Post # 1
I will not be meeting with my dr. until 12 weeks. At that point (well at any point in my pregnancy I suppose…until the end), I am going to request not to have a cervical check done.
Yes I understand the importance of PAP smears and to check for normalcy, but my last PAP was perfect and I’m getting very weired out with over-intervention. I just want things to naturally progress without having people too invasive towards my pregnant body.
I have a gut feeling my dr. might lecture me on the reasoning or importance, but from my research many doctors DONT do them and many midwives only do so on request. I hope this is not an issue, I just really don’t want my appointments to be similar to the “you’re not on the pill? But these are all of our options and you should seriously consider them…” I hate feeling pressured over my body!
Did any other bee request this to their dr? Or did any bee have a dr. who never did an internal exam?? Maybe it’s not even that common…?
Post # 3
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
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
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
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
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
- 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
@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
@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 # 11
@MrsWBS: Thanks! I should have said pap and cervical check since that’s what I’ve been reading up on as to what to expect. It’s good to know that it sounds like many drs. and midwives respect the patients role in the pregnancy.
@Brittanyg20: That’s crazy!! Yes, leading up the birth I will be seeing the midwife I intend to birth with so a check then will be fine. The pap and cervical check between 8-12 weeks freaked me out.
I plan to birth with a midwife, but I wont be seeing her until my third trimester due to a location move. I’ll start with my current dr., but my past experiences with drs. has never been extremely positive. There’s just a few things I’m resentful over in terms of female health– I really felt pressured in the HPV shot and felt stuck in a corner and I was only 19. I did the shots, but am still uncomfortable about my former doctors advice as the know-all word of wisdom.. reading the articles about law-suits today really upset me. The same goes for birthcontrol, Ive never been on the pill yet frequently felt lectured at appointments about all the varities available as if I was never adult enough to be in control of my own fertility. So when I do go into the dr. for my pregnancy I definitely don’t want to feel backed into any corner! And I do have sensative feelings about my treatment plan so it is important to have a dr. willing to work with me.
BUT it seems like it’s not always common until birth which is very reassuring, thanks bees
Post # 12
@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
@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
@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
I didn’t have any checks until I was well into active labour.
Post # 16
@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.