Cervical incompetence

What is cervical incompetence? 

Cervical incompetence, also known as cervical insufficiency, is a condition in which the cervix (the narrow opening at the bottom of the uterus) is unable to support a pregnancy to full term. The cervix is responsible for keeping the fetus inside the uterus until it is ready to be born. In women with cervical incompetence, the cervix may begin to dilate (open up) too early in pregnancy, leading to premature labor and delivery. 

Cervical incompetence is thought to be caused by a weakness in the cervix, often due to previous cervical trauma or surgery, or due to genetic factors. Women who have had multiple miscarriages or premature deliveries are at higher risk of cervical incompetence. 

 Symptoms of cervical incompetence may include vaginal discharge, pelvic pressure, and spotting or bleeding during the second trimester of pregnancy. In severe cases, the cervix may dilate and the amniotic sac may rupture, leading to premature labor and delivery. 

 Diagnosis of cervical incompetence typically involves a physical exam, ultrasound, and measurement of the length of the cervix. Treatment options may include cervical cerclage, a surgical procedure in which a stitch is placed around the cervix to keep it closed, and medication to prevent premature labor. 

It is important for women who have had previous miscarriages or premature deliveries to discuss their risk of cervical incompetence with their healthcare provider. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the risk of complications and improve the chances of a successful pregnancy. 

 Overall, cervical incompetence is a challenging condition that can lead to premature labor and delivery. However, with appropriate management and support, many women with cervical incompetence are able to carry a pregnancy to full term and deliver a healthy baby.