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Thread: irritable uterus?

  1. #1

    Default irritable uterus?

    hi there

    has anyone had what i think they call an 'irritable uterus'? im nearly 37 weeks and went into hospital at about 10am on sat am after having strong painful braxton hicks every 3-4 mins from 2am. i knew it wasnt labour yet but they thought i should come in anyway because nothing was making them going away ie hot bath etc.

    on the ctg trace they did for 1.5hours it showed i was definitely having strong braxton hicks every 3-4mins. an internal showed i was less than 1cm dilated, not effaced but the cervix was forward and ripe.

    they said to try and rest more (i have two toddlers -hah!) and that it might turn into labour at some stage.

    im just not really sure what it all means as i have always had regular braxton hicks in my pregnancies but in the last two weeks or so have had these increasingly strong, regular BH.

    Does anyone else have anything similiar and know what my body is doing!!!

    im getting so worn out just from these constant braxton hicks, which dont seem to actually be doing anything to dilate the cervix etc.

    thanks in advance


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Beccas, I totally sympathise! I had exactly the same thing at 37 weeks, a combination of really strong BH as well as regular "period' type cramps every 15 minutes. Figured it was either the start of labour or just normal 'working up to it' symptoms, and wouldn't have worried about it, but because I'd had some fluid loss that seemed too liquid to be discharge (sorry, way TMI), the hospital said to get it checked, just in case it was hindwaters leaking.

    Typically, as soon as I got on the monitor, the cramps stopped being regular, and there was no sign of amniotic fluid when they did an internal, and no dilation of the cervix. They said that it was just an irritable uterus (like, tell me something I didn't know, it's always been irritable...!) and that it was pretty common when the body is gearing itself up for labour. The general verdict on other threads is that for some people it goes for weeks, and for others it is the start of labour. For me, it's now been on and off like a tap for the last week and a half.

    I know what you mean about being tiring though - good luck on getting some rest (!!)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    I'm in on this one with my DD i was having regular and uncomfortable BH from about 38 weeks. I had several sleepless nights too, it was not nice. When i spoke to my Dr i was told i had an 'irritable uterus' i still went on to be induced 12 days past my EDD. I am 37wks pg today and have been having 'pains' for about 5-6 hrs and they are some what reg (every 10-12 mins) however they arent getting closer or intensifying. I dont think this is the real deal so am yet to even tell DH but hey fingers crossed i'm ready for my bundle whenever she is My normal bedtime is about 9pm but i cant sleep as i am uncomfortable so maybe this is the start of my sleepless nights too, i hope not.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Outer Eastern Subs - Melb


    Sounds like me too!

    I was admitted to hossy at 29w6d with what ended up being a very irritable uterus. I was having contractions that were 2 mins apart and went for around a minute. I initially wasn't dialating, but they weren't taking any risks so I was pumped full of steroids to mature the baby's lungs, and put onto Nifedipine to 'relax' my uterus. Fortunately this helped but I was kept in hossy for 2 days, and was on Nifedipine every 8 hours (literally) until 34wks.

    At 36w2d I was admitted again overnight because I was having more 'contractions' which ended up being the same thing - "irritable uterus" and I wasn't dialating again. After that they said to only come back to hossy if my waters broke, had a show or was in really painful labour, although I have been on weekly monitoring with CTG and appointments since 36wks to make sure the contrax/BH aren't effecting bubs - which they aren't.

    I've been having contractions/strong BH call them what you like, every weeks since then, and every day this last week. I'm getting them about every 5 mins for about 30 secs for up to an hour at a time. Sometimes it's just for 3 or 4 times, sometimes longer. I'm just staying relaxed about it and believing that it's all good exercise for my uterus, and that when I do go, it will be a fabulous, short-ish labour.

    Good luck. I hope you can survive these last few weeks.

  5. #5


    Finally someone who is the same as me, not that this will help you though.
    I have been having b/h contractions from 27 weeks but the last week they have really stepped up & I am having them every 10 - 15 minutes through the whole day & night, I can't even get a rest for an hour.

    My dr also said it was probably an irritable uterus & that it is a good thing because it is meant to make labour less complicated & easier, I should have got that one in writing, lol.
    So I am 37.5 weeks now & still pg so I figure that this will continue right up until the labour.

    My bub has also been head down since 27 weeks, seem to be really eager back then but not so much now.

    I wish I could give you some advice on getting some rest but that is something I am really struggling with as well, the contractions are exhausting & they aren't even the real thing.

    Jo - 27 (treated endo)
    Dh - 34
    Second chlomid / IUI March 2007 -

  6. #6


    thanks for your replies. its reassuring to know that this sounds pretty normal, although exhausting and frustrating for us all!

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