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The Short Cervix Club

(982 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!


April1984 Tue 23-May-17 09:10:36

Hi Annlee, the difficult with a true incompetent cervix is diagnosing it. My understanding is if you truly have an IC then you have it for life. As Fraggle said there are lots of stories of people having problems in one pregnancy and not others, however (again my understanding) is that these people won't have true IC and their first premature pregnancy would have been for other reasons which may or not reoccur. Hope that makes sense!

I was in two minds after losing my son at 25 weeks when he was 2 weeks and then having a v stressful pregnancy with my second son. However I had a preventative stitch with him, constant monitoring and progesterone. This is a big factor as now you know you're high risk you can ensure that you have the right care going forward. This can make all the difference in the world. Before getting pregnant with our second and third I did a lot of research to find out what options were available so that I could go armed when I saw the doc. I am lucky to be covered by private healthcare as I'm an ex pat. where do you live? The level of care you receive on the NHS can depend on a lot on where you are based. Don't let this stop you having another, there are preventative measures you can put in place x

FraggleRock77 Mon 22-May-17 19:01:27

Hello Annlee. Well done for getting through one pregnancy with a short cervix. Like you comment, no one has a crystal ball and I've read LOTS while on bedrest about women having cervical problems for one pregnancy and not for others. Our bb sitter had no issues and went over due with her first DS and then had two prem babies due to cervical issues! Can you ask to see a specialist?
Our first DS was born at 29 weeks but there was always a query why, although IC was thought to be the issue. My cervix was holding well until 22 weeks then started to shorten. At least now i know what the issue is and was last time. Good luck x

annlee3817 Mon 22-May-17 17:38:04

Sorry I meant 3 x 200mg progesterone pessaries a day. I know there won't be a definitive answer to this

annlee3817 Mon 22-May-17 17:28:01

I posted on this a long time ago when I was pregnant as I had problems with my cervix shortening, I had progesterone pessaries from 24 weeks up until 37 weeks, 4 a day. and I was signed off at 32 weeks for the remainder of my pregnancy. As soon as I stopped the pessaries at 37 weeks I did start to dilate but DD hung on until 40+5! not expected at all.

Anyway, to get to the point, my reason for not having another baby is that I found the pregnancy so stressful and was constantly worried about pre term labour. My DH and I decided that we would stick with just the one.

My DH hinted over the weekend that he would possibly like our DD to have a brother or Sister, my DD turns two next week, I just don't know if I could go through that stress again. I also experienced bladder retention at 15 weeks due to my uterus being stuck in my pelvis.

I just wondered if its the case that once a shortening cervix then always a shortening cervix? I had Lletz treatment in 2013 which they think was the reason why, my cervix was also very soft from 24 weeks.

FraggleRock77 Mon 22-May-17 17:27:17

Thanks April x

April1984 Mon 22-May-17 16:51:44

Hi Fraggle, ok here, thanks. Hope everyone else is doing well too.

I have done zero pelvic floors since stitch and si last time. I think a doctor told me not to/various forums strongly advised against it. X

FraggleRock77 Mon 22-May-17 16:06:51

Hello. I hope everyone is well? I'm planning on asking my consultant the same question on Thursday but just wondered? What are people doing about pelvic floor exercises? I used to do them daily before the stitch and now I'm not sure if they will irritate or cause an issue?x

April1984 Sat 20-May-17 10:19:30

Hi Haskell, I am being monitored every two weeks but no internal scans due to risk of infection. My doc is also of the view to leave that area well alone but checks urine, BP and does a scan to have a quick look at my cervix on an abdominal, no best view but he can see any major issues.

Passing the time you had issues before is the worst bit, hang in there.

For anyone who has had to have a c section for one reason or another and have stitch removed at same time what gestation did you have your c section? Binza seen you've been told 37 weeks for various reasons. I am likely to need a c section and would like to do it as late as poss but imagine my doc won't like my stitch to be in much after 37 weeks in case I go into labour. He wants to do c section and removal at same time (makes sense). Wondering what other people's doctors have advised? X

binza87 Sat 20-May-17 09:36:09

Hi ladies
Sorry I've been quiet and glad you're all doing well and pregnancies progressing day by day!
My consultant says they will remove the stitch at 36 weeks (here's hoping I get that far!!) and wait to see if I go into labour naturally. Alternatively I can opt for elective c section and they will remove the stitch at the same time as delivering the baby. For me this would be at 37 weeks as I had a placental abruption with my daughter (thankfully she is now 6 and lovely!) so there is no reason to let me go to 40 weeks but plenty of reasons to deliver at 37 weeks!
Hope that may help for discussions with your own health team xx

Haskell17 Sat 20-May-17 09:11:36


Yes I would like it in as long as possible; had my midwife appointment yesterday, she was really honest and said nothing has been recommended because they don't know much on it.

I did ask about the removal appointment and she said I'd assume you would receive the appointment about a week prior in the post. It sounds awful but with me working full time still I wanted as much notice as possible to book time out of work.

April have you had any follow up appointments to review the stitch?
My midwife said here (Chester) they but it in and then leave well alone!

With my first pregnancy I had bulging membranes at 23.4 weeks. To the point where I went to the toilet and I could feel everything down there, but had no pain prior or bleeding (sorry tmi). So at 23 weeks (to the day today!) I'm pretty nevous but I suppose that's just human nature to be worried.
In my selfish mind i just think 'just check everything and give me piece of mind' but I know that's really selfish and they have thousands of patients to think about all day everyday! X

April1984 Fri 19-May-17 09:48:54

Hi Haskell and Fraggle glad you're both doing well. 26 weeks here today and on modified bed rest, i.e. Couch rest and pottering around the flat! Feet up most of the time.

Re removal of stitches I agree it very much depends where you are plus the type of stitch. I have a Shirodkar too and it deffo needs a spinal to come out at the least due to how high it's placed and fact it's embedded under the skin. Whereas a McDonald type can be done with gas and air.

For me I wanted to have it removed as late as poss. I'm near a hospital so felt confident with that. I was due to have it out at 37 weeks but due to other reasons I had my last baby at 35 weeks and it was a c section as he was breach. So they took the stitch out at the same time. I've heard of them coming out anywhere between 34-38 weeks. For me the later is the better as sometimes when they take it out it can get things moving and you go into labour, not always tho, it varies a lot. But if I get that far I want baby cooking as late as absolutely possible to avoid any NICU stay as much as poss.

Good luck both and keep us posted! X

FraggleRock77 Fri 19-May-17 09:39:41

There's such a difference of approaches between doctors. Yes, I'm really pleased that i get fortnightly checks. I use them as my next goals. I think i would drive myself mad in your position. I wasn't advised to go on strict bedrest but my consultant is very into research and has been involved in/read studies that he believes suggests some positives. He said it's all about gravity in the end and the internal arse being able to hold the weight. So the more you rest the better. He wanted me to take it easy around the 24/25 mark. I'm currently on a career break but he would have signed me off work asap. I don't know about you but i can feel my muscles get tired internally and know when i need to lay down. I don't know your measurements or history but a lot can depend on those i suppose. I've had a previous pre-term labour and I'm currently funnelled to the stitch. I've read a lot, while resting about women in the US where bedrest is prescribed from early pregnancy all the way through!!x

Haskell17 Fri 19-May-17 09:00:54

Morning, yes in the UK.

I had a Shirodkar Stitch, had spinal for putting in which was absolutely fine, I think that would be my preferred method, although I was natural nervous being awake, with a Shirodkar my surgeon advised the only method for removal is spinal as this is safer than general (but I suppose that's her opinion and other surgeons may think general is equally as safe).

I wasn't advised anything other than continue as normal, which I have done, other than take things easier than I normally would.

Was you advised bedrest??

I'm envious you have your fortnightly check ups as other than my normal pregnancy check ups I haven't had any checks whatsoever on the stitch, keeps my mind at a constant worry!!

FraggleRock77 Fri 19-May-17 07:49:46

Hello Haskell. Thank you for posting. Can i ask, are you in the UK? I haven't been told as yet when it will be taken out. There seems to be a real mix in regards to cervical care across the country, including removal. Do you feel reassured that you'll have a spinal? I hope i get offered one, although I'm sure it will depend on what stitch and how high up it was placed. Are you on bed rest? Well done to you too for getting to 23 weeks. Do you have regular checks? I see the consultant every two weeks x

Haskell17 Fri 19-May-17 06:41:17

Hi Fraggle,

I hope you are feeling ok after your bed rest, how did you find it? And well done for getting to 26 weeks!!

When do you get your stitch removed? I had mine placed at 13 weeks now 23 weeks, I've not been told when it will be taken out, did you get your appointment through the post or from your midwife? To be honest I wasn't told anything about my stitch, no advise on after care, only that it will be taken out under spinal and will require an overnight stay!

FraggleRock77 Thu 18-May-17 09:16:10

Hello. How's everyone getting on? I'm will hopefully be 26 weeks on Sunday. Three weeks of mainly bedrest done already! Although had to agree to a speculum exam on Wed after some odd twinges. It wasn't pleasant and I'm a little freaked about the stitch being removed now! What experiences have others had with removal?x

Mummyto2monkeys2 Fri 12-May-17 21:11:43

Yay! Massive congrats jomh1982!!!!
Hang in there fraggle, wishing you lots of luck xx

JOMH1982 Fri 12-May-17 11:01:25

Just set yourself short, achievable goals, then the sense of achievement is there when you get there. It feels so overwhelming thinking about the large expanse of time but that can make it more manageable xx

FraggleRock77 Fri 12-May-17 09:20:27

Thanks JOMH and April. I am focusing on the positives. Congrats on being 25 weeks. Can't imagine how you must feel though. Very mixed emotions.
I'm focused on getting to 29 weeks, then i might relax a little. Absolutely fascinated by the amount of support groups available (mainly USA) for women on bed rest. With one group they will help you plan your week and give you calls to offer support!x

April1984 Fri 12-May-17 08:49:40

Congrats JOMH! Great news.

Fraggle, I agree with the others, try to concentrate on the positives as much as poss and continue to take it easy.

Glad everyone seems to be doing ok.

25 weeks today here. Mixed emotions as I had my first at this time. Just plodding along, very slowly it seems! Trying to think 5 weeks until I will actually allow myself to think I'm pregnant and maybe even buy something. I think the thread runs out at 1000 posts, do we just make a new one?! Not sure how it works?! X

JOMH1982 Thu 11-May-17 23:02:49

Thank you, Fraggle. I'm absolutely gonsmacked we reached where we did and that we finally have a little baby after all the years of tragedy. She's a little treasure 😊 Xx

JOMH1982 Thu 11-May-17 23:01:07

Agree with DDFresh, I've read of lots of cases where women have carried their babies quite far on very little cervical length. It is very scary but every day makes a difference and you can do this! Xx

FraggleRock77 Thu 11-May-17 21:44:51

Thank you Ddfresh for the encouraging words. Great to hear you're now 26 weeks and that you're finding comfort. 20mm below the stitch, which is good. Just a bit freaked about the above bit. I've got lots to be hopeful about. I'm being positive, it could be a lot worse. X

Ddfresh05 Thu 11-May-17 19:34:06

Hi Fraggle,
I know it's a lot harder than said, but definitely try and focus on the good news of your cervix being closed under the stitch. Did he give you a measurement? A lot of women carry quite far without a stitch or cervical length. So you have a good chance, also 29 weeks isn't a bad gestation at all. I had my daughter at 25 weeks exactly weighing just a pound and she'll absolutely thriving now two years on.
Now 26 weeks in with my 2nd pregnancy and I find listening to meditation podcasts and hypnobirthing stuff really helps with deal with my anxiety. Good luck and stay positive - we are all rooting for you! Xx

FraggleRock77 Thu 11-May-17 19:30:41

Amazing JOMH. Congratulations! How are you feeling? Such lovely news xxx

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