During pregnancy, the cervix is thick (around 305 cm in length), but as you come near to you due date, your cervix stretches and becomes shorter and thin. This process of cervix changes from thick to paper-line thin is called cervical effacement during pregnancy. At the climax of pregnancy, when the cervix effaces and dilates (opens) that means, the cervix is prepared for the baby to pass through the birth canal. The effacement is usually started in the mid of the third trimester of pregnancy.
Cervical effacement symptoms
Cervical Effacement has no telltale symptoms as such, there is only some experience shared by women during their pregnancy are accepted as a symptoms of Cervical Effacement. Some moms feel lightning crotch during their final week of the third trimester. According to the personally experienced moms, she feels like someone has zapped in the crotch with a bolt of lightning it happens several times in a day during the final expected time of pregnancy.
Some also feel that the mucus plug becomes dislodged. Both the occurrence tends to happen simultaneously during the last stage of pregnancy.
How to measure cervical effacement
Cervical Effacement can be measured by the midwife and doctor during the last days of the last trimester. If the doctor says, it is 0% effaced that means the woman hasn’t made any progress in effacement. If 50% effaced that means she is halfway of effaced but that doesn’t mean is halfway to labor. The context of both these statements is different. In the same way, if the doctor says, the woman is 100% effaced means the cervix is completely thinned.
As per the research of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the percentage measurement for effacement is not accurate as compared to the ultrasound measurements. Therefore, the finger measurement of cervical effacement is just for appeasement otherwise it is completely unnecessary because it doesn’t indicate that when the labor will start.
What does it mean to be 50% effaced? The doctors or midwife check the percentage of effacement, if it comes out 50% that means the woman is halfway of effaced but clear yourself before coming to any conclusion that doesn’t mean she is halfway ready to labor. She still needs to efface fully, opens (dilate) up to 10 cm to be ready to give birth to a baby.
What does it mean to be 80% effaced? The meaning of 80% effaced mean the women is 80% effaced and needs more 20% to effaced to dilation. But again that doesn’t mean she is on their way to labor. Sometimes the women with 80% effaced needs more time to go to the labor.
What does it mean to be 90% effaced? The woman is 90% effaced and left over for 10% more effaced to dilation. But the exact time of the labor is calculated only by the dilation process. 10 cm of the dilation means the mom is ready to deliver a baby.
Causes of cervical effacement
The Cervical effacement happens when the cervix initiates to thin and expand (efface) and open (dilate) to allow baby out of the birth canal (vagina). The head of the baby moves down towards the pelvis and pushes the cervix to thin out.
Throughout the duration of the pregnancy, the cervix has been closed and protected by a plug of mucus. This mucus plug becomes weak when the cervix effaced and let the mucus passes through the vagina. This passage of mucus plug is known as ‘bloody show’.
Treatment for cervical effacement during pregnancy
You need not do anything as such during this period of time; do whatever your doctor suggests you do. Once you get the estimated time for the arrival of your baby just keep your eyes on signs & symptoms of labor. In case if you do not feel any labor pains you doctor take the forward movement on the basis of your condition and risk factor.
Pregnancy is the time to enjoy, eating healthy food and stress less period. So, keep yourself according to that and follow the instruction of your doctor rather than do what others suggest.