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Irritable uterus..... what's your experiences?

(15 Posts)
HeinzSight Thu 11-Jun-09 15:35:18

I only heard of this last night whilst reading someone else's thread. I thought I was having 'normal' Braxton Hicks.

Since Friday, every evening I have been experiencing an almost permanent tightening sensation along with period type pains. I do remember having this during my last pregnancy but I was a bit further along. I went in and was monitored for half an hour or so, although the tightenings were showing up they weren't strong enough to be true contractions.

I'm 31 weeks today.

I guess what I'm looking for is womens' experiences with this and whether it caused any problems.

nellie12 Thu 11-Jun-09 15:49:59

I had lots of them. With ds1 it was weekly from about 34 weeks and it was like the beginning of labour. Not so many with ds2 and had him at 37 weeks with what started as irritable uterus. Ds3 was a martyr to them and was in constant pain /discomfort for about a month before he was born. Only advice I can give is drink plenty of water as being dehydrated can set it off, dont over exert yourself - that always made it a lot worse
and take paracetamol as that can help. (well I worked on the premise that there was nothing lost.) also get yourself checked for uti as that can make the uterus irritable. If you google irritable uterus there are some good websites about it - for when you're feeling sorry for yourselfwink hth and good luck

HeinzSight Thu 11-Jun-09 15:54:19

thanks for that nellie12. I've read that about dehydration so have been making an effort to drink more, although am probably still not drinking enough!

I've just re-read my OP and want to make it clear that it was my last pregnancy I got monitored. I haven't been monitored during this pregnancy (yet). I've been putting off phoning the hospital.

I know they'll just ask me to come in. But with a 21 month old DD it's not that easy!

barnowl Thu 11-Jun-09 16:22:42

I had an irritable uterus at about the same time in my last pregnancy.I was sent to the hospital initally by my midwife and they did some test to check I wasn't going into premature labour they kept me in overnight jsut to keep an eye on things then sent me home with advice to take paracetamol if it got too uncomfortable. It eventually settled down after a few days and then flared up again afew weeks later for a few days. Apart from being annoying and uncomfortable it didn't cause any problems and I went on to have a rather speedy normal birth at 38weeks. Hope things settle down for you it is an annoying condition the best think is to try and distract yourself and not focus on it too much try some nice relaxing baths that helped me.

rainbowdays Thu 11-Jun-09 16:29:11

I had it from 33 weeks with both my boy pregnancies (with my girl I did not have it, not that I blame it on the male sex really grin)

Anyway: It was horrible, REAL contractions. They were clearly measurable on the machines and were mistaken for prem labour in both of those pregnancies for me!!!! And both went on to be born at term.

I know it is not easy to deal with. But unless you are absolutely certain that it is irritable uterus and not the start of labour then you should go and be monitored. I was in and out of hospital with the boys but I know what you mean about having to go to hospital and leaving other children behind with other people. And yes if you ring the hospital they will want you to go in!!!

As Nellie said - drink more,
Also with irritable uterus, rest does make a difference. I found if I rested the contractions would eventually stop, within a couple of minutes of walking I would start contracting. So let your dd have the bliss of a cuddle with mummy watching dvd's and rest as much as you can.

I hope this helps, and it is great see you again.

rainbowdays Thu 11-Jun-09 16:29:13

I had it from 33 weeks with both my boy pregnancies (with my girl I did not have it, not that I blame it on the male sex really grin)

Anyway: It was horrible, REAL contractions. They were clearly measurable on the machines and were mistaken for prem labour in both of those pregnancies for me!!!! And both went on to be born at term.

I know it is not easy to deal with. But unless you are absolutely certain that it is irritable uterus and not the start of labour then you should go and be monitored. I was in and out of hospital with the boys but I know what you mean about having to go to hospital and leaving other children behind with other people. And yes if you ring the hospital they will want you to go in!!!

As Nellie said - drink more,
Also with irritable uterus, rest does make a difference. I found if I rested the contractions would eventually stop, within a couple of minutes of walking I would start contracting. So let your dd have the bliss of a cuddle with mummy watching dvd's and rest as much as you can.

I hope this helps, and it is great see you again.

rainbowdays Thu 11-Jun-09 16:31:25

whoops somehow I posted twice, but also meant to say that I used a tens machine regularly thoughout the last weeks for pain relief from the contractions too. It is not recommended generally, but it was the only way I could cope.

HeinzSight Thu 11-Jun-09 20:37:05

thanks barnowl.

Thanks also rainbow, sorry I haven't been on TT4 thread for a while, I seem to have lost it!

I've seen a tens machine mentioned a few times. At what stage is it safe to use?

tassisssss Thu 11-Jun-09 20:45:29

rainbow that's interesting as I had this a lot worse with my first (a boy) than my next 2 (both girls). It's rubbish coz people always (well in my head this is how it appeared) seem to raise their eyebrows and make you feel it's only BHs. I was in and out of hospital from 32 weeks with this first time round, they'd start and stop. Looked like ds was coming and then all stopped. I'd get contractions every 10 mins for about 4 hours (often middle of the night) suffiecietly bad that I'd be pacing, in the bath, TENs on and then it'd all stop. I really wondered if I just had a low pain threshold, but ended up delivering with just G and A and early labour was exactly as I'd been experiencing.

May67 Fri 12-Jun-09 09:16:03

Just thought I'd add, along with drinking lots of water my midwife recommended going to the loo more often (shouldn't be a problem with the extra drinking!) It does seem to have helped a lot.

rainbowdays Fri 12-Jun-09 09:55:16

Heinz - The tens machine should not be used until 37weeks or "term". The reason is that in some women it can actually induce contractions and therefore induce prem labour. However from my reading around it is generally said that if it induces contractions, then taking it off stops the contractions. Also if you are already having contractions, heck in my mind if the baby is coming it is going to do so no matter what. When I was in hospital last time, I begged for a tens machine to relieve the pain, they refused, but said that if I had my own they would not stop me putting it on!!!!! They just could not be seen to be advocating it. So I sent my sister to go hire one immediately from boots and put it straight on, it was bliss.
PS: here is the tt4 link! They'd love to hear from you.

Tassissss - Definitely, the contractions were just like early labour for me too, needing to stop and breath through them etc. It sure does help you learn what to do in labour. It was amazing to find how braxton hicks contractions felt with my dd, it was a moment of amazement.

may67 - yep I agree, drinking and keeping empty bladder does help.

Gillyan Fri 12-Jun-09 10:57:03

hello

I have an irritable uterus. I am 36 + 1

I went in hospital last sun and was having contractions/tightenings ( none painful) every 3 mins for over an hour. i had stayed at home 2n half hrs having them every 5/6 then 4/5 mins. Very tight, could feel them coming but not too painful. I also had perios pain and back ache and 'felt' like i was going into labour. I felt ppressure in my bum etc. This is my 2nd pregnancy.

They gave me medicine to try and slow the contractions and steroids to mature the babies lungs. There is a differnece between irritable uterus and pre-term labour. I was in pre-term labour and it did manage to stop but I also have the irritable uterus.

UTI or the baby moving causes them to start up again now.

Went to hospital yesterday and the bloody baby has now turned and is breech!!!!!

I should really bein hopsital but they have let me go as I live very close.

Irritable urerus is quite common, there were so many women in with it. One lady had had the steroids at 29 wks, she was 31 wks and back in again.

You can have Nifedepine tablets to keep your uteus form contracting. The lady I spoke with was having salbutamol syrup ( for asthma) as it is a muscle relaxant.

They do feel like BH but BH shouldn't become regular.

Hope you get on ok x

rainbowdays Fri 12-Jun-09 11:33:08

Gillyan - How do they know you were in pre-term labour? I had regular contractions with both boys, and they were definitely painful not just tightenings and clearly measurable on the monitors. My contractions with irritable uterus with my ds' were very different from the braxton hicks tightenings I had with my dd. I am just curious about how they could tell the difference between preterm labour and irritable uterus other than going onto full labour?

With ds1 I had meds to stop the contractions and steriods to mature the baby's lungs too. But I was told afterwards that it was not pre-term labour as my cervix had not dilated and I had not gone onto full labour.
With my ds2 they refused to check cervix in case of pre-term labour, but I was treated in the same way and they could not tell the difference in the machines etc, I was given the drugs for maturing the lungs again, but this time they did not give drugs to stop the contractions. Instead they prepared everything for delivery of a prem baby (which obviously never happened!).

So if I ever get pg with a boy again I would love to know in advance how to know if it is pre-term labour what to ask the doc's to check for.

I had forgotten about the baby moving triggering the contractions too, strange how your mind blots out details like that after a while. But you reminded me of how I found it frustrating to suddenly start contracting just because the baby had decided to have a wriggle!!!!

Heinz - also forgot to say about the drugs to mature the babies lungs, very important if you think you are at risk of prem labour rather than irritable uterus. Hope you are having a better day today.

nellie12 Fri 12-Jun-09 13:20:28

Heinz - hope you feel better today. just wanted to add that my midwife s advice was to take paracetamol for the pains. I usually waited till they became regular. If the paracetamol stopped the pain then it was irritable uterus if not ten I was to go in to be checked. This strategy did keep me out till he was born. my mw was quite non -interventionist (which suited me!) but I did get to the stage, after a month of this with ds3, that if I'd known there were drugs to relax the uterus I could have been very tempted.

Gillyan Fri 12-Jun-09 16:04:35

rainbow they said it was becuase of the frequency of the contractions, every 3 mins then alomst every 2/3 and they said the pressure I was describing was classic labouring signs, I had lost a very small amount of water too.

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