Noticing Contractions? You May Have an Irritable Uterus
How do doctors test irritable uterus?
Most likely your doctor will evaluate your uterus with a monitor to determine if your contractions pose a preterm labor risk. Pressure-sensitive belts are strapped to your belly to monitor contractions.
Two other tests may determine your risk of an early delivery:
- Fetal fibronectin. Your doctor will collect vaginal secretions. If the results of testing are negative than you have a less than one-percent risk of delivery within the following two weeks. Dr. Artal points out that this test is not 100 percent accurate.
- Cervical length by vaginal ultrasound. Normally, your cervix is about four centimeters long and shortens before beginning to dilate. If your cervix is shorter, you are at a higher risk for a preterm birth.
How will my doctor treat irritable uterus?
Dehydration, a full bladder, and stress can aggravate an already taxed uterus and lead to contractions. Making simple lifestyle choices could prevent contractions.
Yet women who are experiencing contractions before their 37th week of pregnancy that are causing the cervix to dilate, coupled with a shortening cervix, need to take additional precautions. Your doctor may recommend bed rest, over-the-counter or prescription medications, or even hospitalization if the problem persists.
Lynette Sabin believes that understanding her condition helped her manage later pregnancies better. Sabin went on to have two more children. By taking additional precautions such as slowing down, paying attention to how she felt, and trying to avoid stress (as much as a mother of four can), Sabin didn’t notice as frequent of contractions. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy make sure to discuss them with your OB-GYN or midwife.
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