Can I Refuse To Be Checked For Dilation Effacement

19 Replies
krc - July 9

My question is do I have to be checked for dilation/effacement/soft cervix etc?? I am 2 days shy of 37 weeks and honestly I dont care about any of that stuff. I was checked by my doc when he did my group B strep test and I didn't like it one bit. The baby is bound to come sometime in the next 3-4 weeks. I really dont see how my doc telling me im only 3 centimeter dilated makes any difference. I really dont want his fingers up me either..atleast not till im in labor ! Any other women felt this way??


MEO - July 10

If you are not given the option, then I would just go ahead and say that you don't want the exam done. They aren't going to force you. At my clinic they ask us every time after around 36 weeks and I say yes because I am curious that way but from what I understand I could have been saying no all along (am now done with 39 weeks) and like you said it really doesn't make a difference. Doesn't tell you when you'll actually go into labor, so why have the fist up your v____a if you don't want it? :)


dee23 - July 10

its ur body, u can do what ever u like. at least ur getting offered it. im 38 weeks and my doc doesnt check for strep b nor does she do dialation checks....and im curious about the dialation thing and worried my baby will get strep b if i have it!


K8 - July 10

My doc and hospital have a 'no internals unless desired' policy even during labour and i totally agree that it makes no difference to when baby is gonna come. i would definately let them know how you feel. i have 5 days to go and so far i have had no desire for the uncomfort of it all. Good luck


Olivene - July 10

I would think it would be up to you. Is it really uncomfortable when they check?


MEO - July 10

I would definitely describe it as uncomfortable but in my opinion not really any more uncomfortable (to me) than the internal I had at my first OB appt - mainly uncomfortable because the tissue in the region is so swollen. That has just been my experience. The "exam" really just involves the doctor reaching finger/s up until he/she can feel your cervix which is more or less of a reach depending on where your cervix is currently located. It takes about 90 seconds or less, I would say, so it's over pretty quickly. Anywho, if you're curious, it's interesting, and sort of fascinating that they can just reach in there and feel your baby's head at your cervix etc but if you're not into it, no reason to feel like you have to have one.


ashley - July 10

occourse you can refuse. Its your patients right to beable to refuse. Just say you don't want an internal because it wont make a difference when you deliver. by the way if he told you, you were only 3cm dilated your doing a lot better than some at 37 weeks. Wish I was 3cm dilated. I am 37 weeks and only 1.5 or "a loose finger tip" as she said. HOWEVER you might just want to let him and get use to it because they WILL do it when you are in labor because they have to know if its safe to push. (and to verify progress, etc.)


ashley - July 10

by the way, I have been checked by TWO different doctors now. My normal doctor the exam DOES NOT HURT. I only feel pressure some times if I have to pee. THe other docs exam had me about off the table and I yelled out... so I think they don't have to hurt its all in how the doc is doing it. They can be gentle if they want to.


krc - July 10

thanks for the input ladies. By the way I wasn't 3 cm...just said that out of speculation. My doc said at my 35 weeks appt that I wasn't dilated at all. And when he checked me it didn't hurt but I thought it was uncomfortable. I think when im at the hospital and in labor I dont want them checking me either. I imagine when it's time to's time to push because I dont want them checking me telling me im only 5 cm. That is mental torture cause what if it still takes hours on end to get to 10. I'd rather not make the time drag by any worse.


Kspa - July 10

I would refuse an internal until after 36 weeks. My Dr did one at 35 and I thought I was going into labor afterwards. It caused me to lose my mucus plug and a little blood and have cramping, contractions through the next day. I called them and they said that was normal after an internal. I don't agree w/ Drs doing them until the patient is almost 37 weeks (when the baby would be considered full-term).


ashley - July 10

krc-I dont think you quite understand why they check you when you are in labor. You can't push until they verify that you are 10, other wise if you push to soon your cervix could swell up and then you'll end up with problems. Also if you want an epidural they won't give them to you until you are 4-5 cm. I would at least discuss with your doctor your concern, but I don't think its wise to refuse all together, because it could harm you or the fetus during labor.


Been There - July 10

Krc, whereas you can refuse while being examined at your normal appointments, labor is not a time when you would want to do that. They need to know if you are or are not progressing. It's possible you could get to a point and not progress properly or fully dilate, which is why you pretty much won't have a choice or they cannot do their jobs at the hospital. I agree with your right to choose, but there are times when it's in your best interest to just let doctors choose what is best for you.


Tanya2 - July 11

I wasn't checked for dilation/effacement with my first pregnancy and I don't want them to check this time around either. There is no point to it, my first was 5 days early, my water broke at home and I think I was only 2cm when I went to the hospital. Everything ended up well. I would do the Strep B because if you do have it, it can be transferred to the baby and not to scare you but you might be the lucky ones who go through labour really quickly (my friend with both her kids had 20 mins of labor) and that way once Strep B is cleared out of the way, you won't have to worry. Just my opinon though. Good luck.


Angela - July 12

krc - we have talked before and I am due Aug 2nd (I think the same as you)... today I had a group B test done and the doctor wanted to try to do the 1st exam... when I freaked out about him inserting his fingers into my cervix he said it was totally fine and gave me an ultrasound to make sure my little girl was presenting head down... she was and I was able to see her again... the only thing was that I found out that she was physically measuring 34 weeks when my body is measuring the normal 37... hopefully she's just a small baby & nothing is wrong - you can definitely refuse because the information the exams give the doctors really have no merit in telling when labor will start.


momofalmost3 - July 12

Dee23 is your Dr. some "earthy" type or what? Wierd they don't check for strep B, not that it will hurt you if you have it and give birth. Most times they can still treat baby for it even if you don't have the anti-biotics.


everthiki - July 13

The way I see it, there is no way around then checking you for dilation/effacement for the sake of the baby. I have had one internal before at 32 weeks and it was painful. Really not looking forward to the Strep B next week.....Goodluck ladies and I completely understand your concern krc. I absolutely hate getting these done, but I guess it's a part of the process we need to grin and bear.


falafal0 - July 13

Definately. You can do what you want with your body when you want, regardless of what hospital of clinic you are in. It might be different if you WANT something done and they don't do it, but the other way around, they're not going to strap you down, are they?! I feel the same way, just say, no thanks...



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