Age 26 – Torn Cervix

This photos is from a 26 year old woman who has had one vaginal birth, 19 months before this photo was taken.  The recovery from the birth of her 9 1/2 pound baby girl seemed slow as she bled for 2 months postpartum and experienced much pressure and pain.

Since she was breastfeeding, she did not ovulate for 14 months after her son was born (lactational amenorrhea).  She began ovulating and getting her period again 14 months postpartum.  She noticed that, depending on her cervix’s position during different days of her cycle, her cervix felt very tender after intercourse with her husband.  She felt deep ridges in her cervix with her finger and started asking questions.

This is a photo she took using a speculum.  She reports that her cervix seems to clearly be torn.


It is uncommon for a cervix to tear during labor and birth, and this woman still does not know what caused the tear.  Here is a little about the birth story.  She planned to have a home waterbirth with a midwife in attendance.  She dilated to 3cm and remained there for 9 hours with no progression.  Her contractions were 1 min to 1 1/2 min apart for this entire time.  Her midwife did a vaginal exam and discovered that she had a posterior, asynclitic baby (posterior means that the baby’s position is back-to-back with the mother – or face-up- and ascynclitic means that the head coming down at an angle and is not evenly applied to the cervix).  The midwife used a Rebozo technique (a Mexican tradiation for rotating babies using a large sarong-like cloth wrapped around the mama to ‘rock’ the baby into a better position) and internally used her fingers to rotate the baby’s head into a more favorable position.  Within 45 minutes the mother was checked again, this time completely dilated to 10 cm.  She pushed for 3 1/2 hours to finally deliver a 9 1/2 baby with a slight shoulder dystocia.  Her awesome midwife jumped into the birthing pool to get her shoulders free.

 

Postpartum, her midwife noticed that her vitals were abnormal and her body looked as if it were going into shock: a high pulse, low blood pressure, and extreme dizziness.  The midwives assumed that she was having some blood clotting issues so they did a manual sweep of her uterus to make sure that she didn’t have any retained placenta or tears.  It took about five hours of constant attention to get her vitals back to normal, but they did finally return enough to settle everyone down and not require hospital transport.

 

Her doctor recommend that after she conceives the next time that she measure her cervix and periodically have the midwives check to make sure that the cervix isn’t becoming too short.

 

The mother still has unanswered questions about how her cervix tore.  Common causes for cervical tears include pushing before completely dilated, pushing against a cervix that is slightly swollen,  if the baby’s head is slightly misapplied to the cervix, or the baby has wide shoulders.

The mother is satisfied with her care during the birth an postpartum and hopes this photo answers some questions for mothers having similar experiences.

20 thoughts on “Age 26 – Torn Cervix

  1. Instead of employing the “Wait and See” method (which has failed for so many of us) why not be pro-active and seek the advice of a specialist who performs Transabdominal Cerclage? Why not preserve the length, strength and integrity of the cervical tissue prior to any potentially dangerous situations, putting the patient at risk for preterm labor (or PProm) and possible loss of the pregnancy? A cervix this compromised should be evaluated by a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist who is trained in such a procedure. A Transvaginal Suture may not be sufficient.
    JMO FWIW

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    Whit Reply:

    I have seen a doctor about this and unfortunately, there is little experience amongst any specialist in my area. They have very little advice to offer me and no real recomendations. My problem with assuming that I NEED a cerclage is starting off the game by putting a needle through my cervix over and over based on the idea that something may happen. I feel comfortable with monitoring my cervix with vaginal exams and resorting to something as drastic as that ONLY if needs be rather than assuming that my body is imcompetent.

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    Noira Reply:

    I am 21 weeks pregnant and my cervix tore significantly during my first birth, my daughter was moderately large but I think the issue was related to a lip of cervix that was pinched on her head when I started spontaneously bearing down (that is my own interpretation from what happened during my labor and delivery). The midwives at the practice I go do have expressed no concern over it, they mentioned possibly monitoring cervical length later on but I don’t get the feeling they will do it unless I request it.

    The last couple days though I suddenly have a weird texture on my cervix which is sort of like someone was gnawing on it and I’m not sure what it is or if it’s related to the other issue at all.

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  2. I had a similar experience, but I am unsure if my cervix is torn. I am leaking a lot of mucus, which leads me to believe my cervix is damaged. My baby also had an acynclitic head, and I think I had a cervical lip also. I probably need to have my cervix checked…

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    Whit Reply:

    Though my cervix was definitely torn, I never had any excessive mucus that led me to think it had anything to do with my cervix. I have always been a heavy discharger and almost felt that I had less after my first pregnancy, though. Regardless of discharge you should get a speculum and take a little look. If you have ever felt your cervix, try it again.

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  3. I had terrible labour 12 years ago. Today my new doctor told that my cervix is like “exploded” and looks more like “star” than normal. I was little bit shocked because any other doctor haven’t even mentioned it.

    I have thought the cervix will be change after vaginal birth and I really thought it is normal that cervix is not sleek and smooth. There’s also some kind of spots, but I guess (and hope) these are not dangerous?

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  4. I am happy to announce that I am pregnant again. I will keep this site posted with pictures and the process that I undergo with this pregnancy.

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    beautifulcervix Reply:

    Congratulations! We all look forward to those photos! Good luck!

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    Amber Reply:

    Your picture of your torn cervix (and now announcing your wonderful news) has truly restored my sanity and hope!! I knew my cervix was shaped wrong since my vaginal delivery in 2/2010. I had a pap done and asked my OB about it. She said they were just nabothian cysts and the pap was normal. I could feel the little cysts and was not referring to those though. Anyhow, after countless hours searching about what could be causing these large “lumps” on my cervix. Then I found your picture! It looks exactly how mine feels (but I have one more fold in mine). I have been trying to get pregnant for a year now, and thought maybe my mishapen cervix was part of the problem, but it’s great to hear you are!! Thanks again for posting this picture!

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    priya Reply:

    Hi,just wanted to know how your second pregnancy went, i was told that i have a cervical tear after my first delivery ,now m trying for my second baby & im really worried about the tear! Could you pls tell me if everything went normal? thankyou so much

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  5. I definitely want to keep my eye on this. I think I also have a tear in my cervix and have an appointment in a few days to get it looked at. I also just found out that I am pregnant. It worries me, but it is also comforting to know I am not alone in this.

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  6. My cervix feels EXACTLY how that one looks. When I asked. my midwife about it she said nope your cervix looks just like every other woman who’s had a baby. My new gyno says my cervix “looks as if it’s seen better days”. But she also said it wasn’t uncommon considering my hard labor and large baby that was stuck. She did say the doctor in L&D that had to reach in my uterus to get my placenta out (after she pulled the cord snapping it, instead of waiting and allowing me to push it out) could have cause the change in feeling of my cervix.
    I wish I could see my cervix as I am sure it is torn slightly based on how it feels.

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  7. A little over 15 years ago, after my second son, I was told at my 6-week postpartum exam that it looked as if my son had “shredded” his way out of my cervix! I thought nothing of it until I became pregnant with my third. My new OB looked at my cervix and asked if I knew I had an incompetent cervix. Of course I didn’t. He told me I needed a cerclage, but since I already have a very irritable uterus, I declined thinking I’d rather just monitor it versus risking sending myself into way too early labor. A couple of weeks later, while having my usual constant “contractions” from my irritable uterus, I went to the ER to find out I was dilated to 2.5 cm. I stayed and had the cerclage put in. It was a horrible experience, but my baby boy went all the way to 38 weeks.

    I then became pregnant with my fourth. Instead of doing a cerclage, my OB sent me to a specialist to have it measured. The specialist there said that the bottom part of the cervix (the condition of it) was not what mattered, that it was only the top. He said he was looking for “funneling” at the top of my cervix, and that this could only be measured by transvaginal ultrasound. On the bottom of my cervix, it is torn from top on up – it’s even more mangled since my last son. I am currently 14 weeks pregnant now and a bit concerned by the recent damage. I was supposed to have my cervix checked last week, but I couldn’t make the appointment (and they only see you on Tuesdays).

    Therefore, I am confused as to why someone would tell the person above to “check her own cervix” for shortening. Am I missing something?

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    Whit Reply:

    The monitoring that I am speaking of is through basic checking of my own cervix in the shower. I am in the position that you were in the first pregnancy after your cervix was “shredded”. I don’t want any unnecessary intervention but I am aware that I need to monitor myself. I am doing so by just feeling my cervix quickly and gently a few times a month checking for changes in sensitivity, texture, and dilation. I am closely watching my discharge and making sure I feel comfortable with it and not seeing any signs of change.
    When I went to the doctor before I got pregnant she did recommend that I be regularly monitored with u/s, but that suggestion wasn’t necessarily out of previous knowledge or experience it was out of curiosity and precaution. I did not plan on an u/s at any point because we don’t want to know the sex and regardless of anything discovered about the babe it would not change the pregnancy. As time does go on, however, if there is any significant change in my cervix, discharge or contractions, I will not hesitate to get things checked out. I am 20 weeks pregnant now and happy to report that my cervix is as tight as it could be (about 1cm) and tucked back as far as it could go. I still know nothing about the extent of the damage it received during my first birth, all I have to go on is this picture.

    I wish that I could see a picture of your cervix to know exactly what it looks like. You seem to have a doctor with more experience on this matter.

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  8. I had no idea after my first child that I sustained some damage to my cervix.
    I become pregnant 3 years later, blissfully unaware that anything could go wrong, unfortunately I went in to premature labour at 23 weeks and had my little girl. She survived the birth and was fighting really hard in the neo-natel intensive care unit, but she had sustained severe damage to her brain (because it was so delicate) and we were told that it would mean she would be completely disabled/paralysed if she survived the months of intensive care. We made the decision to let her go. I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through this so please if you think you may have a problem with your cervix, go and have it checked so that you can get the proper level of specialist care. I’m pregnant again and I’m seeing the head of obs/gyny at Wellington hospital in New Zealand….I’m on a treatment of progesterone and will have a cerclage but only if necessary. Take care.

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  9. Hiya I’m 35w pregnant with my second child and my cervix is easily as mis-shapen as the one above, if not more so, should I be worried? Our son was well over 10lbs and needed ventous to get him out, so I’m guessing it was torn and nobody ever told me. I haven’t had a pap smear or gynae visit, because I’m only just 25 (the age they start doing smears in this country) so nobody has ever commented upon it. Is it likely to cause issues if I have a vaginal birth?

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  10. I have had only one child i had to hv a c section but my cervix is torn is there a reason why it tore??? Doctors told me it was normal bt i never believed it now 7 yrs later i still cant have another baby we have tried for d past 5 yrs and nothing does that sound normal to you????

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  11. My daughter gave birth to our second grandson in July 2013 – their other son was just over 2.5 yrs. Right after the birth she was bleeding profusely to the point they ordered blood. Her doc checked things and said her cervix had split and she’d never seen anything like it. She stitched it up in the emergency situation and things settled downs. My darling girl had to have three units of blood and was wiped out for two weeks. She had surgery last week (Oct) to truly repair the cervix so she can even carry another pregnancy if they choose to. Her doctor said she definitely CAN have more babies – but all will be C-sections. This little guy was only 8 lb 4 oz – and was sunny side up. His brother was 7 lb 14 oz and he broke her cocksix (sp). She felt MUCH better after the second birth except for the fatigue until her blood count caught up to normal.

    If I had had this problem I would seek out a specialist BEFORE having another baby – it could mean not losing a child you so desire.

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  12. HELP!
    Hi I’m just abit lost and would like to discuss with people who have been through this.

    I had my lb on 26th October 2013 and suffered a 3rd degree tear and doc also gave me a episiotomy – I bled normally I think and stopped bleeding 7 weeks post partrum. To cut a long story short after bleeding after my first period continuously I visited the dr and he discovered I had a torn cervix. He has burnt it twice but it is now may and the bleeding is getting worse – I’m awaiting an appt from the hospital but feel like this is ruining my life, no one wants to help me.

    I feel like there is no end in sight – what can b done to stop this as two attempts at burning hasn’t helped. X

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