suggest without questioning and finding out information for yourself then you will end up being pushed around to whichever way suits your doctors rather than what you want. I mean I know there are GREAT doctors out there, but at the end of the day I think we all realize that it is a job. Once while I was volunteering in a hospital I heard a doctor complaining to a nurse that one of his patients wasn’t dialting quickly enough. He basically told the nurse to find any little thing that can get him to convince her to have a c-section because he wanted to take a nap before he left for vacation.

Post # 14
3020 posts
Sugar bee

@tampalove35:  I’m 32w. The only internal exam I’ve had done was that initial Pap smear. I don’t see a problem with it and I trust my physician to only do things as necessary. 

Post # 15
1192 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I didn’t have any checks until I was well into active labour.

Post # 16
1558 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@tampalove35:  I had a pap smear a couple of months before I got pregnant, so I didn’t have one.  If I did have one, I would have thought of it more along the lines of my regular pap smear as opposed to pregnancy interevention, but I have had abnormal paps in the past, so if my dr. recomends one, I get it.  As someone who has HPV, and didn’t get the shots, I wish I would have gotten them because HPV is not fun, and there is a very real risk of getting cancer.  I have been ok the past 2 years, but I have also had to have many biopsies done due to it.  The only other time I have them look at my cervix so far was at 19 weeks (I am only 23 weeks).  They just did a transvaginal ultrasound to measure the length of my cervix to make sure that I wasn’t high risk for preterm birth.  

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