Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Myth of a Vaginal Exam

I found this article interesting, especially in light of my most recent post about all the alternative ways of assessing a mother's progress in labor. Apparently, cervical checks are not merely one of many comparable ways to check progress; they are actually inaccurate and unhelpful ways to attempt to check progress. These checks may give doctors and mothers a false idea of how soon labor may or may not begin and also introduce risks that are often not considered.

The Myth of a Vaginal Exam, by Robin Elise Weiss, on
Vaginal exams can measure certain things: dilation, ripeness, effacement, station, position of the baby, and position of the cervix.

What this equation leaves to be desired is something that is not always tangible. Many people try to use the information that is gathered from a vaginal exam to predict things like when labor will begin or if the baby will fit through the pelvis. A vaginal exam simply cannot measure these things.

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