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Thread: Vaginal Exams in Pregnancy & Labour

  1. #1

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    Default Vaginal Exams in Pregnancy & Labour

    I'm preparing an article and would love your input and discussion on this topic! Any/all of the below questions would be great.

    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?



    5. Any other thoughts/comments?
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  2. #2

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    Thanks for being first off the rank! btw. do you mean private hospital midwife? As a private midwife (or independent midwife) is one you employ yourself.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  3. #3

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    1. During pregnancy one & I hated it....it was awful, felt awful & I bled for what felt like ages. I must admitt it's the one time in my life I've felt violated LOL...think that's because I had no idea what to expect. During labour from memory 3...mostly by the midwife & the last one by the doctor. All to see how far along I was - these were requested as my labour came on very fast after being induced & felt I needed to push early on. Though there were some non requested ones as bubs head was around the wrong way & had to have my waters broken by doc too.

    2. As I said during pregnancy I hated it & same goes for labour. I just found it so uncomfortable, I never screamed at my husband during labour.....but the doctor got a "get your [email protected] hand out of there"! he,he.

    3. The doc explained it very well during the pregnancy, TBH can't remember what was said to me during labour.

    4. I felt they were justified at the start, but as it got more painful I was getting a bit peeved off, I think I may have had more than 3...WOW it is true you can forget the pain - I cant remember much LOL.

  4. #4

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?
    Only one while in labour to find out how far dilated I was. I never had any during pregnancy.

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?
    I asked for it while in labour as I felt I needed to know how far along I was.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?
    Yes, they (the midwife) was very professional about it all.

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?
    No. I didn't want any during pregnancy, and my dr didn't feel the need to do any.

    5. Any other thoughts/comments?

  5. #5

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?
    One during labour - Ob asked if I wanted one to see how far I was. Midwife said I didn't have to if I didn't want.

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?
    It bloody hurt! I thought I tried to kick Ob - DH says I didn't, but he was ready to!

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it? Yes.

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified? Not too many, but I wish I'd listened to the midwife. No wasn't justified

    5. Any other thoughts/comments.
    Having read up (after the fact) BB and other places, I wouldn't agree to a VE during a future pregnancy or labour unless there was a compelling reason.

  6. #6
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    first labour
    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?i think i had two during pg one was meant to have been a s&s, when being induced(the one that didnt work) i had 3or4 with out any form of lubrication! next induction i had another 3(1 with gels one with arm one with synto) during labour i had 2 one at 2cn and the next at 9cm

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?i thought they were what was done at the time sodidnt think to much of it
    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?not really but yes i knew what they were doing it for! i was upset that the s&s ended up not actually being one(another doctor examined at a later time and cervix was firmly shut)

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?yes,no, not really

    5. Any other thoughts/comments?looking back now i realise i had alot but at that point i didnt know how much i could say no to

    labour #2
    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour? none

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?there was no need i knew my body knew what to do
    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it? my M/W doesnt like doing them unless there is a real need or things are nt progressing and only in labour will she do them if she has to
    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?N/A

    5. Any other thoughts/comments? i loved the fact that i never knew how far along i was! i was then unable to do the labouring womans math(8hrs to here means another ? hours until its over) i loved that my m/w trusted me and my body to tell her when it was "time" not visa versa because i was at 10cm.

    hope that is helpfull kelly

  7. #7

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?
    None during pregnancy & 2 during labour

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?
    I aked my OB for them as i wanted to know how far along i was.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?
    Yes he did.

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?
    He only did them becuase i asked.

  8. #8

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?
    None during pregnancy & 2 during labour

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?
    I was glad I didn't have any during the pregnancy.
    I had one on arrival to the hospital, and while I was interested to know how things were progressing, it hurt a lot! (I think she did an S&S at the same time.) The second was given my a different midwife during labour at the end to make sure I was fully dilated because I was desperate to push. I didn't feel a thing that time.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?
    Nope. The first just told me she was going to, and she didn't tell me about the stretch and sweep. I was happy to know, but not happy about the S&S! The second told me that she wanted to make sure it was ok for me to push, and I was happy with that (particularly because it didn't hurt at all.)

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?
    Again, I was happy to have both of them, but was p*ssed about the S&S. I didn't ask for it, didn't want it, didn't like it and it wasn't necessary.

  9. #9

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    oooh great Q

    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?
    none I specifically requested no VE's unless for a very good reason

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?
    I think a good m/w can tell by looking at a woman how dilated they are...so they are a tad over-rated

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?
    I always explain why...and especially explain why they dont need to have one

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?
    far too many are done...just in case...just to check...stop poking babies on the head!

    xx yogababy

    5. Any other thoughts/comments?

  10. #10

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour? For Maria 2 internals, one when I got to the hospital after premature rupture of waters at 34 weeks, I later in labour to see how advanced I was.

    For Sofia 2 internals as well both to see how advanced I was, the second one coincided with midwive breaking waters for me.


    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour? None in pregnancy, didn't want one nor was one offered, In labour I wanted to know how far along I was. I think the first one I had for Maria was the worst because I was so stressed.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it? Yes, but I don't think you ever could be completely prepared for one

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified? Yes

    5. Any other thoughts/comments?

  11. #11

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour? I was induced, all up we can remember and count 10 VE's over the course of 36 hours before my c/s but there may have been more that we can't remember. During pregnancy I had a stretch and sweep at 41 weeks.

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour? the s&s was fine, the VE's during labour were hell, I was active during labour and having to lie on my back was agony. I vomited on DH during one particularly nasty one.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it? Midwives explained that they wanted to see how far I had dilated.

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified? I felt that I had too many but seeing as everything now is hazy, I wonder if they were necessary? I only wanted one in particular when I was 7cms and 3 hours later I wanted to know if I had progressed. Turns out I hadn't and I chose to have an epidural

    5. Any other thoughts/comments?

  12. #12

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    #1 - induced labour
    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour? In pregnancy i don't think i had any and in labour i honestly can't remember because i was so out of it. but i think it was around 4 in the 5 hours.

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour? Again i can't remember because i was out of it. I don't think they were too bad otherwise i would have remembered right?.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it? No i don't think they did.

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified? Again, i can't really remeber.

    5. Any other thoughts/comments? I wish i could remember lol!


    #2 - spontanious labour then augmented after 5cms.
    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour? In pregnancy i had 2. one at 37.5 weeks after i requested it to see how my cervix was looking and the other at 39 weeks when i was suppose to get induced they needed to see if i needed the gel or not - i didn't though. In labour i think i had 3 or 4 in the whole 37 hours. All were before and on 5cms dilated(which was 30hrs) except for the last one when i was 9cms.

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour? The first one at 37.5 weeks i didn't really feel much, she couldn't even reach my cervix. The one at 39 weeks i didn't feel at all until she gave me a stretch and sweep which hurt quite a bit(i was 2-3cms with that one). The ones in labour i never felt much either i don't think.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it? Yes. Espeically the one i had the S&S with. She asked me first if it was ok to do one and then told me when it will hurt a bit and that she was giving it a stretch etc. The ones in labour they didnt because i didn't want anyone talking to me at all and i wanted no sound which was on my birth plan.

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified? No i don't think they did too many. They always asked first if they could and they never pushed at all. i think it was reasonable in the situation i was in - being in labour for so long and bub be posterior and them needing to see how i was progressing.

    5. Any other thoughts/comments? I liked that they never asked to do one at all during pregnancy and only did the first one because i wanted to see what my cervix was up to.
    Last edited by Antheia; December 4th, 2007 at 08:32 PM.

  13. #13

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?
    I had one when I was 40w 6d when they were planning on the induction. I then had one when I arrivd at the hospital in labour at midnight that night. Over the course of the next day until 1.30am the day after I had at least 10, possibly more I'm not 100% sure just going on what my support people (mum & DH) said.

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?
    The first two were fine, the rest I honestly don't remember other than the one where my waters were broken.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?
    The ones that I remember yes it was all explained clearly. Other than that i don't recall anyone actually speaking to me, they may have & I don't remember though.

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked?
    Yep absolutely. Even after having an emergency c/s I had a lot of pain because of the amount of internals I was given. I had a midwife check me & she said it was as if I had given birth to twins, one via c/s and the other vaginally because I was so swollen and damaged, the only cause of that would have been the internals I was given.

  14. #14

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?

    I did not have any at all during my pregnany. There was no need. I think I would have refused them anyway unless it was an absolutely necessary life or death matter, iykwim?
    During labour, I had two though. I had one when I arrived at the hospital and another towards the end of my labour.

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?

    I didnt have any in my pregnancy and I wouldnt have wanted to. I think I would have refused it if they wanted to do it, unless it was absolutely necessary.

    I had two while in labour and I was ok with that. I had one shortly after arriving at the hospital so that they could check my dilation. I was ok with this as I wanted to know if I was dilated at all so I let the midwife the VE. I was a bit nervous as she said it feels like a pap smear and my last pap smear was a horrible experience, so I think I was tense which made it painful.

    I wasnt so keen on the second one the midwife did, just before I started to push. I didnt really want it and I dont remember her telling me she was going to do it, although she probably did tell me.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?

    For the first one, she very breifly explained. She basically asked me if I would like her to check how dilated I am and then asked me to get up on the bed. She showed me the whatsit (sorry having a mind blank and cant remember what its called) that she was going to use to do the VE and warned me that it might hurt or feel uncomfortable. I hated how I had to lie on my back while she got her things ready to do the VE.

    The second one was when I wanted to push. This was done by a differnt midwife who was more rough than the other midwife. I dont remember whether ror not she warned me when she was doing it - I was zonked on peth - and so I got a bit of a fright and I think I screamed because IT HURT!!

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?

    No, I dont think there were too many. Aftre the first one, I told her that I didnt want them to be done unecessarily. In hindsight, I wish I didint have the second one, but I dont feel that it was unecessary.

  15. #15

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?
    none during the pregnancy, had one prior to been given pethidene shot and again for epidural, cant remember after that

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?
    fine, they where only done in my opinion when required

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?
    yes

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?
    no

    5. Any other thoughts/comments? birth was at the angliss hospital managed by the midwifes

  16. #16

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    1. How many exams did you have during pregnancy & labour?

    One during pregnancy (actually it was during pre-labour) and only done because I'd complained of pains and ob wanted to see what was what. So don't know if that's classified as pregnancy or labour! Was 1-2cms. Had another one while in labour because I requested an epidural and he wanted to see how far along I was.

    2. How did you feel about them in pregnancy & labour?

    Fine. I trust my ob - now. Prior to him, I'd always been extremely nervous about exams after an excruciating pap test (by a female doctor) and quite suspicious of any doctor after various atrocious experiences in our family. I told him this the first time I went to see him and we agreed he would give me a pap test - kind of to show me that he knew what he was doing and it wouldn't hurt. All good after that.

    3. Did your carer explain the procedure to you and why they were doing it?

    Yes.

    4. Did you feel that your carer did too many or more than you would have liked? Did you feel they were justified?

    No - I thought I would be examined more. They were absolutely justified IMO. If he'd wanted to do more in labour I would have been fine with that because I like to know what's what.

    5. Any other thoughts/comments?

    I think there will be a wide variation and no right or wrong 'number'. Also the feelings of the woman obviously have to be taken into account. Given my past experiences with doctors I thought I would be extremely anti being examined but the opposite turned out to be the case - they didn't phase me in the slightest and I wouldn't have minded more because, as I said, I like to know what's happening. However, I think a HUGE factor in this is having trust in your doctor. I trust my particular ob. I don't know if I would have trusted anyone else (including midwives).
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  17. #17

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    hi i had no exams during pregnancy and only 2 during labour (VE's) at 3 and 5 cm

  18. #18

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    I think a good m/w can tell by looking at a woman how dilated they are...so they are a tad over-rated
    It is interesting that you should say this, Natalie. My second support person was my SIL who is a midwife. When we got to the hospital, she told me after everything that at the time she guessed I was at around 6cm because of a few things, including my throwing up in the car I had a VE on our arrival and I was at 6cm.

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