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22 weeks pregnant - External Cervix Open Braxton Hicks
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22 weeks pregnant - External Cervix Open Braxton Hicks

I'm 22 weeks pregnant and have been having what you'd call Braxton Hicks contractions for about a month now. They are always painless, but I still don't like them, because it makes me nervous that my cervix may dialate or that it may cause discomfort to the baby in any way. They seemed to be getting a little more frequent in the past week or so (usually 3-4 times a day, mostly at night), lasting no more than 30 seconds. I complained to my Dr. and he did an internal exam to check my cervix. He said my internal cervix was fully closed, however, my external os/cervix was slightly open. He didn't seem to be concerned about that, yet I'm really worried. Has anyone had a similar experience with an open external cervix this early in pregnancy? Can it progress and worsen? Is it common for Braxton Hicks to happen mostly at night? I'd appreciate all the comments and suggestions regarding my situation! Best Wishes to Everyone with their pregnancies!
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134578_tn?1404951303
I had "funneling" that was discovered at 28 weeks, with the open end of the cervix being the end of it toward the baby and the tightly closed part being the end toward the vagina.  In all, my normal cervix measures 3.9 cms long, and when the funneling happened, the closed part was only 2.6 cms long and the open part was the remaining 1.3 cms.  They put me on limited bed rest, meaning I could only be on my feet maybe two hours a day, for two weeks.  During this time I had a LOT of Braxton-Hickses.  Went back for another u/s at week 30, and everything was exactly the same.  Since 2 weeks had passed, they thought the 2.6 measurement was fine, and reduced the amount of bedrest.  (I did a light schedule, only going to bed when I felt a lot of BHes.)   Two weeks later, went back for another u/s and the cervix was still closed along 2.6 cms of its length.  They told me I could go back to normal activity.  Moral of the story is that it probably wasn't the BHes that opened the end of the cervix, it might even have been the movement of the baby itself. The docs are not worried now, weren't even very worried at 28 weeks although if the length of the closed part had been less than 2.5 cms they wouldn't have liked it.  Their rule of thumb is that if a cervix is less than 2.5 cms long (along its shut length) as early as that, they are concerned it won't stay through week 40 without opening further.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your comment! I guess my situation is a little different, because the part that is slightly open is the external one (towards the vagina). The internal/towards the baby is shut closed. If my internal cervix was opening, I'd be in so much panic and on bedrest immeditely, considering I'm only 22 weeks. I also don't know how long my cervix measures. Did they give you an ultrasound to determine that? What did you find helpful for your Braxton Hicks... laying down, walking, etc.?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions. Even if my Dr. wasn't concerned, I still am, and I'll definitely ask for an u/s on my next visit. I'd tend to trust an u/s more than a manual exam. I hate and dread an idea of preterm labor.
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134578_tn?1404951303
They do a vaginal u/s to measure the length of the cervix.  (Not the u/s from the top of the tummy.)  I'd ask for one in the next visit, but it does sound like the doctor's fingers told him your cervix was only open a little way.

Braxton-Hicks are generally good for you, they prep the uterus for the big job ahead.  If you want them to stop, particularly if they are bothering you (like, you are walking in the store and they are clamping hard and making you breathless), change your activity.  If walking, sit down, if resting, sit up.  Sit more forward rather than slumping back.  Minimize lifting and squatting.  Also, and most important, manage your fluids (both incoming and outgoing, lol.)  Pee whenever you need to (a full bladder can bug the uterus and cause a BH) but equally or more important, STAY HYDRATED.  This means drinking more water and more constantly than you ever did before being pregnant.  Carry around bottled water and just take a swig whenever.  Being more hydrated in your body in general reduces the uterus' desire to contract, and dehydration can bring on labor, all other things being ready that is.

I think it sounds like the end of the cervix wasn't of concern to the doc because it wasn't open very far.  Good luck!!!

Annie
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Avatar_f_tn
hi my name is amy and i have been pregnant twice the first one i was 21 weeks pregnant and my cervics opened and i went into early labour and i had to deliver the baby but he was stillborn. my second pregnacny i was 19 weeks and i started to get back pain so i went for a ultrsound they told me my cervics had opened again and that they will stich my cervics so that i wouldnt go in to labour and i should just go home and rest then at 20 weeks my water broke over 3 days so i had another ultrasound and there was no water around the baby so they took the stich out then the next day i went into labour and had another baby boy he stayed alive for over 1 hour after i agve birth and then he passed and there was nothing the doctors could do.... im so scared that it will happen again and i really wont a baby is there any information that you can give me on why this happens as i just cant do it again my last baby was born on the 16 of may only 2 weeks ago its not fair and why does this happen     please help
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172023_tn?1334675884
There is no doctor here, but I can offer some insight.

When the cervix opens painlessly and very preterm, it is called an incompetent cervix.  You can google that term for lots of information.

What is usually done is to place the stitch at around 12-13 weeks of pregnancy, long before the growing baby puts any pressure on the cervix that might cause it to open.  The stitch is either cut when you are full term, and you deliver vaginally, or some are permanent and you have to have a c/section for delivery.

You had what is called a "rescue" cerclage (stitch).  It is less sucessful than placing one at 12-13 weeks before the cervix has already opened.  

You need to be seen by a high risk doctor for your next pregnancy, and likely should have the cerclage (stitch) placed much earlier, before the cervix opens.

Best of luck to you.  

Please note that this is an old thread.  You will always get more answers if you start a question of your own, rather than tag on to an old one.  Some people don't even look at questions with old dates on them.  
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