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Should I have a cervical sweep?

(47 Posts)
beckmo Thu 14-Jun-07 11:42:21

I'm 41 weeks tommorow and seeing my midwife. She said she would offer me a sweep tommorow and then, if it doesn't work, follow it up with another one on Sunday. Her advice was to go home and google it (she's lovely but this has been her advice on every stage of my pregnancy from being rhesus negative to thinking about induction -shes just too busy to give teh information herself!). Have googled it and it seems 50/50 that it works and don't want to put myself through an unecessary uncomfortable procedure if this is the case....or maybe I'm a bit scared of going into labour really quickly and want it to come on its own accord.

Talking about induction dates tommorow as well. Do they usually leave you to go the full 42 weeks before advising induction?Sorry -I know thsi has all been asked before but all I have is google and MN!

twoplusone Thu 14-Jun-07 11:45:13

Hi Becmo- because of circumstances in last pg (hubby worked away and only had limited time off..) O was given a sweep on my due date.. I went into labour the next day.. .. Had mild contractions all day then became stronger and frequent early evening, had the baby 4.20am the next morning..

The chioce is yours hun.. you do what you feel is best..

Hope all goes well and good luck.xx

onetanother Thu 14-Jun-07 11:45:59

its an internal thats intnded to get you started, mine wasnt painful, although not dignified either! i has some spotting afterwards, but baby also came the next day after a second sweep on assessment

beckmo Thu 14-Jun-07 11:51:04

Thank you. I had to have an internal last week and really would prefer not to have another one but reading your posts the thought of going into labour this weekend sounds like a relief (also means I can go to birthing centre rather than being induced and going to delivery rooms). I suppose if i'm prepared to neck several pineapples etc I should try something that actually works half the time too....
Can I ask -do they use a speculum like a smaer of is it just the midwife using her fingers?

beckmo Thu 14-Jun-07 11:51:30

smear not smaer...

feb Thu 14-Jun-07 11:52:51

have sex instead! it does more or less the same things and is far more enjoyable!

beckmo Thu 14-Jun-07 11:58:23

You are right Feb.I think I started with the having lots of sex method too early and have now ran out of motivation...mind and body willing but just not that capable!Certainly more motivation for sex than an internal though!

maxbear Thu 14-Jun-07 12:06:01

I had a sweep on my due date with my first, then sex that evening, went in to labour half and hour after the sex! The research suggests that having a sweep is more likely (than sex) to get you in to labour within 48 hours. They do not use a speculum for a sweep, some women find it really uncomfortable and some find it ok. I personally did not think it hurt at all was just undignified. If I were you I would go for it, after all if you find it too bad you could ask her to stop at any time.

twoplusone Thu 14-Jun-07 12:08:22

beckmo- it was my consultant who did mine.. she just used her fingers.. to be honest mine really did hurt and she didnt think it would work as I hadnt softened and my cervix was still long.!!

Good luck again in what ever you decided... but sex is a good.. I am sure I have read that swallowing is supposed to be very good for bringing on labour!!!!!

feb Thu 14-Jun-07 12:11:47

'am sure I have read that swallowing is supposed to be very good for bringing on labour!!!!!'

must have been a man who came up with that one!

beckmo Thu 14-Jun-07 12:14:40

Yes. I have been told to swallow.Thought my midwife was playing a cruel joke on me...

Funnily enough I haven't given that nugget of information to DH.

beckmo Thu 14-Jun-07 12:16:21

Actually -that has just made up my mind to go for the sweep.

Along with all your other comments and advice of course... Thanks!

feb Thu 14-Jun-07 12:25:26

Hope it does the trick beckmo. keep us informed. good luck!

reikizen Thu 14-Jun-07 12:31:44

A stretch and sweep is a pretty low level of intervention and is not at all uncomfotable compared with childbirth! I had loads with both my two who were 17 and 10 days late respectively. Do you know what may be holding you back from labour? Fear. Your mind is a very important aspect in childbirth. No-one knows what sets labour off but if I think back to when I was pregnant for the first time I'm sure it was my mind that stopped me going into labour naturally. Remember the secret. It's not that labour is painful, it is that women are strong!

twoplusone Thu 14-Jun-07 12:36:35

LOL.. beckmo.. Goodluck hun.xx

Unfortunatley my dh does know that piece of info.. but he also knows under no circumstances.. is that ever going to

Klaw Thu 14-Jun-07 12:51:58

Beckmo, my opinion having had three attempts between 41 wks and 42wks in desperation for my VBAC is:

Don't bother!

Hindsight is wonderful, it really is! The first attempt was totally unsuccessful as my cervix was very high and posterior, mw couldn't reach it. And she could barely reach it again the next time. This was VERY demoralising. The final one was successfully performed. I went into labour that night. Now my point is this, sweeps can only be successfully performed if you are actually very near to going into labour anyway, so if it is going to happen why bother with the discomfort and indignity? There is the risk of infection as bacteria is taken from your vagina up to your cervix, there is the risk that your waters may be accidently broken, the demoralisation if it can't be done.....

So I have decided that if I have another 'overdue' baby I'll just stay away from any interference. Especially as we are not actually overdue till 42+wks. Remember that some women have to labour spontaneously at 42, 43 weeks or more, as well as at 37wks to get the 'average' or 'mean' of 40. 42 wks is not abnormal and stillbirth rates have NOT declined with the introduction of induction.

I would ask for Expectant Management instead.

Check out Natural Induction but skip the Castor Oil and Pineapple!

Also here is a discussion on Radical Midwives about Sweeps which you might like to read through and see if it helps you to decide. Obviously both sides of argument are brought up and research is mentioned. I guess this is the kind of stuff your mw hoped you would google for.

Whatever you decide I hope it is an informed decision on your own terms.

reikizen Thu 14-Jun-07 14:05:40

I actually used castor oil last time around, after trying unsuccessfully to buy it with my first baby. Doesn't taste too good but it seemed to do the trick as I had a lovely 3 hour labour at home and a happy baby and mum at the end of it. I couldn't say 'try it' though as there is no research as to it's safety or otherwise and it's not my place to imply it is for everyone. However, I had a hospital induction first time and the castor oil wins hands down!

beckmo Thu 14-Jun-07 14:20:09

Thanks for those links Klaw. The reasons you have given for not having one are the exact ones that led me to question whether to go ahead with it or not. Will have a good read now.

Reikezen -I don't know what is stopping my baby coming. He or she just not ready yet I feel. I on the otherhand am more than ready -bring it on!I think I'll skip on the castor oil though!

As for the rest -I have had 'should I sweep or should I swallow' to the tune of the Clash 'Should I stay or should I go?' running through my head since I last posted!

beckmo Thu 14-Jun-07 14:34:50

OK.Those links are really helpful. Will lock my midwife in a discussion tommorow before deciding anything.

Going to listen to my hypnobirthing CD and try out some of those reflexology moves.Thanks for all your advice and for making me smile -will keep you all informed x

DaisyMOO Thu 14-Jun-07 15:15:05

klaw - do you have a reference for 'stillbirth rates have NOT declined with the introduction of induction'?

honeyapple Thu 14-Jun-07 20:34:48


Just to say that i was about 10 days late with DD and I had a sweep... and went into labour next day. It wasnt painful at all, but probably because MW said I was already 3 cm dilated, so was really ready to go! It was really exciting to hear that I was already slightly dilated cos I had had an awful long labour with DS.

Anyway, good luck


beckmo Fri 15-Jun-07 07:19:19

Thanks honeyapple. Another sleepless night and day ahead of me beached on the sofa has made up my mind to give it a try...I really want this baby to come this weekend. Feeling a bit despondant today.

onetanother Fri 15-Jun-07 12:15:32

have you had your mw appt? how did it go!

tally13 Fri 15-Jun-07 15:07:57

Hi this is my 1st PG and I'm 39wks today with no signs yet. I'm just as confused as Beckmo!! My MW said she'll sweep me next week if I want. I'm getting the impression that if yr cervix has started to change the sweep should be painless, but if cervix is unchanged and they force to do then painful - why would the MW continue?

beckmo Fri 15-Jun-07 17:27:27

Just back from my midwife.My cervix is very high and posterior and she decided there was no point doing a sweep.So they don't always continue if there is no point...

Going to see her on Sunday to have another look. If not they want to book me for an induction Tues or Weds.Just want my baby here now.My midwife was lovely -no need for weepy films to set me off in tears at the moment and she dealt with my melt down very well!

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