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Pregnant with contractions, sharp pains in the vagina. Is this normal?

I am 38 weeks pregnant with my second child and I have been having contractions that are 17 minutes apart and lasting for about a minute, having sharp pains in my vagina , and pains that start in my back and shoot down my leg I have been having all these symptoms for 2 days now I did not have these symptoms with my first child so I am wondering if this is normal and what is going on?
Asked On : Mon, 28 Jan 2013
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OBGYN 's  Response
Your symptoms denote that your labor process has begun. Pain in the back that goes down along the thighs is indicative of dilatation of the cervix. You should report to your obstetrician at once, and get yourself assessed. False labor, though unlikely with your symptoms, has also to be ruled out. It could happen sometimes and is usually relieved by rest and evacuation of the bowel and bladder. Good luck.
Answered: Tue, 29 Jan 2013
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