A lot of us avoid getting our cervix checked, decline offers (if any).
Others have it routinely.
It is totally optional.
Do you know what the info means?
*I think it's important to appreciate that vaginal exams are for entertainment purposes only.
It doesn't tell you anything use-able, anything certain.
(Unless maybe you're dealing with preterm laboring.)
If you are curious and able to not take the info to heart, great!
But beware, if you find you are/aren't dilating? Then what? ~~what will that do? (in your mind)
Maybe you'll wonder-worry-question ?
It does tend to do this, it's tricky (emotionally).
Moms can dilate from 0 to 10 centimeters in an hour --or go from 0 to 10 cms (stepping up, gradually) over several weeks, months.
*Eventually, mom will be Complete (at 10 cms... ).
• Vaginal exams are not a reliable way to predict when labor will begin. Labor normally begins when the baby is ready and a wonderful cocktail of hormones begin to release.
• A woman may become discouraged by multiple exams and mindless comments such as, “you are only __cm”. Labor then can stall giving way to interventions that often end in cesarean.
• Vaginal exams increase the risk of infection by bringing bacteria towards the cervix, even when done carefully and especially after the release of the membranes.
• Vaginal exams are particularly painful during contractions and disrupt a woman’s concentration.
Here is a bit about it:
Minimal Vaginal Exams during labor not only decreases the risk of infection, it also is less invasive; and vaginal exams can be painful. You have the right to ask for a vaginal exam, and you also have the right to refuse a vaginal exam (unless there is a complication such as a prolapsed cord)
How to Check Dilation with out a Vaginal Exam:
Birth proceeds in a spiral fashion:
labor starts, stops and starts, while the baby goes down, up and down,
and the cervix opens, closes and opens. Nature has no design for
failure; she holds her own meaning for success.
- Sher Willis