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The Short Cervix Club

(516 Posts)
Pizdets Mon 10-Jun-13 19:25:31

Given the high number of threads started in 'pregnancy' on short/incompetent cervixes of late, I thought I'd have a crack at starting a club which we can join to share how we're getting on and pool the information we've been given which hopefully can also reassure or inform other ladies coming on here and worried about the state of their cervixes.

I'll kick off with a bit about my own story:

I'm currently 24+4, due 26th September. I had a scan at the prem clinic at Queen Charlotte's in London who measured my cervix as 2.3/2.4cm and advised a stitch (they do this for anyone who measures under 2.5cm). I had the stitch put in at 15 weeks with a spinal block and so far so good - I'm walking the dog, doing pregnancy yoga, still fairly active and no problems or twinges at all (so far!).

Please feel free to share your experiences, ask questions or update, it's great to hear from other people going through the same worry and so reassuring to know if things are going well!

Piz

Alexandra6 Mon 10-Jun-13 19:44:10

Hi piz I'll post my story on here soon but just wanted to say hi and let you know I've found you! My DH is away on a golf trip with work in Spain so I'm planning a night off with my feet up (am a BIG fan of giving my cervix a break!) and watching tv. Silly question maybe, but do you think sitting down counts as giving a short cervix a break or do you still think it feels pressure from the baby? Is it just lying down that takes the pressure off? What do you think?

Hi other cervix club ladies!

Pizdets Mon 10-Jun-13 20:14:20

Hi Alexandra, sorry to hear you're a golf widow too! My DH is most annoyed the baby is due a week before his annual golf holiday and I'm sure would try and find a way to go if he could!

I think sitting down definitely counts. I was told yoga was fine as long as I didn't engage my core too much, so I assume anything which takes pressure off your core will be good for the cervix!

Piz

RainboxFX Mon 10-Jun-13 21:53:05

Hello again!

Joining in with my story. My first son was born out of the blue last year at 24+1 weeks. He lived for two weeks but was sadly just too little to survive. I had no problems, symptoms or warning at all, and with hindsight the verdict was Cervical incompetence. I was lucky enough to get pregnant again fairly quickly and it has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster! At 13 weeks my cervix was measured and was found to be 2.5cm. With my history and borderline measurement the consultant advised a stitch and we agreed. I have also been on progesterone pesseries since 12 weeks. I am now 31+5 weeks, due in early August, and all seems to be going well so far. In fact I have been given a date for the stitch removal so there is something to look forward to!

I am usually an occasional bicycle widow but DH has broken his collarbone while riding said bicycle!

Have never done any yoga, so have no advice there, but I was told to rest my pelvic floor. So, no heavy lifting or high impact sport. But I would have thought sitting was giving your cervix a good rest. At the moment the only position I find comfortable is lying flat on one side, or on all fours on the floor. I am sure it looks hilarious from the outside!

Nice to "see" you both again smile

Kelly1814 Tue 11-Jun-13 07:25:10

hello ladies! lovely to see you and to hear how we are all getting on.

i had a stitch at 14 weeks, my cervix measured 2.3, and was actually much less, .5 in some places when they put the stitch in.

i've been forbidden from doing even pregnancy yoga, to stand/walk for a max of 20 minutes, no sex (not even to climax!!) so that's been a bit frustrating. but all worth it in the end.

have been on progesterone pessaries 400 mg since week 7 and will be until the end.

am 23+1.

at the risk of sounding overly emotional, i have to say thank you for sharing your stories, your kindness and support. it has meant a great, gret deal to me.

hopefully many more positive stories to come from this thread and good advice to be shared.

sw25 Tue 11-Jun-13 10:29:58

Hi ladies,

Great idea to start this thread. I am 24+5 (due 25 Sept) and only had my first cervix scan at 21 weeks when it measured 28mm. I had a cone biopsy 10 years ago when they removed 1.3cm of tissue.

Since my first scan, my measurements have been 25.7mm and then 27mm last week. I've had 2 speculum examinations when they observed that my cervix was far back and closed tightly. I also had no evidence of funnelling.

With all this in mind, the consultants have agreed that my cervix is normal and there is no need for a stitch. I am naturally very anxious about the chance of my cervix suddenly shortening before 30 weeks, but I trust the consultants, who have been very reassuring. Keeping fingers crossed that nothing happens during the next few weeks, but taking it easy in the meantime.

So good to hear all your stories, although concerned that I'm the only one without a stitch. I'm guessing it's because my measurement was taken later in pregnancy.

Hollygolightly77 Tue 11-Jun-13 10:33:32

Thanks for pointing me to this Pizdets, it just helps to know other people are going through some of the same feelings and I am not alone with me and my cervix issue.

So I had a procedure on my cervix in 1996 because of abnormal cells, my medical notes do not shed any light on how much cervix was taken.

I had my first check at 14 weeks and had a measurement of 3.2 (closed cervix), my 18 week appointment showed that my cervix has shortened to 2.7 (still closed cervix)

Cue many tears from me, I saw a consultant that day who did not seem unduly concerned and told me I would get it checked again at my anomaly scan in 3 weeks.

After calming down at home, I realised that I was not at all happy with this! what if my cervix suddenly shortens dramatically? what is it shortens by the same amount and its too late for a stitch?

Long story short, I have another scan in a week, another at my anomaly scan on the 28th so hopefully any changes will be caught in time.

Has anyone else had similar measurements at 18 weeks?

Can you get a stitch at about 20 weeks?

Will they give progesterone and does this work?

Is there anything I can do to help myself until my next appointment?

I find I have to push and push to get what I want from my doctors so any advice would be so appreciated, I need to go armed so I do not get fobbed off. I will do anything to do the best for my baby.

Sorry for long post - really worried and nervous...

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 11-Jun-13 10:44:20

Hi, ladies. I'm 29 weeks today. I was under cervix surveillance clinic from 18 weeks due to previous cone biopsy. I was an absolute nervous wreck in my second trimester regarding my cervix (and big bleed at 12 weeks didn't help). Especially in the weeks leading up to my 18week appointment. I didn't want to lose this, my first pg, before anyone could tell me if I had an incompetent cervix. I went to EPU at 16 weeks with low down pressure and cervix measured 2.9cm. I thought I'd need a stitch by the time I got to my 18 week appt. but I ended up measuring 4cm at that. I was monitored up to 22 weeks and received fetal fibronectin tests and stayed in normal range, thankfully. I've had two internal examinations since then and cervix was tightly closed.

So hopefully that means all will be well with my cervix now.

If I can offer any advice or support to anyone, particularly those going into second tri, I'll try my best!

I am very sorry for your previous loss Rainbow. It's good to hear you're now at nearly 32 weeks x

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 11-Jun-13 10:49:28

Hi Holly, could you ask for a fetal fibronectin test? It's a cervical swab to check for leaking fluid from the womb and is a good indicator if you're likely to go into prem labour within two weeks. It is apparently v accurate. It used to give me a bit more confidence between scans x

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 11-Jun-13 10:54:51

Hi Sw25. Sounds like you're in a similar situation to me, with regards to hanging in there for the 30 week mark.

Thought it might help to list my measurements to show how they can change:

13 weeks - 4cm
16 weeks - 2.9 cm (panic set in here)
18 weeks - 4.2 cm (all-clear FF test)
22 weeks - 3cm (all-clear FF test and discharged from clinic)

I think I would have liked an extra scan between 24-26 weeks to be honest. But I too had to just have some faith and hang in there. X

Hollygolightly77 Tue 11-Jun-13 10:55:38

Hi Gingerbread,

I just heard about that through my obsessive googling, I will see if I can get through to my consultant, the problem is getting hold of them.

thank you for the idea....

x

Hollygolightly77 Tue 11-Jun-13 10:58:48

I have just seen your post and measurements Gingerbread, interesting how your cervix lengthened!

I am so worried that as mine has shortened once, it will continue to do so but not for definite as seen in your case- which is encouraging!

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 11-Jun-13 11:16:24

Holly - yes I would definitely persue this test if you can. It is still fairly new and maybe it's not available in all parts of the country on NHS yet. (I'm in London) But it helped keep me sane between scans. If you're in london or south east let me know and I'll PM you details of my hospital. They have the leading prem clinic in the country apparently with a 90% success rate.

Yes the lengths can vary. I assumed because I'd shortened by a cm between 14 and 16 weeks that it was just going to deteriorate from there. But I think cervix's are quite difficult to measure accurately and can present themselves as looking shorter than they are, from what i understand. I wasn't on bed-rest between those weeks either btw, I was actually working full time.

legallyblond Tue 11-Jun-13 11:24:20

Hi all! Well done Piz - this is a great idea!

My story is.... I have a DD, now 2 years 7 months and had a totally trouble free preg with her. I carried her to term and then some (was induced at 42+12 and she arrived naturally, just gas and air, at 42+14!!). My cervix was never measured as I was low risk (apart from being booked in high risk for old medical stuff,but immediately put down to low risk after seeing the consultant once). I have never had any procedures on my cervix... Had a couple of odd smears nut always cleared by the follow up. I have never had a miscarriage.

This pregnancy is surprise twins! A HUGE surprise at the 12 week scan! Because its twins and because, I think, I have a v hands on consultant (he is a national twins expert and also nationally known for scanning, so he does my scans!!), I was offered and accepted a cervical length scan at 23 weeks. Total surprise was that it was only 21mm - very short given no history and DD going to 42 weeks. My cervix is also very very awkwardly positioned... Anyway, my consultant plus a second opinion from another consultant (requested by me) felt that given the extra pressure etc from twins, it was important to take the preventative step now of a stitch before it gets too late. Of course, it is possible that the short cervix is just me and would hold, but apparently that really is worryingly short for a twin pregnancy (he dud say that he would feel less certain with a singleton given my good preg history).

I had the stitch on last Tues, at 23+3 and there were no signs of funnelling and membranes were high and away from the cervix, which is positive. I have since had a couple of scary days with some bleeding (mostly old blood, some fresher), so much so that I went back to labour ward yesterday. The twins both looked fine and no pains or anything. I put myself on bed rest until now but, to be honest, I am getting up now as I think the bleeding was delayed because I have been in bed. By getting up, I hope to clear out the blood from the op and then be clear...

To be honest, I worried with DD, I think because I am a lawyer and so automatically think of risks and worst case scenarios, but the fear is much more tangible this time. I want the next 12 weeks to pass uneventfully!

I am 24+3 now and my goal is 1 September at least (36 weeks)... Fingers crossed!

Pizdets Tue 11-Jun-13 19:10:48

Hi guys, thanks for posting, and good to hear from you all. Seems like maniacare a few of us due in late September...will be interesting to see when our babies actually turn up! I asked at my last appointment about the stitch coming out and she said 3% go into labour within 24 hours but most will deliver within a week or two.

It does seem like some hospitals are less inclined to put a stitch in than others, how odd! Mine is part of a big project to pick up signs of early labour so I get some lovely swabs each time I go in. Hoping that what they learn will help me and other ladies in years to come so perhaps we can get a bit more clarity on the best thing to do.

Kelly, I'm not off my feet but also told no sex. I'm not exactly a sex maniac but am counting down the weeks until we can go for it again, the dreams have been driving me mad!! Just over 12 weeks to go!

Holly, hope you feel a bit reassured by being in company, at least!

Strong cervix thoughts to all the other ladies!

Piz

Alexandra6 Tue 11-Jun-13 19:53:31

Just a quick summary about me for anyone who doesn't know or has forgotten smile

16 weeks pregnant, first pregnancy, had LETZ years ago on my cervix, have seen two consultants about my cervix and been scanned both times. First advised precautionary stitch, the second said their policy was to keep monitoring with my kind of length. I really don't think cervix scans are that accurate, but mine came out as 2.4mm at the first scan and "around 2.5-3" on the second. I'm having cervix scans again next week. I'm also having fetal fibronectin testing from 20 weeks.

Feeling a lot more positive these days which is weird for me as I want this pregnancy soooo much, and was really anxious about the cervix situation from weeks 12-14. I can't wait for my scans next week to see how it's looking and am praying it measures up ok. I think I'll be really anxious between weeks 18-28.

I'm trying to work out how much of a high risk situation I am (but even the consultants can't predict) and I am trying to stay off my feet as much as poss. Wasn't happy at work today as I had to walk around an event for a couple of hours. I can imagine me putting my foot down from weeks 18/20 onwards. I'm also very confused by differing research/hospital policies/scan results but at the moment, I'm feeling a lot more relaxed than I was.

Anyway sorry for the long post but think this thread is a great idea for staying in touch and hearing people's stories, I hope we all have healthy, happy babies at the end! (My due date is November, seems aaaaages away!)

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 11-Jun-13 19:56:46

Here, here! Strong cervix thoughts all round! x

Hollygolightly77 Tue 11-Jun-13 20:11:16

I also can't wait for my scan next week, I am praying that the measurement has not gone down....

Although currently every twinge or ache makes me petrified that my cervix is giving way completely....

Fingers crossed our cervixes keep holding on smile

My due date is not until 9th November so it feels like a a long way to go yet

legallyblond Tue 11-Jun-13 20:12:51

Oh yes, sex.... I've been told by my c

legallyblond Tue 11-Jun-13 20:18:25

Sorry, on iPhone.... By my consultant (and all other staff) that absolutely no sex until they arrive. Not enjoying, and had sex all the way through with DD! I am, unless I go into very very fast natural labour, having an elective Caesarean with the twins as it seems the safer option. The only risk is that I go into labour naturally and by the time I reach the hospital, am too progressed for the c section, but I am hoping that's unlikely! Chances are, my stitch will be removed during the c section.....

It does sound like there's a lot of differing views and policies out there re short cervical lengths! I think he compounding factor for me was twins. When they actually got in there with the op, it was 20-25mm, so the scan was accurate.

Gingerbreadpixie Tue 11-Jun-13 20:19:08

Glad to hear you're feeling a bit more relaxed Alexandra6.

With regards to work, I think you'd be well within your rights to tell them you're having some potential complications and need to take it easy/easier until you know more.

Pizdets Tue 11-Jun-13 20:29:01

Hi Alexandra, I've been running an event today and made other members of the team do the actual running around. I've found now I have a visible bump that people are very kind and keen to help me (even where not wanted or needed!) So definitely put your foot down but you might find it gets better anyway.

Holly, September seemed a long way away not long ago but now I tell people and they say 'not long to go now' argh! Hope you can relax a bit before the scan next week.

Legallyblond...no sex at all until the babies come?? I asked about that last time and they said once the stitch was out it was open season, but maybe because I'm not planning a cesarean? Although lots of sex and a weak cervix will prob mean we don't get much time anyway!

Piz

Alexandra6 Tue 11-Jun-13 20:30:23

Thanks ginger I have told them everything and kept them up to date. My boss acts very concerned but then accidentally makes comments so I know she isn't very happy I need to take a little bit more time off work for the scans. They are aware and say they'll take it into consideration but then expect me to spend time on my feet (like at the event today). I think from July onwards I'll just be firm about it and make sure I'm comfortable with what I'm doing.

On the sex side of things, we haven't had sex since I got my BFP as I was already worried about doing damage! DH doesn't seem to mind at all as I don't think he was really up for pregnant sex anyway!

Alexandra6 Tue 11-Jun-13 20:53:33

Argh literally after I just said I've been more relaxed, I've had some weird stomach twinges while I'm sitting watching tv and am now worrying I was on my feet too much today and the baby is getting bigger! Eek.

Hollygolightly77 Tue 11-Jun-13 20:55:47

I haven't been given any guidance on sex, keeping off my feet or anything else so far, I have by myself stopped lifting heavy things, and sitting down more, drinking loads to keep hydrated; sex wise I have been too paranoid all the way through the pregnancy in case so no change there sad I was hoping we could soon cause the hormones are raging.....

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