I have reached that point in my pregnancy where cervical checks are being offered. Luckily my ob knows me well enough not to push them. She has offered and accepts my answer when I decline. Why do I decline cervical checks? Let me list the reasons why!
- They are uncomfortable. The last thing I want to do in my last 3-4 weeks of pregnancy is have someone’s hand in my vagina. I would rather keep my clothes on for my prenatal appointments and not lay flat on my back to have a care provider reach inside of me.
- Cervical checks do not tell you when labor will start. If you are IN labor, cervical checks CAN be useful. Not always, but they can help you once you are IN labor. Before labor has started, cervical checks are useless. A woman can walk around being dilated for weeks before giving birth. I have heard of many pregnant women who have received a cervical check, found out they were dilated between 1-3 centimeters and expected labor to start any minute. These women were disappointed and let down when they remained pregnant for days and weeks after being told this. Being dilated before being in labor is normal!
- It unnecessarily introduces bacteria to your vaginal canal. Even if the care provider is wearing a glove (which they should be), they are still introducing bacteria to your vagina. This can cause infections, yeast and/or bladder. There may not be any infection, but foreign bacteria can still be introduced during a cervical check.
- If you have had any sexual trauma, cervical checks can be incredibly uncomfortable and may even bring up old feelings. I have not dealt with this first hand, but have spoken to a few women who have.
Cervical checks during pregnancy are useless, uncomfortable and invasive. You do not HAVE to agree to a cervical check. You can say no. You have to give consent to your doctor before a cervical check. If you do not wish to do one, please don’t! Do not let any doctor tell you it is mandatory or necessary. It is your body, your vagina. YOU get to choose.
I chose not to have any cervical checks during all three of my pregnancies. I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and have refused all cervical checks. How do I do this? By not undressing. At my last two appointments the nurse told me to undress and had everything ready for me. I simply said no, I do not want a cervical check. My ob has let me know if I decide I would like one done, she will do one. There has been no negative comments on my decision. This is how it should be. My body, my vagina, my choice.