This interview with Dawn Thompson, a doula in San Diago, has been passed around within the doula community. I believe it to be insightful for doula’s, mothers, and mothers-to-be. So many of us have experienced stalled labors that have led to Caesarean sections. Often the reason for the C-Sections is a “failure to progress” or “the baby was just too big”. My belief has long been that our bodies wouldn’t make something that we could not push out on our own. So when I read this article about cervical scar tissue forming knots and restricting the cervix from dilating I let out a sigh of relief. Care providers, doulas, and all women must know that this cause of restricted dilating CAN potentially be avoided.
The rise of HPV and the increased presence of abnormal cervical cells and cervical cancer has resulted in more cervical procedures among girls. One of these procedures, called a coloscopy, conducts a biopsy by removing cervical tissue containing abnormal cervical cells. Another procedure, called a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP), uses a thin wire loop electrode attached to an electrosurgical generator. The generator transmits an electrical current that cuts away cervical tissue in the immediate area of the loop wire. This causes the abnormal cells to rapidly heat and burst and separates the tissue as the loop wire moves through the cervix. Each of these procedures potentially leaves scar tissue especially when a woman has this procedure more than once which is common.
Unfortunately, the cervix has to be greatly effaced to know whether or not there is scar tissue and a doctor or midwife will not feel the scar tissue during a routine check. Asking your care provider to look for and break up scar tissue is an easy way to increase your likelihood of a vaginal birth. I am now asking my clients if they have had any cervical procedures, because this bit of knowledge can possibly change the direction of a labor and its outcome.
Dawn wrote a blog about this 6 years ago after experiencing this with her sister and it has changed her life as a doula and educator.