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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 Wed 17-Jul-13 15:58:01

You're making me curious again! Managed to resist asking at the 20 week scan so going to try and resist at the next scans!

missesjellybean Wed 17-Jul-13 16:07:40

I really tried I was so determined not to ask then she asked if I wanted to know... I was like.....YESSSS grin grin grin hopefully you'll have more will power than me wink

RainboxFX Thu 18-Jul-13 09:35:27

SO many good scans! I am delighted for us all! grin Holly great news about the length and that everything looks closed.

I am in Scotland, where they will not tell you the sex on the NHS. So we paid to find out because I was just dying to know. I am very much a Christmas present squeezing person! Congrats on finding out jellybean! I hope your LO gets better soon as well, having measles even after the MMR! That is horrible luck sad

Welcome sleepthief. Sorry you have found yourself anxious and here, but you are very very welcome. I hope you don't mind, but it is really inspirational to hear about someone being on their 4th pregnancy and facing cervix "issues". Glad you are under a good team and getting regular scans. My first son was born last year at 24 weeks, and lived for a fortnight. Sadly he was just too little to survive any longer. I have been on progesterone this time round, and had a stitch at 14 weeks.

Alex glad you are getting those kicks. They are so reassuring, aren't they? Time will pass, you will get there! You are doing brilliantly.

Piz congrats on 30 weeks! Feels like such a milestone! The heat is just mad though. I am in NE Scotland, and it is 26 degrees already. Madness. I would have loved to have left the stitch in for another few weeks! Get everything done in one go. But my consultant is really keen not to do elective sections before 39 weeks if at all possible. And she is equally keen to remove stitches no later than 36 weeks in case of damage caused by going into labour. Bit frustrating, and I am sure other consultants would look at it and come to different conclusions, but I can understand her thinking. And at least I now know what to expect from a spinal. I really think there is no reason you won't be able to have a vaginal birth if that is what you would prefer.

We had a bit of an exciting start to the week with a false alarm on Tuesday night! I was utterly convinced I was in labour. So we rushed into the hospital and after a night on a trace, turns out just to be painful Braxton Hicks blush So I am on sofa rest for a bit! I am totally fine, unless I move too much when I start getting these fake contractions again. Tiny has also dropped and engaged quite well, so I really doubt he is going to hang on for another fortnight. But I am 37 weeks today, so anytime he is ready will be fine.

Closed Cervixes and Ice lollies for everyone!

Kelly1814 Thu 18-Jul-13 12:00:14

hello everyone and welcome to the newbies!

rainbow - it is so exciting hearing that you are at 37 weeks and your stitch removal went so well.

i'm now 28+2. had a scan on weds and not great news, baby now measuring v small and 3 weeks behind. so on top of having a crxp cervix i could also have a crxp placenta! feeling like a total falure right now.

back again in 10 days, if still measuring small they are going to have to whip the baby out early via c section. eek. aside from the obvious stress and trauma, a baby in NICU in the country i live in costs an arm and a leg.

anyway it has taken my mind off my cervix a bit, for a few days. really really trying to stay positive and the fabulous stories and support on this thread help hugely.

hope everyone is surviving the heat wave and good luck for the next few days!

RainboxFX Thu 18-Jul-13 12:40:21

Kelly I am so sorry, that is really unfair for you to have so much stress to deal with. If I can share an anecdote, a friend of mine had her little boy last year at almost 31 weeks by emergency section due to poor growth. He is now 15 months old and a little star. He did have a NNU stay but his main problem was gaining weight. After 28 weeks odds and outcomes are so good. Will be thinking about you and hoping the next scan goes well. You are NOT a failure, this is not something you have done. I would give you a massive hug if I could. xx

Pizdets Thu 18-Jul-13 12:58:14

Oh, busy thread!

Alex good to hear you're getting movement, I found the time from the 20 week scan to now has flown, it definitely speeds up!

jellybean I can never understand how people can resist finding out the sex of their babies! How exciting to know! I think it makes it easier to plan and bond, which is important for us with everything else going on.

Rainbox you sound so wonderfully chilled out about it all, really inspirational for us! Pleased the baby is lining up. In an ideal world I'll have a vaginal birth at about 38 weeks, I'm dreading the idea I have all this stress during the pregnancy then go overdue and have to be induced. I know you're booked in for a CS, would you be happy to have a vaginal birth if he comes sooner? Or could you still get a CS? I had an NHS birth class today and was told I can most likely use the birthing centre rather than the labour ward, which I'm really pleased about.

Kelly is does feel relentless, doesn't it? Sorry you've got so much stress going on, worrying times. Like Rainbox, my friend had a little boy by CS at 31 weeks and he's now 6 months (4 months adjusted) and absolutely gorgeous. I know the costs etc must be looming over your head but he wasn't in NNU (if that's what you call it?) for too long. Is there any chance you can come back here and have the baby on the NHS?

I know the feeling of being a failure very well, I felt much the same many times - I failed my first baby by not even managing to grow her with all her chromosomes, and then put my second at risk with this rubbish cervix. I can't even bring myself to tell most people about it all because I'm embarrassed about all the things which have gone wrong. But at the end of the day you've got a little baby inside you with a very good chance of doing well, who's drawing his nourishment and love from you, and you'll love him to bits when he gets here, however that is - that's not failure.

Sorry, bit of a ranty reply to you all. Kelly, sending growing thoughts your way, please keep us updated.

Nice cooling and long cervix vibes being beamed to everyone else.


legallyblond Thu 18-Jul-13 15:22:47

Just time for a quick post...

Kelly my consultant's aim was always to get me ton28 weeks minimum as the lungs should have a fab chance by then with the help of steroids. You can't alter what will happen, so try try try not to worry too much.....

Piz - I dreaded going over and bring induced with DD. I did and I was (induced at 40+12). It was a really good experience. Not in any way stressful. I felt v much in control and had her in 8 hours from the first contractions with just gas and air. I shouldn't have wasted any time worrying!!

legallyblond Thu 18-Jul-13 15:24:49

Oh and Kelly, I agree about poss coming back...? I have two friends who live in Dubai and both came back at 7/8 months preg to give birth here!

Pizdets Sun 21-Jul-13 09:42:51

Thanks legally, that does make me feel a bit better!

Kelly thinking of you a lot and hoping you're doing ok. When is the next scan?

rainbox hoping all stays in place for you but looking forward to news when the time comes.

All ok here, getting shoved but less down below than before...wouls be lovely to think he's head down now!


Kelly1814 Sun 21-Jul-13 09:51:06

hi all. thanks again for so much support. my next scan is on 30th july when i will be 30 weeks. delivering in the uk is something we have thought about. assuming that my doc even says i am fit to fly (air travel been banned since the stitch) i have no clue how to go about registering and sorting medical care.

also scared of potentially being at home for weeks on end before delivery with nowhere to stay (my house is rented out) and my husband only flying in for the birth and then leaving. not relishing idea of having newborn (potentially in nicu) with all the emotional trauma that brings and having to handle it alone. no ideal scenarios it seems.

legally, do you have any more info on your friends who flew back from dubai - how they sorted their medical care primarily? thanks so much.

hope everyone is feeling good, thinking of you all lots smile

legallyblond Mon 22-Jul-13 11:30:36

Kelly - they both flew back at 30/32 weeks and in each case my friend stayed with her parents. All they did is go to the local gp, day they were back in the UK for the birth, got booked in with the midwife at that stage and then had the usual care at the local hospital. They were both British citizens. As I understand it, entitlement to NHS care is dependent on residency. They, I think, will have had to say that they had NOT left the UK permanently i.e. They were planning on moving back but, for now, their house is rented out so their UK address was parents'...

legallyblond Mon 22-Jul-13 11:34:36

Do you still pay tax and NI in the UK Kelly? If so, you can get a form A1 to prove that you are still entitled to healthcare here. If not, you should have a form S1 giving you the same healthcare as residents of the country you're in (which may be crap!). Does your employer abroad still pay fir UK private medical insurance (eg, I know law firms usually do this when you're on even long term secondment abroad).

Kelly1814 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:02:30

Thanks for the feedback legally, much appreciated. I left the uk over 5 years ago so no tax or NI paid. I am still registered with my UK GP though. My parents aren't in the uk either so couldn't stay with them. I do have private medical here (it's law to be provided with it by employer) but mine rubbishly does not include maternity....

From talking to ex pats here I could fly back and wing it and be ok, equally after 5 years abroad they can charge you for NHS, in spite of having paid tax your whole life up until the point you left. Anyway will stay positive and see what the doc says at my scan next weds.

How are you feeling? And how is everyone else on here? Hope we're all hanging in there!

Pizdets Mon 22-Jul-13 17:53:22

Hi Kelly,

Sounds like a pain, esp if your parents aren't in the UK and you don't have a base to be comfortable. Fingers crossed the scan goes well for you next week.

I'm OK, struggling a bit at the moment but I think it's just a combination of hormones, the baby running out of space and the year anniversary of the baby we lost coming up. I'm feeling quite sick and dizzy at some points in the day and have gone from feeling fighting fit to feeling fit to burst and uncomfortable all the time - and I just want to cry! Sorry, bit of a rant, it's OK really, it's reassuring to feel him moving around in there but over the last week I really feel like he's running out of space and the rest of me is having to move out of his way. I've got my 31 week check with the GP on Thursday and will ask them about the sickness etc but from what google says it's fairly normal about this point to start feeling rubbish.

I called today about the stitch removal but the girl I need to talk to is still away and not back until Wednesday. When I explained the situation to the lady who answered she laughed, which made me feel a bit better as at least someone else recognises how ridiculous the situation is!

Hope everyone else is OK and feeling a bit more perky!


Kelly1814 Tue 23-Jul-13 09:41:41

oh piz, sorry to hear you're feeling down. i think it's completely natural to feel down at times. pregnancy (even a 'straightforward' one) can be such an alien and tough time, when you throw in all the stuff we are having to deal with as well, it is no wonder it is going to get you down!

i completely relate on the running out of space feeling, i've been feeling claustrophobic and breathless recently. and then i feel guilty for feeling like that! and it must be even harder with your first baby's anniversary coming up. sending a huge virtual hug to you.

31 weeks is amazing. i'm 29 today and when i had the stitch at 14 weeks i could only dream of getting this far. we are doing brilliantly.


Pizdets Wed 24-Jul-13 13:42:41

You're right, we've done really well, and I shouldn't be whingeing to you when I don't really have anything to worry about, just feeling sorry for myself.

29 weeks is when one of my best friends was born, I must have mentioned her on here before, she's tall and Amazonian and gorgeous so 29 weeks is a big milestone for us! A friend of ours also had a little boy at 31 weeks in January. I think I did myself a disservice looking back at pics of him when he was born over the weekend as I've had preemie baby dreams since then! (He's now gorgeous and doing really well!)

Rainbox, hoping all going well for you and looking forward to an update when you get time! Beaming thoughts north for you in the mean time.

Hope everyone else doing OK and long cervix thoughts to you all!


Kelly1814 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:06:56

You are not whingeing! At all! I had a complete meltdown last Thursday and boo hoo-ed for hours. Actually feel much better this week. It's one day and week at a time and we need to be kind to ourselves. I am the world's worst at beating myself up over feeling upset, ending in a silly downward spiral. You are having a completely natural reaction to a very very stressful situation.

I love the story of your Amazonian friend smile

Myloves4 Sun 28-Jul-13 09:40:52

What an informative thread. Very heartening that many of you are progressing well in pregnancy.
I'm starting out on your journey. I am 16 weeks and this week found out I have a short cervix. My local hospital measured it at 24mm and wanted to take no action. I sought a second opinion the next day, it was re-measured at 28mm and a course of action agreed. Feeling much more reassured by my the second hospital. I've got a fibrenectin test at 18weeks and then they will reassess adding the stitch.
In August of 2012 I lost triplets at 23 weeks. A daughter Lyra and two indentical sons Asa and Bo. I was hoping for a smooth run this time around. With the triplets my cervix shortened at 20weeks to 1cm. I have a three year old daughter who I carried to 40+5 and was told a another single pregnancy should be fine. Seems to be a lot of guesswork involved, mainly by the medical profession.
Fingers crossed for us all.

Pinkfairy2 Sun 28-Jul-13 15:20:21

Hi ladies

I'm so glad I found this thread. Here's my story so far.

I had lletz in 2009 where they removed quite a big bit of cervix. I've been told since then that my cervix is 'flush' and there's little left. I had IVF in April (unexplained infertility - we had been trying for 3.5 years) and was extremely lucky to find myself pregnant. I'm now 16+5. At the start of my pregnancy I mentioned about the lets, having already done research on cervical incompetence. Nobody seemed all that bothered and said one treatment was unlikely to cause a problem despite me giving them the measurements of the bit they removed (4.2cm x 1.2cm and 2.2cm x?? Cm). They agreed to do a cervical scan at 20 weeks and said I was to be consultant led. I wasn't too happy and wanted it done sooner.

At 8+1 I went to EPU following a little brown bleed. This was apparently due to a bruise next to the sac. I then had brown discharge which continued.

At 12+4 I was admitted to hospital following a big bleed. I continued bleeding red, or 'spotting' for 2 weeks then brown for a further week.

During all of this I managed to get a cervical scan arranged for when I was 16 weeks. The doctor was 'honouring my wishes'. I've never seen the doctor, despite being consultant led.

So the scan was last week. My cervix measured 2.5cm, right on the borderline for no intervention or considering treatment. I've not spoken to a doctor about this. In fact, the scan report is being sent to the midwife and not the consultant. I've got another cervical scan arranged along with the anomaly scan which is now 3 weeks away. I'm not happy about leaving it that long given the measurement. I also want progesterone, as this can help support the cervix.

I would appreciate any support. I'm struggling to cope and I'm terrified that I'm going to lose my precious baby. I'm scared to move, luckily, being a teacher, I'm on holiday just now. But I can't even think about going back in 3 weeks time (I'm in Scotland). There is no way I can cope with the worry of being on my feet all day. I would be so scared about my cervix.

I've read this entire thread and so pleased to read that so many of you are doing well. It's also nice to know there are others at the same stage as me.

Look forward to chatting with you all!

Pizdets Sun 28-Jul-13 16:34:00

Hi Ladies, welcome to the thread.

Cara, i'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Lyra, Asa and Bo, beautiful names and they must be in your thoughts often. We lost a little girl at 18 weeks last August and I'm finding it tough as the anniversary approaches, so I'll be thinking of you too.

I think your recent experience, and pinkfairy's seem tobe symptomatic of short cervix treatment on the NHS, there's a lot of guesswork and treatment seems to depend very much on the hospital and even the doctor you see. I'm sure if you've read back through the thread you'll see that we've all had such different advice and treatment. I measured 2.4cm at 14 weeks, they went straight for the stitch and nothing else, have been told to carry on as usual and that's about it!

I think it's definitely good to push for more monitoring. The prem clinic saw me every couple of weeks at first, then monthly as the pregnancy has progressed. If you're really worried then they should help you to keep an eye on it.

Do keep us updated or come on here if you want a rant or any advice, sometimes it's just good to bounce thoughts and feelings off people going through the same thing.


Myloves4 Sun 28-Jul-13 16:43:51

Hi pink fairy
I've found you have to fight for everything. You have to get in front on the right person ASAP. Which are the major hospitals near you? I don't mind researching with you, if you let me know where you live? Research/teaching hospitals are the most innovative. Once you know where you want to be seen just get on the phone and beg.
We are in a really similar position and therefore I think the next landmark for you is the fibrenectin test at 18weeks (it doesn't give clear results before then). The test determines if the bleeding and shortening is anything to worry about, eg is fluid leaking from the womb. You might even be able to have an elective stitch in the mean time.

Myloves4 Sun 28-Jul-13 16:46:17

Thanks Piz. I'm feeling at home already. Hopefully f
or the long haul!

Pinkfairy2 Sun 28-Jul-13 18:35:10

I second that myloves, really hope I get to stay here!

Thanks for the lovely messages. I'm in Edinburgh so its the ERI. I know which consultant I'm meant to be under, its just getting hold of them. I phoned on Friday but apparently she's on holiday. I left a message with the secretary to call me back but she didn't yet. So I will be hounding them tomorrow until someone speaks to me about it!

There's just such a fine line between treating and not treating. The NHS guidelines say above 25mm with no funnelling = no intervention whereas below 25mm or with funnelling = two weekly scans, consider stitch, consider bed rest

As my measurement is 25mm I'm so close to that.

Does anyone know how quickly the cervix can shorten? And is it a case of it starts with funnelling?

Do you think I'd be ok to have another scan a week tomorrow? Or is that leaving it too long? I've got another one on the NHS on 15 August and was going to have a private one inbetween the one ve just had and then (so a week and a half between them).

Myloves what's the plan with you? I noticed your measurement went up in a day. I hope mine hasn't gone down!

Sleepthief Sun 28-Jul-13 18:48:25

What's the consensus on exercise? I've got an exercise bike and was thinking of taking up swimming again to try and combat a sloth-like decline into lardiness. I thought these wouldn't be too much stress on the old cervix. I'm being scanned again tomorrow (fingers crossed it's stabilised with the progesterone) and will ask the dr then, but it's always good to get a range of opinions smile. So what has everyone else been advised?

Kelly1814 Sun 28-Jul-13 19:47:50

Hello everyone, glad this thread is helping us all!

Since my stitch I have been advised no exercise at all. No standing for longer than 15 or 20 mins, no swimming (risk of infection). Not even yoga or pilates. At 26 weeks had scare that baby's head was engaged so went onto bed rest for a few days. This was after a weekend where I had been quite active.

I think everyone is different but I would certainly try to avoid anything too strenuous.

Oh, I also have to sit with feet up all the time on a chair when at work, I look like a right lazy arse at my desk, but needs must!

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