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Is it OK to check my own cervix for dilation?

In general, you should leave that to the professionals!

Some pregnant women who feel a lot of pelvic pressure or wonder if they are in labor prefer to try and do their own cervical exam at home rather than make a clinic appointment or go in to Labor and Delivery. Usually this is not recommended. Being able to interpret a cervical exam and know what you are feeling takes experience and practice, so likely a home exam won’t be too helpful. In addition, every time an exam is done, a risk of causing bleeding or infection exists, so doing unnecessary exams (that may or may not help!) can put you at risk for these. If you are worried enough to think you need to be checked, get in touch with your doctor or midwife who can help!

Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, December 2018

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