In the US approximately 28% of pregnancies deliver in the week of the due date or within the week following the due date (40-41 weeks pregnancy.) Another 5 % of births occur in the second week past the due date (42 weeks.) So it’s possible that you may have about a 30% chance of still being pregnant past your due date. For some women, the continued uncertainty of not knowing when they’ll go into labor is, understandably, both frustrating and concerning. Though the overall chance of an untoward fetal outcome (including neonatal illness, intensive care admissions and stillbirth) are low, studies do show these risks to increase as pregnancy continues past 41-42 weeks.
In the last few years, the guidelines on the required frequency of cervical cancer screening (Pap smear) have changed, and more recently, even the importance of your Yearly/Annual Pelvic exam has been up for debate amongst established medical societies. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG, recently released their rebuttal statement, reconfirming their support for the importance of the Annual Pelvic Exam. Their statement was made in response to the recently released article from the American College of Physicians supporting the contrary, recommending against the annual pelvic exam in asymptomatic women, thus bringing into question the utility of the exam.