Why doesn’t the cervix dilate in some women during labour?

We asked Dr Gayatri Deshpande, Gynaecologist, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai why some women face this problem during labour.

Things that unfold in the labour room are quite unpredictable and most of the times they don t go as planned. This is why many women who plan for a vaginal birth might have to undergo a c-section depending on the condition of the mother and baby in the labour room. If there is the slightest sign of distress or trouble a mother might be given a choice by the doctor and helping staff to rethink on her decision of vaginal birth. While most women like to experience the bliss of birthing the natural way but a medical emergency might compel them to go under the knife. Here are 12 causes of a caesarean section that you need to know.

Of course, vaginal birthing needs patience and the mother s sheer willpower to triumph over pain. But there are innumerable causes that can lead to a c-section in the labour room despite the mother s will and patience to put up with vaginal delivery. Fetal distress, high blood pressure, low lying placenta, fetal defecation, are few reasons that could lead to an emergency c-section. Another common problem that could lead to an emergency c-section is an incompetent cervix, which means the cervix that doesn t open up during the labour. Here are six causes of emergency c-section that you need to know.

The cervix or the mouth of the womb consists of smooth muscles that contract and relaxes during labour. The dilation of the cervix happens even before the labour starts like the cervix is already one to two centimetres dilated by the time a woman enters active labour. Active labour is the phase when the contractions are intense and the intervals between two contractions are short. Ideally, once the woman starts to experience labour pains the cervix will dilate 1 to 2 cm every hour until it opens up to 10 cm. When the cervix opens up to 10 cm this helps the baby to come out of the womb into the world, as the mother tries to push (read exhales with a force) the baby out. But in some mothers, despite the long labouring hours with excruciating pain, the cervix fails to open beyond three or four centimetres. This is way too common than we think and when this happens many mothers who plan for a vaginal delivery have to undergo a c-section. Here are tips to help you during a vaginal birth and overcome the apprehensions.

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We asked Dr Gayatri Deshpande, Gynaecologist, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai why some women face this problem during labour. In some women, the foetal head is not in the right position and doesn t apply aptly to the cervix, which is why the cervix doesn t open. This can lead to difficulty in dilation. Also, the mental stress, anxiety and fear of the pain during labour can affect the cervical dilation and can be detrimental to the progress of labour, she says. Apart from this non-dilation of cervix seems to be idiopathic. Sometimes even when the mother has a healthy pregnancy and doesn t have any immediate risk factor that can alter the course of delivery, still the cervix can act up and not dilate to the maximum.

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