Chadwick’s Sign


Other Known Aliasesnone


DefinitionBlue-red passive hyperemia of cervix that may appear after the 6th week of pregnancy

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Clinical SignificanceThis is one of the earliest physical exam findings of pregnancy and is a result of increased uterine blood flow to support the newly implanted embryo.


History – Named after James Reed Chadwick (1844-1905), who was an American gynecologist and received his medical doctorate from Harvard in 1871. He published in 1887 describing this finding, but gave due credit of the initial discovery to Étienne Joseph Jacquemin (1796-1872) who first noted it 1836.

He also help found the American Gynaecological Society and Boston Medical Library, and is also well known as being a noted librarian and scholar.  He was also a fervent advocate of women in the practice medicine and published extensively in support of this endeavor.



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  4. Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
  5. Chadwick JR. The value of the bluish discoloration of the vaginal entrance as a sign of pregnancy. Transactions of the American Gynecological Society. 1877;11:399–418.
  6. Gleichert JE. Etienne Joseph Jacquemin, discoverer of ‘Chadwick’s sign’. Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences. 1971; 26(1):75-80. [pubmed]
  7. Chadwick JR.  The Study and Practice of Medicine by Women.  1879. [Link]
  8. Chadwick JR.  Admission of Women to the Massachusetts Medical Society. 1882. [Link]

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