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Cervical Stitch Advice

(46 Posts)
Pizdets Thu 28-Mar-13 17:04:26


Just wondering if anyone on here has had a cervical stitch and can offer me any words of support or advice I'd be very grateful.

After a cervical scan today my cervix was measuring 2.4cm and from what I understand 2.5cm is the minimum they look for at this stage (14 weeks).

If you'be had the stitch before, did it work? When did you give birth? Did you experience any complications?

Any advice for the procedure itself (i'm planning to have a spinal anaesthetic, not ga) would also be much appreciated!

We lost our first baby, a little girl, at 18 weeks last year and the idea of losing another baby is terrifying!

Thanks in advance for any help.


Kelly1814 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:42:00

Pizdets, I am likely due for the same procedure due to two previous lletz procedures ok my cervix. I do know that two friends in the uk had the procedure and had very healthy full term babies. I look forward to others feedback and wish you the best of luck.

Pizdets Thu 28-Mar-13 17:43:54

Thanks Kelly. Freaking out a bit so hearing good news for other people really helps! Let me know how you get on!

TheGoatThatGotAway Thu 28-Mar-13 17:48:18

Hi, no personal experience or advice, I'm afraid, but just wanted to wish you all the best. I have a friend who carried two babies safely to term after a cervical stitch (two separate pregnancies), having previously lost two babies at, I think 21 and 24 weeks without the procedure. Good luck!

midori1999 Thu 28-Mar-13 17:53:59

Good luck OP.

Kelly, I just wanted to ask when you had your first cervical scan if you don't mind? I ask as I had two Lletz procedures last year and the midwife wrote them down as 'colposcopy' on my notes. hmm However, I am already under consultant care this pregnancy for something else and mention the Lletz to her 2 weeks ago, and she said she'd refer me for cervical scans. However, I am now 11+2 and i haven't heard anything and I am a bit worried tbh. I have my 12 week scan next week, will they just/can they just do it then? Thanks.

RainboxFX Thu 28-Mar-13 17:56:44

Hi Pizdets,

I had a stitch put in at 15 weeks in February, after my son being born prematurely at 24 weeks last time round. Obviously, being only 21 weeks now, I can't really tell you how sucessful it has been! But if you have any questions about the procedure I can answer them for you? It is all still fresh in my mind, and other then being very anxious about it, the op itself was not too bad.

RainboxFX Thu 28-Mar-13 17:57:59

Midori, if it helps my first cervical scan was done at 14 weeks. They told me then they don't really do them any earlier, but I don't know if that is NHS or local policy.

Kelly1814 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:05:27

Midori I live overseas where my only option is private, so I had scans at 7 and 8 weeks, 12/13 is next week.

That said, apparently I don't need a scan to tell that my cervix is ruined, every time I see a new doctor and they look at it they react, it has been completely hacked away at and apparently there is very little left. They also had a good feel of it at the last scan. Next Thursday will know more about the stitch...

Rainbow could you possibly share more about the long it took any pain during, recovery time after? I work so wondering if I need to plan downtime and how much. Thank you.

ExpatAl Thu 28-Mar-13 18:09:19

Midori, I had my first cervix scan at 15 weeks and my ob told me that it's usual to start them at 14 or 14 weeks.

Pizdets I'm so sorry for the loss of your little girl. I can imagine how scary it is to face the same thing.
I lost my ds at 25 weeks and am terrified the same thing will happen when I reach that stage with this pregnancy. For what it's worth I was told that early cerclages are simple and very effective.

ExpatAl Thu 28-Mar-13 18:09:46

Sorry, it's usual to start them at 14 or 15 weeks.

Pizdets Thu 28-Mar-13 18:11:37

Thanks so much everyone! Midori, I ask had the first scan today at 14 weeks, although I think they would have scanned at 13 (baby is a week bigger than I thought), so you still have plenty of time.

Rainbox, thanks for replying! How do you feel at 21 weeks, do you feel a bit more confident with the stitch in? Massive fingers crossed for you. Did you have a spinal block? Was it painful? Do you just lie there for half an hour while they rummage around inside you? I've been told to go in for 7am and I won't leave until 3pm ish, what happens in that time? Do they do the procedure early then mainly keep you around for obs? Or is there a lot of prep? How dd you feel immediately after the procedure, was your recovery ok?

Sorry, tons of questions and would be so grateful if you could answer some. It's really reassuring to hear it's worked for other people, Dr google is the most awful scaremonger.

Thanks to everyone again,


midori1999 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:14:57

Thankyou for the replies. I am seeing a different consultant the day after my scan next week, so I will ask about it them if I haven't heard anything.

goodygumdrops Thu 28-Mar-13 18:30:12

If you listen to the podacst from 12 march on this radio 4 link there is an interview with a Professor Shennan who works at Guys and St Thomas's in London and specialises in caring for women with 2nd trimester losses and early preterm deliveries. The podcast talks about new treatment for women in your position. If you live in reasonable travelling distance of london might be worth asking for a referal to him? I have met him and he is wonderful.

RainboxFX Thu 28-Mar-13 18:40:02

Okay, will just try to write everything down. Hope it makes sense!

When I was scanned at 14 weeks, my cervix was 2.5cm. The consultant advised us to go for the stitch as they are more effictive and have fewer risks when done in advance rather than as an emergency. We agreed and I was booked in a couple of days later. Valentines day actually, go me!

I arrived in the ward early, 8am. I think they were planning to do my operation earlier but emergencies kept cropping up so it was 3pm before I went into theatre. I didn't really see anyone in the morning, just talked to the doctors once or twice to make sure I understood what they were going to do and the risks involved. I decided to have a general anesthetic, because I was really, really nervous about the whole thing! I had also had a GA before and know I recover quite quickly from them. The doctors assured me there was no difference in risk to the baby from either kind of anesthetic so it would all be down to the mother's choice.

I think I was under for about 30-40mins and I did come round feeling very emotional. I think I had a panic attack actually, it was really hard being back in the same hospital that my son had died in so recently. But the staff are so used to dealing with frightened women, they were wonderful. And if you have a spinal instead you might not get the same odd emotions, I think GA does funny things to your brain!

They like to keep you lying flat for a few hours after the procedure, and they will keep checking up on your pain and bleeding levels. I was actually really surprised at how little pain I was in. Like moderate period pain, but without the cramping if you see what I mean? I only needed paracetamol for a couple of days and even then if I couldn't get any for whatever reason, it would have been managable. There was also a lot less bleeding than I expected. There was a small "flow" of red blood the first time I stood up which I was worried about, in case it got worse, but that was really all there was. A few days of brown spotting after that.

I stayed in the hospital overnight, but again I think that was only because I was done so late in the day. The next day they checked how my bleeding was, and how much pain I was in, and were happy to discharge me. I am also on Cyclogest (progesterone) pesseries as there is some evidence they can help keep your cervix closed. Could be worth talking to your Dr about?

I had the op on Thursday, was out of the hospital on Friday and took Monday and Tuesday off work. I would have probably gone back on Monday if I worked in an office, but my job is quite physical and I just felt I needed a couple more days. I have also really cut down on the amount I am lifting. Also, no sex after a stitch sadly!

For a few weeks afterwards I did feel a bit odd. Every little twinge was terrifying and I was frightened to cough or sneeze! But since about 19 weeks or so I have been feeling really good. No pain or anything. They checked my cervix 2 weeks after the stitch (which I think is normal procedure) and had a quick look at my 20 week scan because I asked. I have another scan tomorrow so I will ask them to look again I think! And try to find out how often they will check and come back and tell you smile

Being pregnant after a loss is very frightening, there is a really supportive thread here for women in this situation which has been a life saver for me. I can send you a link if you like? You would be very welcome.

Let me know if there is anything else I can tell you! Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay blush

Pizdets Thu 28-Mar-13 18:43:44

Gumdrops, thanks very much, that's really useful. Just listened to the relevant part now. I actually had a couple of swabs done as part of the research project today which I think is related to what prof shennan is talking about.

I'm at Queen Charlotte's in London and reluctant to refer elsewhere as they also have some leading experts but it's given me some more things to ask about so really useful.

Also just a heads up to the other ladies who might listen that the podcast includes a lady talking about losing her baby, which I still find quite hard to listen to so thought it was worth a little warning!

Thanks again for all the responses, it's really made me feel calmer and more positive about everything.


ExpatAl Thu 28-Mar-13 18:50:36

Rainbox, do you feel the stitch at all now? Is it uncomfortable?

RainboxFX Thu 28-Mar-13 18:53:35

Expat, nope. Nothing at all. Had to sit at an angle for a couple of days to be comfortable but now I wouldn't know it was there.

Pizdets Thu 28-Mar-13 18:57:33

Rainbox, thanks for that. Really useful. It's a bit mundane but do I need to plan to take a lot of books/magazines then? Take it there might well be a lot of waiting around.

I'm keen to avoid GA if possible but am worried about freaking out too. I'm not great with this stuff!

Good to hear you feel confident now, so pleased for you. I don't think you can ever relax after a loss (esp with something like this) but if you can get some peace of mind it's great.

I've read the thread you referred to a few times, I think? About rainbow babies? I think I recognize your name from there. It gave me some real comfort at first, there are some very inspiring and strong ladies on there! I prefer to lurk most of the time but please know when you share your experiences that it does help other people too!

Thanks again,


ExpatAl Thu 28-Mar-13 18:57:35

Thanks. It's nerve racking the longer my pregnancy continues. I'm scared of getting too advanced for a successful cerclage but too early to give birth.

orangepudding Thu 28-Mar-13 19:05:12

I have had two successful cervical sutures. The worst part was the spinal, the stitches were fine and I had only a tiny bit of bleeding afterwards.
My third stitch was unfortunately not a success. I bleed a large amount after and also was ill with a virus when I left the hospital ( unrelated to the stitch).
With my next pregnancy I decided not to have the stitch and carried to term!
Good luck

Pizdets Thu 28-Mar-13 19:05:22

Expat, can I ask why you haven't had a preventative stitch put in? Is your cervix measuring ok? Do have a listen to the podcast gumdrops posted a link to, maybe you could go and have the new test they refer to for peace of mind?

Pizdets Thu 28-Mar-13 19:11:31

Orangepudding, thanks for telling us about your good news, lovely to hear you've had good experiences both with and without the stitch. May I ask if you think there's a reason the 3rd one didn't go so well? Was the virus something you picked up in hospital?


orangepudding Thu 28-Mar-13 19:26:39

With the first two I hardly bleed, just a small amount when wiping.
When I first got up after the third I had a big bleed, mw said it was normal. Then it happened twice more. I felt feverish and told the mW something wasn't right. Was told I was over anxious and was given sleeping pills! When I woke in the morning my head was spinning, I assumed it was due to the sleeping pills. Then the MV asked it I was usually so red, I had a rash on my face. Doctor decided it was a reaction to antibiotics and I was discharged. When I got home I crawled to bed as I felt so I'll. By then had a fever and sore throat. Went to gp a couple of days later and was told it was a bad throat infection. Next day felt worse and then started having labour pains - 16 weeks. Baby was already dead when I arrived in a&e. My temp was 41c.
The post mortem showed the baby had no signs of being affected by the virus so don't know whether it was the measles ( found out that's what I had a couple of weeks later as my girls caught it to) or the stitch.
All I know is I was very unlucky and I don't know anyone else who has had problems after a suture.

ExpatAl Thu 28-Mar-13 19:34:11

Pizdet, we had a long talk with my ob about the benefits of having a preventative stitch and eventually decided against it with the theory being that unnecessary intervention is undesirable and regular checks had the same outcome. I had a cervix scan today at just under 17 weeks and my cervix is measuring very long so it's a wait and see game. I'm also taking progesterone supplements.
I've just listened to the podcast and it was hard to listen to the woman talk about her losses. It was hard too to hear about the drug they can give to protect a babies brain. My son died of a massive brain bleed 5 days after he was born and I wish he could have had that treatment but labour happened so fast and I had such a huge infection that there was no time to be lost in getting him out.

Pizdets Thu 28-Mar-13 19:50:20

Orange and expat, I'm so sorry to hear about your experiences, it's the most heartbreaking thing and shouldn't happen to anyone.

Expat, I'm surprised they went straight in for the cerclage with me today but they have a cutoff and I was just under it, expect they prefer to get them in early than risk it getting to an emergency. The doctor did tell me out of 270 stitches they've not had any miscarriages so the 1% rate they quote is high.

Sorry, am rambling, it's been a long day!


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