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Are you pregnant and have been advised on pelvic rest? While most must have heard of bed rest, you could get confused as to what is pelvic rest? What does it mean and what should you do when on a pelvic rest are some of the questions daunting you now. To help you ease out the concern, we took it upon ourselves to curate this blog that has answered all questions left unanswered.
As the name gives it away, a “pelvic rest” is the rest of the pelvis (the bones and the muscles). During pregnancy, you need to be extra careful of your pelvic region to not have a complicated delivery. Any injury or severe disturbance to the pelvis can lead to preterm labor and potential miscarriage.
Read on to find out how to keep yourself and your munchkin healthy and what you should be on the lookout for under pelvic rest.
But, What is Pelvic Rest During Pregnancy?
Pelvic rest is the lingo used to indicate the avoidance of putting anything in a pregnant woman’s vagina to prevent further medical complications. This means abstinence of sex, procedures such as an obstetrical check for dilation, and exercises that strain the pelvic floor such as squatting.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains that no proven studies show that refraining from sex during pregnancy can prevent complications like premature birth or preterm labor. However, doctors still recommend pelvic rest during certain cases of pregnancy complications.
Pelvic Rest During Pregnancy: Why Do Some Women Need Pelvic Rest?
Pelvic rest during pregnancy can be advised due to severe medical complications such as,
- Placenta Previa
- Cervical issues
- Preterm labor risks
Let’s Check Out What These Complications Are!
1. Placenta Previa
Placenta previa is a health condition where your placenta is positioned across your cervical bottom instead of on the uterus side. Partial previa indicates that only a part of the cervix is covered whereas a full placenta previa means the entire cervix is covered.
Women with placenta previa might find sexual intercourse irritating which also has a high chance of damaging the placenta and threatening the baby. Intercourse with placenta previa might put the woman in preterm labor and possibly cause bleeding. Usually, cases with a full placenta previa need the assistance of a cesarean to deliver the baby.
A hernia is a rare health condition that can develop before or during pregnancy. It puts them at a higher risk of contracting complications during pregnancy such as preterm labor. Such a threat will be countered by advising pelvic rest during pregnancy.
3. Cervical Complications
Cervical complications during pregnancy include an incompetent cervix or a shortened cervix. The reasons for an insufficient cervix have not yet been clear to doctors but it sure can be dangerous. One of its classic symptoms is cervical dilation with no regular pain or contractions.
Simply put, your cervix will widen like you are about to give birth without you even realizing it. This is why women with this condition are advised pelvic rest. They are also advised to keep an eye on any symptoms or signs of early labor.
4. Risks of Preterm Labor
Again there are no proven studies that say sex can put a pregnant woman into labor or that any kind of restrictions at all will have any helpful outcome. Even then, doctors still place a pregnant woman at a high risk of preterm labor on pelvic rest.
How Does Pelvic Rest During Pregnancy Effect a Woman?
Being on pelvic rest doesn’t mean a pregnant woman cannot move at all or do any kinds of physical activities. There is a difference between bed rest and pelvic rest so if you are still able to fulfill your day-to-day normal activities, you are under pelvic rest. Avoid having sex or placing any kind of strain on the pelvic area. If you are keen on exercising, have a chat with your doctor about safer exercises that will help you maintain your health during pregnancy.
When Should You Call a Doctor?
If you are on pelvic rest during pregnancy, you should immediately call a doctor if you seem to have any of the following symptoms:
- An injury or accident such as getting into a car accident or falling
- Had penetrative sex or masturbated
- Cervical cerclage that is not placed correctly
- Back pain or premature contractions
- Bleeding or fluid from your vagina
The Bottom Line on Pelvic Rest During Pregnancy
If you have been put on pelvic rest during pregnancy, panic not because it is a precautionary step mostly. In some cases, the restriction is even temporary. After diagnosing your chances of having complicated conditions such as preterm labor, placenta previa, cervical complications, and other such issues, your doctor will put you on pelvic rest for a short time. Talk to your doctor about your queries on the rest so that you stay active and healthy during your pregnancy. Remember to check if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above and you are good to go.