Cervical Ripening/Manual Stretching Questions — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Cervical Ripening/Manual Stretching Questions

Sorry if this is long, but I think the details are important! I will be 39 weeks on Saturday, and I haven't dilated or effaced at all. My doctor thinks the reason for this is because of scar tissue on my cervix from having a cerclage placed due to incompetent cervix. The cerclage is now removed, but nothing has changed since it was removed at 36 weeks. Next week my doctor is planning to do a treatment to ripen my cervix, and then if he needs to, he said he would manually stretch my cervix to get it to open, since it won't do it on its own from the scar tissue. Has anyone been through this procedure before, and if so, how did it go? My doctor is expecting to induce the same day after he does these treatments, so we will have a baby, which is exciting! I just don't know anyone else who has gone through this and was hoping there is someone who has had experience! TIA :)

Re: Cervical Ripening/Manual Stretching Questions

  • Why are you getting induced? You're barely even full term. A cervix can go from nothing to fully dilated within hours. I'm not sure what the rush is here?

    Agree. I would do nothing like this until 41 weeks. This is jumping the gun here.


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  • You aren't even at your due date! I'm side eyeing your OB hard.
    Baby will come when he/she is ready. You just need to give it time!
    sschwegejessicad8586mandi195
  • OP- I agree with PP's.  Keep us updated on what happens!
  • Thanks all! I plan to speak with him at my appointment Monday to discuss next steps, and waiting a bit longer. I understand the concern, I think his reasoning for inducing is due to other high-risk factors, and the fact that he's confident there is scar tissue preventing my cervix from dilating on it's own. We are trying to avoid a c-section if possible!
  • I remember being desperate to have my first LO but I never asked for any procedure until after I was 40 weeks or 41. I eventually waited and got induced at 41 weeks . relax!

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  • I'm starting to think my OB's office is the only one that won't induce until 41 weeks.  They are very hands-off, low intervention unless medically necessary and won't even talk about inductions until 41 weeks, regardless of how "uncomfortable" a patient might be.  Yet it seems like everyone and their mom has a doctor willing to induce at 39 weeks. 
    jennypolkadotsjessicad8586katiebranz
  • You don't have to be dilated/ripened before labor begins. My mom was checked the day before I was born and was completely closed. Her doctor said she still had a few weeks and to expect me to be late. I was born in a 2 hour labor the next night with no complications. Same deal with several other women in my family, we just don't tend to dilate before labor. My midwives don't even do internal exams unless there is an issue because they provide no useful information, so no clue what the current state of my cervix is. Cervixes are as individual as the women they are attached to. 

    You should read a bit about the bishops score also to see if induction is even a good option for you right now, to know your odds of it actually working. If I were you, and I'm not, I would consider waiting a couple of weeks before inducing. But you mentioned there are other risk factors so I have no idea what that may be. Just do what feels right for you and your baby, and he/she will be here in your arms soon! Best of luck! 
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  • Just another thought - I really don't know much about this but I honestly can't imagine a bit of scar tissue (when was the device removed?) hindering the hard work of the cervix. At the very least, you would still have contractions working to open to cervix and could then have the procedure done while in labor if necessary. Or am I missing something?
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  • bhk3bhk3
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    edited January 2015
    @JessicaH1020, for what it's worth, unless it's for health reasons (mom or baby) our hospital won't induce before 41 weeks.

    In my case (I'm 40w+1d), if my baby hasn't been born by the end of week 41 they will schedule me to be induced by the end of week 42. So you're not alone!

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  • bhk3 said:
    @JessicaH1020, for what it's worth, unless it's for health reasons (mom or baby) our hospital won't induce before 41 weeks.

    In my case (I'm 40w+1d), if my baby hasn't been born by the end of week 41 they will schedule me to be induced by the end of week 42. So you're not alone!
    Good to know!  I was starting to get a bit concerned.  I wouldn't WANT to be induced before 41 weeks, and I know it's supposed to be standard practice not to induce prior to that (unless medically necessary).  However, it seems like almost everyone else's doctors are gung -ho about inducing at 39 weeks. 
  • bhk3 said:
    @JessicaH1020, for what it's worth, unless it's for health reasons (mom or baby) our hospital won't induce before 41 weeks.

    In my case (I'm 40w+1d), if my baby hasn't been born by the end of week 41 they will schedule me to be induced by the end of week 42. So you're not alone!
    Good to know!  I was starting to get a bit concerned.  I wouldn't WANT to be induced before 41 weeks, and I know it's supposed to be standard practice not to induce prior to that (unless medically necessary).  However, it seems like almost everyone else's doctors are gung -ho about inducing at 39 weeks. 
    I had an appointment 3 days before my due date and asked the Dr about when they think about induction (since I had never asked). She replied with "Oh, we won't even discuss that until next week." Which is what I hoped to hear, that they also wait until near the end of 42 weeks. (I went into labor two hours after that appt).

    I definitely think you have time before inducing, stretching, etc. unless there are other high risk complications that they are going off of.
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  • I see a high risk Dr and she wont let me go past 40 weeks. So my LO will be here in 3 weeks. I think every dr is different and you need to make sure your doing what's best for you an baby. My dr hope's I'll go into labor before the 40 week's. I hope so to cause I don't want to be induced.
  • Okay, so I'm in the hospital and just wanted to share this for anyone else who is worried about how much they are progressing. I went from 0 to 6cm dilated within 2 hours, 10 cm within another 1.5 hours, so 3.5 hours total. I was completely closed two days ago with no progress whatsoever. I compare that to my son, with whom I was 4cm dilated for 3 weeks before having him. Not everyone will progress as fast but in general, progress beforehand means nothing!

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  • Okay, so I'm in the hospital and just wanted to share this for anyone else who is worried about how much they are progressing.

    I went from 0 to 6cm dilated within 2 hours, 10 cm within another 1.5 hours, so 3.5 hours total. I was completely closed two days ago with no progress whatsoever. I compare that to my son, with whom I was 4cm dilated for 3 weeks before having him. Not everyone will progress as fast but in general, progress beforehand means nothing!

    Yay @ladycersei‌! Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

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