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Painful VE - Normal?

(8 Posts)
scintilla87 Fri 10-May-19 12:28:39

Today is my due date and all going well, my Doctor thinks I should be giving birth at some point within the next week, which is really really exciting!

I’ve been using the Positive Birth Company online course, reading about and watching lots of positive birth stories and although I’m under no illusions that labour is going to hurt, I’ve felt pretty prepared mentally and ready to face it. Exited even!

So here’s the thing... today I went for a check up with my Doctor who performed a vaginal examination (VE) and it was bloody uncomfortable, dare I say, even painful! She didn’t explain what she was doing or that it might be uncomfortable so I felt rather taken by surprise.

Since the appointment, I’ve felt a sense of defeat that it hurt. I tense up every time I feel the baby move and am thinking how the hell am I going to manage through hours of labour if I can’t even handle one VE?! It just feels like a massive confidence knock and I need to get back into a more positive headspace.

Has anyone else found VE’s to be painful but then managed OK through labour?

OP’s posts: |
Claphands Fri 10-May-19 12:31:03

I did she gave you a sweep by any chance? VE are painful, I only had one but it was more painful than I expected and you can refuse consent , especially if that don’t explain what they want to do

AwkwardAsAllGetout Fri 10-May-19 12:31:51

Was it a sweep? I found those toe curlingly painful and they’ve never actually done any good for me either. Not on at all that she didn’t explain what she was doing though. I have a 4 week old and had a sweep at a few days overdue, I evenety had her at 10 days over. Sweep was very painful but in all honesty my birth was a dream. Totally different kind of pain. Good luck to you, I hope you’re not waiting too long for your little one to arrive x

Everybodywantstobeacat123 Fri 10-May-19 12:32:22

Was it a sweep? They can be uncomfortable yes I didn't experience pain with mine though plus it didn't work my son was 11 days past his due date.

stillworkingitout Fri 10-May-19 12:32:31

I’m guessing you’re not in the UK because it’s not that normal here to have a VE on your due date performed by a Dr. Nevertheless, she should have asked your permission and explained what was happening.

VE is quite painful. I expect she did a ‘stretch and sweep’ to try to start things off. Really that’s something you should have consented to. I’ve found sweeps to be painful in the past, so that’s not surprising to me. If you’re still in pain it might be worth chatting to her.

Don’t worry about the pain from birth. Every stage feels like it couldn’t possibly get more intense and then it does. It’s not so bad.

scintilla87 Fri 10-May-19 12:46:41

I’ve been wondering if she might’ve performed a sweep!

@stillworkingitout - Well spotted! No, I’m not in the UK but another major European country so although similar in terms of healthcare, they are little more old school in their approach here.

Consent was very much presumed, although I would’ve said yes to it if she had asked. A heads up to say, look this might hurt, would’ve gone a LONG way.

Thank you so much for the replies, I feel really reassured already that they can be painful and I’m not just total wimp!

OP’s posts: |
stillworkingitout Fri 10-May-19 14:00:36

She really should have told you, because it’s not really possible to do a sweep before the cervix starts to efface and open. That would have been useful information to you.

Sweeps are painful, and it can be normal to get a bit of spotting after. I had a sweep at 38w with my first and my waters broke a few hours later.

moreismore Fri 10-May-19 14:05:22

I think the big difference is for a VE you are supine and have no control. The aim for a positive natural birth would be to choose your own position (almost certainly not supine!) and be in control of what is happening to you. That makes a massive difference in terms of how you feel and cope with pain. With that in mind, consider whether you want to consent to routine VE. They aren’t really necessary. (VE May be necessary if there is concern for any reason but you can still consent to that)

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