Cervical Incompetence: Reducing the Risk

By Kecia Gaither, M.D., MPH, FACOG, February 19, 2018

As a pregnant woman’s body prepares for labor, late in the third trimester, the cervix – the long, tubular lower end of the uterus – begins to soften, shorten (efface), and open (dilate). In about one out of 100 pregnancies (approximately 1 percent), the pressure of the baby on the cervix may cause it to open too soon, a condition known as cervical incompetence or cervical insufficiency, which may result in miscarriage or preterm delivery.

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