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Incompetent Cervix During Pregnancy

Updated on July 11, 2010

The cervix is a part between the uterus and birth canal. In a normal delivery, cervix remains closed unless and until labor pains and expansion of cervix begins, but unfortunately one out of every one hundred women’s cervix is not able to support the pressure of baby growing inside and opens up early. This pregnancy complication is known as cervical incompetence or an incompetent cervix pregnancy. This problem during pregnancy can cause spontaneous pregnancy or loss of pregnancy. Incompetent cervix may be diagnosed before or during pregnancy. For example around week 12 of pregnancy, when a gynecologist will find that the cervix is dilated more than usual, then he/she may intervene surgically. The downfall of this is that it is very difficult to appreciate the success rate and some cases experience loss of pregnancy.

The surgery is performed to insert a stitch or suture known as cerclage to hold the baby until the time of pregnancy (ninth month). At the time of delivery, this suture is cut and a woman can have a normal delivery. Causes of incompetent cervix may be acquired or congenital. The reasons why this problem may be acquired are several, including:

1.      Multiple repeated abortions in last stages of pregnancy.

2.      Rapid removal of previous baby during delivery.

3.      Using forceps during pregnancy in an incorrect way.

4.      Birth trauma.

5.      Previous cervical neck surgery or trauma.

6.      Cervical accidents.

Incompetent cervix during pregnancy
Incompetent cervix during pregnancy

An incompetent cervix may also be a birth defect. If your gynecologist will detect weakness of cervix in the last stages of your pregnancy, he/she will probably advice to take complete bedrest and will closely monitor your pregnancy to avoid any complications. If a woman has suffered spontaneous loss of pregnancy previously, it is very important to consult an experienced gynecologist and explain the situation so that she can take necessary action for you before your getting pregnant again. After all, your and your baby’s health lies in your hand and you should not feel shy in consulting with your gynecologist regarding this problem to prevent complication because prevention is better than cure.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello,I have just went through this,I have a delivery during six months pregnancy and my daughter died after three days.

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi She-rah, I am really glad to find that everything went okay with your pregnancy and delivery and you did not needed cerclage stitch at that time. God loves babies too as they are innocent and they need to come in this world without any problems.

    • She-rah profile image


      9 years ago from Petersburg, IL

      Great hub! I had this problem with my first and 3rd due to my petite size and hormone problems. I dilated to 2 at 4 months and 7 months with 2 of my children. They never did stitch me, but I was put on IV's, meds, and bedrest for the rest of the terms. My daughter was born so fast that they hadn't even called the dr. and the nurses were pushing her back inside me with their hands for 1/2 hour. They weren't allowed to deliver even though it was obviously time, had to wait for the doc. Lucky everything went ok.

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes it is Ethel. Thanks for your comment.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      A worrying time

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      That's a really great thing Veronica. I wish your friend and her baby best of luck for health and happiness. This is the reason why it is really necessary to consult a gynecologist as soon as you feel some pressure in your lower abdominal area at the time of being pregnant. Proper bed rest, timely treatment of this condition, following doctor's orders helps in avoiding this complication.

      By the way, I have published a hub on placenta previa complication during pregnancy. You can go through this hub and tell me what you feel about this low lying placenta complication during pregnancy or labor.

      Here is the link to that hub:

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I had a friend who went through this. Fortunately, with bedrest and following her doctor's orders, she now has a healthy two month old daughter.


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