The obstetrician has recommended a cervical cerclage. And you are scared out of your wits. Relax! It is not as bad as you might think. All you need to be careful about are things not to do after cervical cerclage. And here, we are going to list all of those in detail. Plus, we will tell you how to care for yourself before and after this minor surgery. But before we get into all that, let us first cover the basics.
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What Is Cervical Cerclage?
Cervical cerclage is a minor surgical technique. The doctor does it to protect the baby inside you so the baby does not go into preterm birth. The doctor sews the cervix and closes it. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus. It is also the opening of the uterus.
Cervical cerclage is done to close this opening during pregnancy. It is recommended for those with a weak cervix or who are prone to miscarriages in the second trimester. When the doctor performs the cervical cerclage, they stitch the opening using sutures. The sutures remain there during the entire period of pregnancy.
Things Not to Do After Cervical Cerclage
Now that we have covered the basics, here is a list of things not to do after cervical cerclage:
The first thing that your healthcare provider will ask you to do is rest. Take it easy for a few days. You should give a minimum of ten to twelve days for the stitches to heal completely. These ten or so days are critical. A patient must follow the doctor’s or healthcare provider’s advice during this time. One must take the prescribed medicines at the proper time to avoid any complications.
2. No Sex
You must abstain from sexual intercourse. This may result in complications such as infection, pain, bleeding, or reopening of the stitches. Refrain from sexual intercourse, and do not insert anything inside the vagina like douches, tampons or sex toys like dildos and vibrators, for a minimum of two weeks.
3. No Workout
High on the list of things not to do after cervical cerclage is your workout. Heavy work or exercise can put a lot of physical strain on the cervix. This can lead to the reopening of the stitches. This can affect the success of cervical cerclage surgery. Even mild forms of exercising, like walking or jogging, may cause the cervix to open prematurely. This can result in preterm labor or even miscarriage.
4. No Standing or Sitting for a Long Time
Prolonged standing or sitting is also something that you must avoid. It puts a lot of pressure on the cervix. This can cause discomfort around the area of the sutures, thereby leading to the risk of complications. So, it is best to avoid standing or sitting for a long time at a stretch.
5. No Traveling
Among the other things not to do after cervical cerclage, one of the most critical ones is traveling long distances. When you travel, you either sit for too long or stand. Both of these are undesirable in the first two weeks after the procedure. If you have to travel for work, see if you can figure it out using digital technology like video conferencing. Or if possible, you could ask a colleague to travel instead of you.
6. Move Around
To avoid standing or sitting for too long, you must not keep lying down, all the time. You must move around a little bit. Keep alternating between standing, sitting, lying, and moving around to get the benefits of all, yet don’t put pressure on the cervix.
7. No Smoking or Drinking
You should totally avoid smoking and drinking alcohol around this time. Both activities slow down the healing process. And they also increase the risk of complications and infections. Besides, it is very harmful to the baby’s physical and mental development if you smoke, consume alcohol, or take drugs during pregnancy.
8. Don’t Skip Medicines
While on the road to recovery, you must follow the medication instructions prescribed by the doctor. One of the most important things not to do after cervical cerclage is skipping your medicines.
9. Speak to Healthcare Provider
Do not ignore if you are facing any problems or severe side effects. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have a fever or stomach pain after sex. Keep track of spotting or vaginal discharge. You must report if you see heavy bleeding, clots, or foul-smelling discharge.
10. Take a Chill Pill
Do not overstress yourself. Pregnancy is that time of life when a woman should take it easy, relax, and feel calm. It is that time when we are looking forward to welcoming a special person into our life. This feeling makes us happy in one moment, and anxious the very next. Well, that is what hormones do to us. Now worrying about cervical cerclage can only lead to more stress, which might delay the healing too.
How to Take Care of Self after Cervical Cerclage
Apart from knowing the things not to do after cervical cerclage, it is equally important to know how to take care of yourself. This is important as it helps in fast recovery. Here is what you should do:
- Rest well and avoid any physical strain
- Visitor doctor for following-up and monitoring of recovery
- Take warm baths
- Meditate and practice other relaxation methods
- Eat healthy food and follow the diet prescribed by the healthcare provider
- Discuss the concerns and problems that you face with your healthcare provider
When Can You Go Back to Work?
Even if you get discharged the same day of your cervical cerclage, one of the things not to do after cervical cerclage is going back to work immediately. After the post-surgery resting period is over and the cervix has healed, you can ask your doctor about when you could be back at work. The doctor will advise after checking your recovery, your pregnancy status, and depending upon the nature of your work.
Pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster for most mothers. And if you have to undergo surgery around this time, it can only lead to fright and stress. But rest assured, cervical cerclage is nothing to worry about as it is only a minor surgery to protect the fetus. You only have to remember the things not to do after cervical cerclage, and remain chill and excited for the special person about to come into the world.