Noticing Contractions? You May Have an Irritable Uterus
How common is irritable uterus?
“Uterine contractions are a normal thing,” notes Dr. Raul Artal, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health at the St. Louis University School of Medicine. Many times your uterus might be contracting without you even noticing it.
What are the risks associated with an irritable uterus?
The danger with an irritable uterus is the connection to preterm labor. Early labor happens when contractions dilate the cervix. An irritable uterus usually does not cause the cervix to dilate, but persistent, intense contractions can lead to an early delivery. Women with uterine irritability experience preterm labor at a slightly higher percentage than the general population of pregnant women (18.7 percent versus 11 percent).
What are the symptoms of irritable uterus?
According to Dr. Klein, you should see your OB-GYN or midwife right away if you experience any of the following symptoms before you reach 37 weeks in your pregnancy:
- Painful contractions or contractions that occur more than four times in an hour
- Vaginal bleeding or watery leakage from the vagina
- Pressure on your pelvis
- Lower back pain that seems to have a pattern, which may signal contractions
- Slowed fetal movement—less than 10 movements in a two-hour period
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