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4349 Incompetent-Cervix

Incompetent Cervix

Incompetent Cervix

During pregnancy, as the baby grows and gets heavier, it presses on the cervix. The pressure may cause the cervix to start to open even before the baby is ready to be born. In a normal pregnancy, the cervix stays firm and closed until the third trimester. An incompetent cervix is relatively rare, but a potentially serious complication of pregnancy.

The exact cause for an incompetent cervix is unclear. However, the factors that can increase a woman's risk for it include:

• Damage during difficult birth
• Previous surgery on the cervix
• Previous trauma to the cervix such as dilation from a termination or a miscarriage
• Malformed uterus or cervix from a birth defect

Many cases of cervical insufficiency remain asymptomatic. But mild discomfort after several days or weeks is possible- starting at week 15 to week 20 of pregnancy.

Watch out for the following signs during this period:

• Backache
• Mild abdominal cramps
• A sensation of pelvic pressure
• A change in vaginal discharge
• Light vaginal bleeding

One cannot prevent an incompetent cervix but there's much you can do to promote a healthy full term pregnancy, such as:

• Eat a healthy diet
• Seek regular prenatal care
• Gain weight wisely
• Avoid risky substances

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