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Cervical Cerclage: Preventing Miscarriage and Premature Birth

Updated: Oct 2, 2022


If you are at increased risk of premature birth, your physician may recommend a cervical cerclage. We will be discussing cervical cerclage, its benefits and its alternatives.


What is Cervical Cerclage?


A cervical cerclage is a procedure performed when a women’s cervix is at greater risk of opening due to the pressure of pregnancy. Most women will have anesthesia during the procedure, and strong thread is stitched around the cervix to prevent premature opening. Often, the cervical cerclage is not removed until week 37 of pregnancy.


A woman may have a weak cervix as a result of history of second trimester miscarriages, damage to the cervix by abortion or a history of a previous cone biopsy or loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) procedure.


When is a Cervical Cerclage Performed?


A cervical cerclage procedure is often performed in the third month of pregnancy. Some women may require a cervical cerclage later in the pregnancy as an emergency if they experience opening or shortening of the cervix.


How Effective is Cervical Cerclage?


This procedure may help prevent miscarriage or early delivery. The procedure is successful in up to 90% of all cases.


What are the Alternatives to Cervical Cerclage?


If cervical incompetence is discovered later in pregnancy, bedrest may be recommended. Additionally, if the cervix has already opened significantly, cervical cerclage may be not performed.

Takeaway Message:


A cervical cerclage is a procedure used to prevent miscarriage and premature delivery in women with an incompetent cervix. The procedure has a high success rate. Women with an incompetent cervix should be encouraged to discuss the appropriate treatment options with their provider.

Have you been treated with cervical cerclage? We would love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below.

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