anterior/posterior cervix question

topic posted Tue, October 21, 2008 - 5:51 PM by  Unsubscribed
this is for the midwives:
can any of you explain to me, in simple terms, the difference between anterior & posterior cervix. i understand that anterior means "front" & posterior means "back", so does it mean an anterior cervix has the opening facing the abdomen & a posterior cervix has the opening facing the back? i'm just trying to understand what i'm reading. thanks, midwives!
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  • Re: anterior/posterior cervix question

    Tue, October 21, 2008 - 10:08 PM
    Before labor begins, the cervix drops into the vaginal canal at an angle that makes it point toward the back (posterior). One sign of progress is that the cervix has become anterior, meaning that it's position has realigned to allow the baby to drop into the vagina (birth canal). This is generally a change that happens early in labor.

    When they do a vaginal exam and find a cervix posterior, it means you can feel the baby's head first and have to either reach around the head to find the cervical os or sometimes you need to "walk" the cervix up with our fingers.

    One major thing a woman can do to bring her cervix more forward for an exam is to sit on her fists. Having a women make a fist and then, keeping them upright, put them under her hips. That position almost always works wonders for finding a posterior cervix. Not always though.

    When a woman is in labor, the uterus contracting brings the cervix forward - where it needs to be for the baby to come out. If a woman is having vaginal exams (or doing them herself), it's a pretty good indication of active labor, whether the cervix is anterior (nearer the front) or posterior. Anterior would signal active labor; posterior usually means there's some work still do to. Of course, there are always exceptions! But generally, this is the case.

    Before labor, having an anterior or posterior labor has zero indication of anything.

    Hope this helps you visualize a bit...


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