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The Short Cervix Club

(1000 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!


Alexandra6 Thu 13-Jun-13 07:31:15

Oh and I haven't had it yet but would probably go local for anaesthetic personally if I need it, get them to discuss the pros and cons with you though xx

Hollygolightly77 Thu 13-Jun-13 09:47:35

Not even sure if pressure is a warning sign but I was worried and clearly they were concerned enough to admit me for further checks today sad just waiting now for a scan am so scared something has happened to my baby or that they won't be able to do anything for me sad

Godamned cervix! I hope it's doing its job for me right now.

Thanks for your messages, it does help x

Hollygolightly77 Thu 13-Jun-13 12:18:29

The length has remained the same but some slight funnelling seen. I have been offered the stitch, or to monitor.... I don't know what to do sad

Am scared if I have the stitch, will get an infection and lose Smudge but am scared if do nothing, the cervix will get worse and ill lose Smudge anyway. Help!!!

RainboxFX Thu 13-Jun-13 12:29:46

Offering a hand to hold Holly

It is a tough decision, I know. I went for the stitch early, as I personally decided it would be best for me. Only you know yourself but we are here to listen. Do you have a good consultant you can talk to and discuss your fears? They will know your situation and be able to give you the best possible advice. AFAIK Infection risk is very small. I found the stitch (under GA) very easy to recover from and not too painful or traumatic at all.

Am thinking about you x

Pizdets Thu 13-Jun-13 12:33:22

Oh Holly, how stressful! Well the good news is that it's only 'slight' funnelling and they're obviously not panicking if you're being given options.

I've found the stitch to be fine, but I know it's hairy opting for surgery in the middle of your pregnancy and you don't want to have to take a risk either way. Have the doctors given you a steer either way? Maybe it's bad but I'd ask them either what they'd do or what 'most people' would do in your situation. I find that generally that's a good want to put pressure on them to commit to giving you a bit more of their gut feel as they so often try to be impartial.

Love to you and Smudge and good luck making the decision. Feel free to ask questions if you need any info on surgery and how it was.


Hollygolightly77 Thu 13-Jun-13 12:54:53

Thank you everyone - I think I am going to go for the stitch. If I have funnelling now at nearly 19 weeks, then the potential of it getting worse is high as the baby grows bigger. I want to do everything that I can to keep Smudge inside and give him/her the best chance.

If I have seen changes in a week I am worried to go with the conservative approach at this stage. If there had been no funnelling and no change in length then I might have thought differently but the funnelling is worrying so early on.

How long did it take to recover? I will be having a spinal anaesthetic apparently. What happens afterwards? Is there lots of bleeding? Can you 'feel' the stitch?

Sorry for the essay and questions x

legallyblond Thu 13-Jun-13 13:35:47

Holly I was in EXACTLY your shoes a week ago on Friday. It was a really tough decision. As I understood it, more than the risk of infection, is the (VERY slim - much greater if the stitch is needed as an emergency later) risk of the stitch/poking around with the cervix triggering labour. I asked my consultant what he would tell his wife to do re their baby. He said he would say go for the stitch as the stakes are so high. I got a second opinion (requested) from the consultant who actually did my stitch before I had it done. He said the same. I was a bit further along than you - 23+3 when it was put in.

I would also recommend discussing with the surgeon and the anaesthetist which to choose from general or spinal. My consultant surgeon said he would be unwilling for me to have the spinal as, given that my cervix is awkward, it would be quite a traumatic procedure for me (legs clamped high, lots of tugging and people clamping things in there) which he felt wouldn't be good for me/babies. Anaesthetist said both GA and spinal carry small risks, but both are safe. I went for general - very glad I did.

re bleeding etc, I bled a lot the first time I got up after the op (gushing fresh blood like the very heaviest period). I only needed normal sanitary towels though -not maternity ones or anything. I had the op at 3pm, stayed overnight and by 10am the next day(when I went home), it had stopped, but I kept wearing pads for brown discharge. I stayed on bed rest (ish) for 5 days or so and I did feel a bit bruised and battered down there. I had a small bleed (mostly old blood, some fresh) when I got back up and about as normal (Sun/Mon) - I had to go into the labour ward and they scanned the babies - all fine and I had no pains or tightenings. The bleeding has now totally stopped and I cant feel the stitch.

I had a follow up cervical scan yesterday (1 week after the op) and all is healed and my cervix has doubled in length!!

Ask any other questions you want - I know exactly what it is like at this moment!!

Alexandra6 Thu 13-Jun-13 13:50:07

Oh holly I am really feeling for you. When I was offered the stitch early on and declined, I knew I could well end up where you are and having to make the bloody hard decision again. Lots of luck. I do agree funnelling sounds like a good indication that it might be necessary. Thank god you're being monitored, and I am praying and keeping everything crossed that you and Smudge are ok and get through this together.

I have a holiday booked for the weekend after this one and am really unsure whether to go now as I'm having my two cervix scans next week but it sounds like situations can change really quickly. I'm scared and scared for you too holly, wishing us both the absolute best of luck xxx

Pizdets Thu 13-Jun-13 14:28:37

Holly, good to hear you've reached a decision at least, and you can try to do something and move on.

I had the spinal. It was fine but if I did it again I'd probably go for general anaesthetic. The injection was OK, I had lots of local in my spine so didn't really feel much at all. Unfortunately they discovered I have a bit of a curve in my spine so it took 3 attempts, which was a bit upsetting but not as bad as it sounds! I was quite upset by the time I got into theatre and they gave me some kind of sedative then the anaesthetist was lovely (or feeling guilty!) and sat by me the whole time and talked to me about holidays and our cats (ie we both have cats, not cats in common!) which helped a lot. They put up a screen over my tummy so I couldn't see much and I didn't feel much at all.

Actually, the girl in the bed next to me had general anaesthetic and she was discharged sooner than me, as I had to have a catheter and they wanted me to prove I could wee before they'd let me go (I've never necked as much water as I did that afternoon!). Recovery from the spinal was easy - I slept for an hour or so when I got out of theatre and woke up with a bit of movement back. It is a bit like when you sit on your leg and it goes to sleep - bit pins and needles-y but not painful. It took about 3 hours to wear off completely, I think.

I recovered really fast, op was on the Friday and I was out for a short walk in the sunshine by Sunday. I had very little blood, less than a period, and it lasted about 5 days. I can't feel the stitch at all, although recently I've wondered if maybe I can a tiny bit sometimes. But it's not present or uncomfortable in my day to day life, if you see what I mean!

Hope that's some help. It's not a fun procedure but was over quickly and not highly traumatic. Hopefully once it's out of the way you can relax a little and enjoy the pregnancy!


Gingerbreadpixie Thu 13-Jun-13 15:41:38

Just caught up with this thread. Just wanted to send you a hug Holly. Hope you're ok and have support x

Hollygolightly77 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:25:06

Hi guys I write this from my hospital bed where I still have a slightly numb bum from the spinal.

All appeared to go well and I hope to escape tomorrow.... Would really like to get home now...

Am hoping this will work nicely and no side effects happen. Smudge was checked before and after with a Doppler and seems undisturbed thank goodness!

All your help and stories really have helped, I will be asking all sorts of questions regarding recovery over the next days I am sure

sw25 Fri 14-Jun-13 02:57:27

Good luck Holly, you're in the best place and from what I've heard from the other ladies, a stitch is pretty straightforward op but still understandable to be anxious. Please let us know how you're getting on. I've also been plagued by weird pains/pressure the last few days so going to get checked out tomorrow too. Better to be safe than sorry.

Alexandra6 Fri 14-Jun-13 07:21:32

Well done holly and well done smudge! Take it really easy now.

I'm not sure what to do as I don't know if this is just psychological or not, but I keep thinking I'm feeling pressure down below - all last night and again this morning. Just feels a bit like I've got a tampon in?! I've got my scans booked for next week, one on tues, one on fri, so they're better timed for just before the holiday. Am manic at work and also really tired today so just not sure if it's worth an emergency trip to EPU? Argh hate all this anxiety sad

legallyblond Fri 14-Jun-13 10:04:33

Alexandra - I would say listen to your gut... Not that helpful, I know! How worried will you be until Tues if you don't go in? That said, that feeling sounds like it could be the beginnings is vulval varicose veins - nothing they can do for those, just part of the glamour. They are, my consultant said, caused by all the progesterone flying around... As the muscles down there relax, varicose veins pop out! They usually disappear after birth. But if you're worried, I personally would call labour ward as they will advise you whether or not to go in...

Holly - well done, and well done smudge! Hope you go home today and put your feet up!!!!

legallyblond Fri 14-Jun-13 10:08:36

And good luck getting checked out today sw25 - keep us posted.

Hollygolightly77 Fri 14-Jun-13 10:35:22

Oh ladies I am so sorry if I have unwittingly caused a panic sad I do not know if the pressure feeling was caused by the cervix still, I can only say that whatever it was made me uneasy and I wanted to get checked out. I so try to listen to my gut and at the end of the day - even if its nothing it saves days of worry potentially - hope its all ok when you get checked SW and Alexandra xxx

Gingerbreadpixie Fri 14-Jun-13 10:46:05

I had pressure and twinges low down that felt "cervical". Went to epu at 14 weeks with it and again to maternity triage a little later. All was fine with cervix and eventually the pains were put down to constipation and the pressure I now believe was the start of my Pelvic Girdle Pain/SPD.

But an incompetent cervix can present as a pressure low down and pain apparently (I obsessively googled at the time) If you're worried please check it out. I know it's a faff having to go and wait in the maternity clinic for hours but if you tell them about your cervical history they should have a look internally to check cervix is closed and can swab/take urine to double check for infection which might be causing pain or discomfort.

RainboxFX Fri 14-Jun-13 13:12:48

Really glad to hear things have gone well so far Holly and well done smudge! I think I would have made the same decision in your shoes. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I had red bleeding on day one, brown for about 3 days and was pain free and felt well in about 4-5. Since then I honestly would not know I had anything done. It has made me feel more confident and secure though. I must admit all I really want is sex and a bath though! :D We were told no to either.

Alex and sw25 thinking about you. I agree it is totally worth going in to get checked out if you are at all worried. Spent yesterday in myself with concerns about reduced movements at 32 weeks! Turns out everything was fine, but all the midwives and doctors were very clear that they would rather see a thousand worried women with no problems than miss anything. Even if it just puts your mind at ease it is worth it. I also had problems with feelings of preassure earlier in pregnancy which scared me half to death. Turned out to be constapation! blush laculose is your friend.

Wishing everyone well x

Alexandra6 Fri 14-Jun-13 13:16:24

Thanks the advice I get isn't great, basically my consultant says he thinks it's unlikely to be anything to worry about without cramps, bleeding or discharge, he can't see me until Tues. That isn't what I've read online though, cervical incompetence doesn't have many symptoms and the 'heavy vagina' feeling I've got sounds exactly like the only early symptom I can find online. EPAU won't give advice on the phone, said come in to see a doctor but the only time they could do was 1.30 and my car is out of action so couldn't have got there in time for that by the time I booked it. I guess I'll have to wait until Tues. Annoying the hospital isn't more flexible/helpful, I always seem to know more than them about cervix issues from my research!

I thought it had gone so I wasn't worried but in the last ten mins the sensation has come back, damn sad

Alexandra6 Fri 14-Jun-13 13:17:42

Oh and can't be constipation for me as no problems there. Maybe the swollen vaginal/vaginal veins think, really hope so. Feel so scared sad

Hollygolightly77 Fri 14-Jun-13 13:22:12

Don't your hospital have a drop in clinic or anything? I didn't have pains or cramps but ended up being admitted so maybe you need to keep trying?

Best of luck xx

Hollygolightly77 Fri 14-Jun-13 13:26:16

Ladies who have had a stitch can I ask some questions?

How long did you get told to rest for after the op?
When could you drive again?
How long did the spotting last? (I have had a bit after the op and a bit more this morning, it had started going brown til they did an internal scan and now had a bit more)
How achy and paint did you feel in the days afterwards?
What advice were you given about activity afterwards?

Thanks in advance x

Alexandra6 Fri 14-Jun-13 13:29:09

Holly I can't help but can I ask you a question - what was the pressure you felt like? Can you be really specific? Thanks x

legallyblond Fri 14-Jun-13 13:58:38

Holly - I was told to "take it easy" for a week, it was my choice to do a sort of bed rest for a few days. I was told no sex is the main thing, until the stitch is out! I wasn't told anything about not driving, although in fact I haven't yet. The spotting totally and completely stopped exactly a week after, but 80% of the time it was just brown discharge rather than spotting. As I said, I had a bleed 5 days after the op (having had brown discharge only from 24 hours post op) - this isn't normal hence being called into labour ward (all was fine!). I felt in increased pain because, while out cold, I kicked the surgeon(!!!), who nicked the bottom of my vagina, so I needed two stitches, like you might after giving birth. I am in zero pain now 8 days later, but only really ached for 3-4 days. With me, because I also had a strangely positioned cervix, they tugged it right forward, so that may have increase the bruised feeling (and was why they wanted to do it under general).

Hope that helps.

legallyblond Fri 14-Jun-13 13:59:31

Alexandra - I would tell labour ward you are really worried. They will usually prefer to see you....

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