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Home > Health Library > Cervical Insufficiency
Cervical insufficiency means that the cervix can't stay tightly closed during the second trimester of pregnancy. Instead, the cervix opens (dilates) with little or no pain, usually before 24 weeks. This can lead to miscarriage or birth of a premature baby.
You may also hear this condition called a weak cervix or an incompetent cervix. A weak cervix is different from preterm labor. Labor causes regular, painful contractions of the uterus.
It's not clear what causes cervical insufficiency. But it has been linked to:
Cervical insufficiency usually allows the cervix to open without pain. But some women do have mild symptoms.
If you have this condition, you may have:
If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away. Symptoms sometimes start days or weeks before the cervix dilates.
You have cervical insufficiency when your cervix has opened with little or no pain during the second trimester. But it is hard to know you have it before the cervix opens, when treatment might help keep the cervix closed. If you have had it in a past pregnancy, your doctor will want to check you often.
To diagnose cervical insufficiency early, your doctor can:
If your cervix is showing signs of change in your second trimester, your treatment choices may include:
Current as ofSeptember 5, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal MedicineKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
Current as of:
September 5, 2018
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology
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