Will I have an internal exam during appointments?

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.

No, the normal pregnancy appointments do not include an internal exam (inside your vagina). In an uncomplicated pregnancy they will only ask to do an internal exam after you have gone into labour. The purpose of this will be to check how far your cervix has opened, which will tell them how advanced your labour is.

The normal pregnancy appointments may have the following:

  • questions about your health and any concerns you have
  • blood test to check out your risk of some conditions that might affect your pregnancy and baby
  • a urine test to check for any signs of pre-eclampsia
  • measuring your bump will be measured and you may be palpated (your tummy felt) to check on the growth and positioning of your baby.

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.

Read more frequently asked questions in pregnancy

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