No need to. It isn't standard practice in the UK, although I do know that it is in some places. They are largely pointless anyway as your cervix could show signs if readiness but nothing happens for weeks and weeks or it could seem very tightly shut but labour could start soon.
Because I'm from one of the places where they do them regularly every 4 weeks from early on to check that there is no shortening / dilation of the cervix to detect possible premature labour. They also take swap every 4 weeks to check for infection and bacteria.
It doesn't bother me as again, where I come from, all women and girls have internal exam every 6-12 months so I'm well used to it. I am aware it's not really done here and most likely unnecessary but it makes me anxious that it's not been done and being constantly on edge doesn't help me either.
I'm reading Ina May Gaskin's books right now and even she does it while being really non-medical about pregnancy and birth in general.
MrsHuxtable I am under consultant-led care as am high risk after a previous prem baby (early dilation) and even though I'm seen every two weeks the consultant has only ever done one internal exam. They're not actually that helpful as you cannot tell shortening of the cervix without having an internal ultrasound scan, and although you could see any dilation it is very unlikely to happen without any other symptoms e.g. vaginal loss, pain, bleeding etc. I hope that helps to put yoru mind at rest.
Thanks Mmmmcheese, that is somewhat reassuring. The think is I have been having bad pains, to the point where I went into hospital one night but I was never really looked at, only by the out of hours GP, who totally ignored the fact I'm pregnant and just said "Must be a urinary infection. Here are some antibiotics." I found that strange.
I'm probably also wary because my friend went into early labour at 24 weeks. She was having pains all day and had been to the hospital. They didn't check and send her home saying it was all normal. 2 hours later she gave birth to her baby in the bathroom. He only survived because the ambulance arrived pretty much right after he came out. It scares me that this happened to someone I actually know iykwim...
But yes, when I was abroad, they also did internal scans with each check up. I stayed there til 15 weeks and had 3 scans. I must just be spoiled...
How many weeks are you? Are you still having bad pains? If so you should get checked out by a midwife and I'm sure if you ask them they will do an internal. Also, if it would give you more reassurance you could always pay for a private scan. They cost £60 near me and I've had a few just for reassurance that I'm not dilated.
I'm 19.3. I still have pains but not as bad anymore and only in my abdomen. The lower back pains have disappeared with the antibiotics so the Out of hours GP was probably right.
I've just come back from my 20 week scan and all seemed fine. I did "complain" about how they didn't check me at the hospital and claimed there was no out of hours maternity service. The sonographer was really shocked at that as the hospital indeed does have a 24hr maternity unit and it seems like the staff at the hospital reception and the triage nurse were talking rubbish and certainly not following protocol in not letting me see anyone. It's all very strange but I do feel better now knowing that these services actually exist.
That's good. Unfortunately sometimes on the NHS you have to be really pushy and not take no for an answer to get the care that you need. If the pains come back I would defintely go and get checked out again.
If you have any worrying symptoms, it is best to either phone your midwife (durig the day) or the labour ward at the hospital you have booked at. I had a couple of 'issues' (fears really) during my pregnancy with DS and I always rang labour ward, spoke to a mw and if went in to get seen by them (and the on call doctor) bypassed A&E and that lot entirely.
Thanks for your advice ladies. I will follow it in the future.
I don't have the number of a midwife that I can phone. I'm very jealous of the women that have one. I only have a triage number. Only when I had the pains noone answerd it so we went to the hospital straight away where the reception told us there was no such thing as maternity triange and that the number I was given was for A&E triage and they couldn't send me anywhere else.
So then, today, I was told that firstly there is a maternity triage and secondly, that I did have the right number.
I have learned my lesson and will be very pushy if there are any future problems.