Cervical cerclage is a medical procedure that involves stitching the cervix closed during pregnancy to reduce the risk of pregnancy loss or premature birth. If you have recently undergone this procedure, it's important to be aware of the post-cerclage care instructions to ensure a smooth and healthy recovery. Here's what you need to know about caring for yourself after a cervical cerclage.
What to Expect After a Cerclage
After your cervical cerclage, it's normal to experience some changes and symptoms. Here's what you might expect in the days following the procedure:
Increased Vaginal Discharge: You may notice an increase in clear vaginal discharge. This is a common post-cerclage occurrence and is typically not a cause for concern.
Spotting or Light Bleeding: It's normal to experience light spotting or a small amount of bleeding for up to three days after the cerclage placement. You may notice this when you wipe with tissue.
Mild Cramping: Mild cramping is also common and should subside within three days after the cerclage placement. Taking a warm shower can help relieve this discomfort, but avoid using a heating pad on your abdomen or back.
Self-Care at Home
Proper self-care at home is crucial for a smooth recovery after cervical cerclage. Here are some essential tips to follow:
Hygiene: Use sanitary pads as needed to stay clean and dry. Do not insert anything into the vagina, such as tampons or douches. While you can take a shower, avoid tub baths.
Rest: Get plenty of rest and try to lie on your left side for the next few days. This position can help relieve pressure on your cervix and improve blood flow to the uterus.
Stay Hydrated: Drink an adequate amount of fluids, and ensure that your bladder is regularly emptied.
In the days following your cerclage, it's important to be mindful of your activity level:
Avoid Strenuous Activities: Steer clear of strenuous activities, and when you do decide to resume your normal activities, do so gradually. Listen to your body and don't overexert yourself.
Consult Before Resuming Sexual Activity: Before you consider resuming sexual activity, consult with your healthcare provider. They will provide guidance on when it's safe to do so.
If you were prescribed any medications related to your cerclage, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Refer to the Discharge Summary provided to you at the time of discharge for specific details on your medication regimen.
Regular follow-up care is essential to monitor your progress and ensure everything is going as planned:
Scheduled Appointments: You will typically be scheduled to see your healthcare provider for a follow-up appointment within 1-2 weeks after the cerclage procedure. This appointment can be arranged to suit your convenience.
Contact Your Doctor: If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, contact your healthcare provider promptly:
Saturating one sanitary pad in less than 3-4 hours
Worsening or persistent cramping
Fever greater than 100.5°F
General body aches or chills
Foul-smelling or thick yellow vaginal discharge
Returning to Work
The timing for returning to work will depend on your individual circumstances and your healthcare provider's recommendations. Generally, you can expect to return to work after about one week, but be sure to discuss this with your doctor for personalized guidance.
Post-cerclage care is crucial for a successful recovery and a healthy pregnancy. Following these guidelines and staying in close communication with your healthcare provider will help ensure the best possible outcome for you and your baby. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to your healthcare team for guidance and support.