Miscarriage: What is Cervical Shock?

Three weeks ago I miscarried at 11 weeks. The amniotic sac was only at a seven week stage. During my miscarriage I continued to bleed for five days. I experienced intense pain that continued without break, along with vomiting. When I reached the hospital I felt like I was about to faint. By midday of day five they decided to perform a D&C .When I spoke to a nurse she said that it sounded like I had "cervical shock." What is cervical shock?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

I am so sorry you had to go through this. I hope you are receiving lots of love and support.

I am unfamiliar with the term "cervical shock," but it sounds like a quaint old term for a vagal reaction. The vagus nerve is stimulated by cervical pressure and uterine stimulation. The cervix does not have many nerve endings, but does have a lot of stretch receptors. When the cervix is trying to dilate and there is a large tissue mass or clot behind it, you can undergo just the symptoms you describe. The heart rate may actually fall into the 40s to 60s.

I would highly recommend that you read Sherokee Ilse's book, Miscarriage: a Shattered Dream.

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