3rd Trimester

Internal exams question

Aside from telling you how dilated/effaced you are, what is the benefit to having an internal exam at each visit?  I'm planning on declining them because I figure the knowledge that I'm x cm isn't really going to do me any good.  The baby is going to come when he comes so what is the point of having that information?  Any other good reasons for an internal per visit?

*disclaimer - if there were any indication of danger to me and/or the babe, and an internal would provide helpful info, I would have one.  I'm talking strictly no risk, everything going along just peachy here.

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Re: Internal exams question

  • Other than seeing if you made any progress that's really the only reason that I know of, your obvious exception being noted of course.
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  • Nope, no other reason. Some people like hearing that (if) their body is slowly but surely making progress. Others don't.
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  • Here is a good reason to skip them - holy crap they can hurt!  I had my first one this week and I was so surprised I have never seen a post about how painful they are.
  • my doctor does internals every week starting at 36 weeks because when you go to the hospital, they want to know how dilated you were at your last office visit...i guess they use that as a base to see how quickly you are making progress in early labor.

    **Kelly***

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  • There isn't one. I skipped them and will have one on Monday at my 40 wk appt. if I make it to assess things and make a plan. We're worried about him being too large though, so if he were average-sized I wouldn't even have one until I was in labor.
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  • image weddingcaketaster:
    my doctor does internals every week starting at 36 weeks because when you go to the hospital, they want to know how dilated you were at your last office visit...i guess they use that as a base to see how quickly you are making progress in early labor.

    That still doesn't really tell you anything though.  Some people will have a long early labor and then go from 4-10 cm in an hour.  Some people might have a quick early labor and then stall out at 7 cm for a while. 

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  • image KatieWill2006:
    Other than seeing if you made any progress that's really the only reason that I know of, your obvious exception being noted of course.

     

    I guess I pretty much see the same reasoning...

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  • Declining internals when you've got no signs of labour is a perfectly reasonable choice. I'll be putting mine off as long as possible. I just don't like putting hands up my vagina for fun, so I thought I'd pass until there's a medical reason.
  • HelsHels
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    Mine wasn't painful for me, but I will agree that the info I got from it was pretty much useless to me. 

    In addition to what everyone else said, my OB said it's also to confirm position of the head.



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  • Ugh I've been having them since 30 weeks due to incompetent cervix, and prelabor issues! Let me tell you they are not fun, althought they have been pretty gentle with me until recently I'm guessing because its ok if he were to come now.

     Well yesterday I went to my appointment, and my Dr. had a medical student with her. Well I've met this medical student before and all she did was measure the fundal height, and listen to the heartbeat. Well as my Dr. is talking to me about my sinus pressure, I see the med student putting on the gloves and I'm like OHHHHH NO!!!! So of course I did not say anything, the girl checks me and was like well I'm thinking a fingertip to a cm! I'm sitting there like ok I've been a cm since 30 weeks and 70 percent effaced so this girl is wrong, and holy sh*t did it hurt! So then my Dr. is like let me recheck her, I'm still the same since I have been at week 35, 2 cm and 80 percent effaced since week 37. I wanted to scream so as if it was not bad enough having to be checked once, then they had to do it again! NEVER EVER AGAIN is a med student at my Dr's office checking me. The Dr. was like well your prob estimating wrong because his head is right there, and so jammed in there! I was like so I had to be tortured and be your experiment! God experiment on someone else haha! This is the same girl that hooked me up to the contraction monitor wrong, but thats another story LOL!

    Anyway Goodluck! Wink

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  • AN internal wasn't at all what I thought it would be. He was in and out in literally 3-5 seconds He told me I was 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced. I wouldn't decline in the future, I trust my Dr to do things for a reason so I will go along with it, plus it didn't hurt me. But I realize all dr's and people are different.
  • image tokenhoser:

    http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/interventions/a/vaginalexam.htm

    Great article that explains the pros and cons well.

    Thank you :)

     

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    TTC #1 since April, 2007
    12/2009 ~ Clomid + IUI = BFP ~ natural m/c 6w0d
    2/2010 ~ 3/2010 ~ 4/2010 ~ Clomid + IUI = BFN
    8/2010 ~ IVF = BFP
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  • image iris427:

    image weddingcaketaster:
    my doctor does internals every week starting at 36 weeks because when you go to the hospital, they want to know how dilated you were at your last office visit...i guess they use that as a base to see how quickly you are making progress in early labor.

    That still doesn't really tell you anything though.  Some people will have a long early labor and then go from 4-10 cm in an hour.  Some people might have a quick early labor and then stall out at 7 cm for a while. 

    that was me exactly! I labored all day and then went from barely a 4 to 10 in less then an hr


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  • I don't think there is that much benefit to them. My doctor offers them at 39 weeks, but agrees that they are not always needed. There is also a small risk of infection every time you get one.
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  • My midwifery practice doesn't do them routinely. They "offer" you one when you arrive at the hospital & another to make sure it's ok for you to push--so I hope to have only 1-2 exams this whole pregnancy (unless I request more)! And they can tell the position by palpatating the belly--no need to go inside for that.
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  • Nope; they are pointless unless there is a medical need.  I declined all of mine.
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  • image Lyssa2085:

    Ugh I've been having them since 30 weeks due to incompetent cervix, and prelabor issues! Let me tell you they are not fun, althought they have been pretty gentle with me until recently I'm guessing because its ok if he were to come now.

     Well yesterday I went to my appointment, and my Dr. had a medical student with her. Well I've met this medical student before and all she did was measure the fundal height, and listen to the heartbeat. Well as my Dr. is talking to me about my sinus pressure, I see the med student putting on the gloves and I'm like OHHHHH NO!!!! So of course I did not say anything, the girl checks me and was like well I'm thinking a fingertip to a cm! I'm sitting there like ok I've been a cm since 30 weeks and 70 percent effaced so this girl is wrong, and holy sh*t did it hurt! So then my Dr. is like let me recheck her, I'm still the same since I have been at week 35, 2 cm and 80 percent effaced since week 37. I wanted to scream so as if it was not bad enough having to be checked once, then they had to do it again! NEVER EVER AGAIN is a med student at my Dr's office checking me. The Dr. was like well your prob estimating wrong because his head is right there, and so jammed in there! I was like so I had to be tortured and be your experiment! God experiment on someone else haha! This is the same girl that hooked me up to the contraction monitor wrong, but thats another story LOL!

    Anyway Goodluck! Wink

    I would have said no way to a med student doing an internal!! 

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  • My midwives do not do internals unless you are in labour.  This is a practice I heartily agree with ever since my first labour because it DOES hurt quite a lot!!  However, with my second I was 7.5cm dilated before the midwife even got to me, so it didn't hurt at all.  The only other reason to do one is that it can possibly help you go into labour if you're really close.
  • I had one at 36 weeks and it wasn't painful at all. I declined it at 37 weeks, but I'll be getting checked again at 38 weeks. I'm doing weekly acupuncture to get my body ready for delivery and the information from the internal is helpful to my acupucturist.

    And I'm sorry to the woman who had a bad exam from a med student. I wouldn't judge all med students on that one experience though. After going through IVF at a medical college/hospital, I saw a lot of med students when I had appointments with my RE and I thought that they were all very nice and professional. 

    IVF, acupuncture, meditation and a miracle. 

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  • I think the med student is very nice, and we have many teaching hospitals around here. Actually where I'm delivering is a teaching hospital, and I have had plenty of run ins before with the med students, no problems!

    I am not judging her all I'm saying is this is the second time, I have had a bad experience with this particular med student. I know they have to learn, and I'm sure she is very smart; but I'm just saying this pregnancy has been trying enough with incompetent cervix issues, and preterm labor, and I was not thrilled that I had to be examined twice.  

     

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  • image Lyssa2085:

    I think the med student is very nice, and we have many teaching hospitals around here. Actually where I'm delivering is a teaching hospital, and I have had plenty of run ins before with the med students, no problems!

    I am not judging her all I'm saying is this is the second time, I have had a bad experience with this particular med student. I know they have to learn, and I'm sure she is very smart; but I'm just saying this pregnancy has been trying enough with incompetent cervix issues, and preterm labor, and I was not thrilled that I had to be examined twice.  

     

    I wouldn't feel bad about what you said! I know that a student is there to learn and they have to learn on someone, but dear lord, I don't want that someone to be me! No thank you.

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