Will I have an internal examination?

No, it’s unlikely you will have an internal examination (inside your vagina) until you go into labour unless there is any concern that needs to be investigated.

At the booking appointment you will be asked a lot of questions about your health and you will be offered a blood test that will check out your risk of some conditions that might affect your pregnancy and baby. At following appointments, you will be asked to give a urine test to check for any signs of pre-eclampsia, your bump will be measured and you may be palpated (your tummy felt) to check on the growth and positioning of your baby. You can also talk about any concerns you have.

Towards the end of the pregnancy, you will be offered a membrane sweep if it looks like your baby will be late. This involves your midwife putting a finger inside your vagina to reach your cervix and gently making sweeping movements to separate the membranes, which has been shown to be effective sometimes in bringing labour on.

Once you go into labour you will have one to find out how far advanced your labour is. Your doctor or midwife should ask your permission and explain why you are being offered an internal examination.

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