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Internals and sweeps

(13 Posts)
eeyore2 Mon 22-Jun-09 15:35:12

Hi everyone,
I have a very basic question for you all - what exactly happens during an 'internal' and how does this differ from a 'sweep'? And what is it that can be painful during a 'sweep'?
Also at what point in your pregnancy do you start having internal examinations?
Thanks in advance!

brettgirl2 Mon 22-Jun-09 16:40:32

I think you only have internals after 40 weeks and the purpose is to see if your cervix is dilated.

A sweep is when they aggravate your cervix to try and get labour started.

I had an internal/sweep at 40+2

stanausauruswrecks Mon 22-Jun-09 19:41:11

I had a sweep at 40+3 - didn't hurt at all! I don't think that internals are done as a normal part of pregnancy assessment I've only ever had them to assess how dilated I was during labour.

Tangle Mon 22-Jun-09 23:11:40

Just as an aside, you don't have to start having any form of internal anything at any point during your pregnancy or labour if you don't want to.

Different women will experience sweeps and internals in very different ways - possibly depending on the skill and sensitivity of the person doing it! If you're wary, make sure you understand exactly what will be gained by the procedure and how that will influence your care. It may be hospital policy to give labouring women an internal every 4 hours to ensure there is progress, but if you're happy with the way your labour is progressing then you may wish to decline them.

Whatever you decide, if you do find any procedure painful you can always use the Mary Cronk phrase of "Stop that at once!" in a very stern tone

Northumberlandlass Tue 23-Jun-09 07:54:38

I had a sweep at 40+12 - It was horrendous (sorry if that's not you want to hear) I actually found labour pains more bearable. The internals that followed were just as bad.

eeyore2 Tue 23-Jun-09 15:39:50

Thanks everyone. This is all really helpful. So seems like you very rarely have any internals until after 40 weeks or when you are in labour.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Jun-09 15:47:36

Message withdrawn

happyflower Thu 02-Jul-09 14:33:53

think they only do internals once you're in labour or due to see how far the cervix is dilated (you lie on bed like for smear test and the midwife/doctor puts their hand up to see if they can feel anything) - not painful if you're relaxed about it.
I had 3 sweeps and it's the same procedure, although because they're actually putting their fingers up further and moving them around it is more uncomfortable (made me feel like doing a wee), but if you're having one it probably means that your baby is overdue so you'll try anything to get labour started naturally rather than have to be induced. It definitely does work - combine with nipple twiddling for best effect!

ActivityApple Thu 02-Jul-09 15:50:16

Message withdrawn

Mamulik Thu 02-Jul-09 17:10:04

I had internal 20 minuts before my DD2 birth

MummyDragon Thu 02-Jul-09 18:18:07

ActivityApple, no, they won't try to do anything to induce labour before 40 weeks unless it's medically necessary. Sorry! How are you coping in this heat?! Try curry, the hotter the better - worked for me both times (DS was 1 week late and DD was 1 week early).

YummyMummy17 Mon 13-Jul-09 12:26:55

I had an internal at 36+4 it doesnt matter how far you are they can still do them....
Different people have them with different circumstances !
They thought i was going into pre-term labour when i had mines, just felt uncomfortable tbh. I heard sweeps sore, hopefully not !

pippa251 Mon 13-Jul-09 15:33:35

I've just had a sweep- she said i was 1 cm dialated and favourable? have no idea what this means

It wasn't bad- not too uncomfortable- I'll keep you posted on if it works- I'm 40 weeks due today!

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