Stretching of Cervix

  1. 0
    We have a few docs’ that will stretch an 8-centimeter cervix to complete. Besides the obvious risks of tearing or swelling a cervix I wonder if this can cause problems with incompetent cervix during the next pregnancy. It certainly looks barbaric and I hate it.

    Also some nurses where I work will stretch a cervix on an induction to get things moving. I personally will only gently open my fingers and see if the cervix stretches easily but some nurses get fairly aggressive.

    Does anyone have a study or some information on this? Does this cause damage?

    I also wonder about people who have had LEEP or cryo. I have had patents come in with FT/100/+1 in hard labor. After getting them an epidural if I put my finger threw and break the scar tissue they go to 5 or sometimes complete. Is there a contraindication to this?

    Any information would be great

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  2. 19 Comments...

  3. 0
    By stretching you mean, to push it beyond it's borders to open it further? Why?

    Our doctors don't do this and neither do we, for the reasons you state, not to mention IT HURTS!!!!! Why mess around with Mother Nature in such a potentially dangerous and painful way?! And yes, I did see a reallllly bad cervical lac once (had to go to OR for emergency repair) on a patient of a dr who did this as a matter of routine about 7 years ago. It was horrendous. I am glad he is no longer delivering babies. The girl almost bled to death.

    The only time we see our dr's "stretch" a cervix is to reduce a very friable anterior lip when a woman pushes. If it does not reduce easily, they stop right there and leave it alone.

    You are right Dayray, to be concerned. As far as scarred cervices, I would leave that up to the doctor or midwife to deal with it. I personally would not stretch a cervix beyond it's borders to "force" or "help" anything along. I am very, very anally cautious, I know.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 30, '05
  4. 0
    when i had my daughter in feb i was stuck at 9 cm for 2 hours so the midwife 'pushed'my cervix back and once 10cm baby came out so quick. i didnt know its harmful to do this. luckily i am fine. x
  5. 0
    Our providers will occasionally ease back a stubborn but reducable cervical lip when mom has a strong urge to push, that's usually the extent of "cervix stretching" around here. Though sometimes with hx of LEEP/cryo if there is scar tissue that seems to be preventing cervical progress, the doc or midwife may be a little more aggressive during an exam and try to break that up.
    Like Deb, I leave that up to the providers to deal with
  6. 0
    I've only ever seen good providers move a lip. None of the good ones ever tried to stretch anything else.
  7. 0
    Last edit by Dayray on May 31, '05
  8. 0

    As a registered midwife in UK in a labouring woman I have only ever tried to stretch cervix when there is an anterior lip. I have concerns with an 8cm cervix because measurement is not exate science, how many of us have VE'd a woman following a previous VE four hours earlier to find measurements not consistant. Ie cevix now smaller than previous measurements, so you could question is this now a swollen battered cervix or did the was the previous person generous.

    If we are talking about membrane sweep than that is a different subject.
  9. 0
    Nope, I've never had a doc do that. Just the anterior lip thing others have mentioned.

    And I don't stretch the cervix when I check either - just gently check to see how far dilated she is.

  10. 0
    I work w/ a physician who reems out the cervix. Admin. knows about him. He's done this type of thing for years. Thankfully less often now than many years ago when he routinely tortured pts in various ways. Our other docs are great and only stretch an anterior lip.
  11. 0
    Only once seen a doc stretch a cervix and that was from 6cm to fully. Baby came out fine but a few minutes later the uterus came out with the placenta. I guess he was pushing his luck that day. The mom was fine but went through a lot of unnecessary pain and surgery.

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