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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Incompetent Cervix

All the info you want to know about incompetent cervix, including how to keep baby safe throughout your pregnancy.

What is incompetent cervix?

Incompetent cervix is when your cervix becomes weak enough that it opens before it’s supposed to. Ideally, you want your cervix to stay tightly closed until just before baby’s born.

What are the signs of incompetent cervix?

Often, there are no symptoms of incompetent cervix. If anything, you might notice a little bit of spotting.

Are there any tests for incompetent cervix?

Sadly, many cases of incompetent cervix aren’t diagnosed until after a woman has already had a miscarriage due to incompetent cervix. If you’re at high risk for incompetent cervix, your doc may use ultrasound to keep an eye on your cervix throughout the pregnancy.

How common is incompetent cervix?

Incompetent cervix happens in 1 to 2 percent of pregnancies.

How did I get incompetent cervix?

Some women are simply born with an oddly shaped cervix. Other women develop incompetent cervix after having surgery on the cervix. Past history of D&C (dilation and curettage) or LEEP or cone biopsy for cervical cancer or precancerous changes of the cervix increases the risk of incompetent cervix.

How will incompetent cervix affect my baby?

Incompetence cervix can lead to pregnancy loss, so it’s a really scary condition to have.

What’s the best way to treat incompetent cervix?

If you have a past history of pregnancy loss due to incompetent cervix, or if your care provider diagnoses a case of incompetent cervix by ultrasound, he may recommend placing a small stitch, called a cerclage, in the cervix to keep it closed until late in the pregnancy. Bed rest is often recommended to avoid putting excess stress on the cervix.

-- Rebecca Kolp, MD, ob-gyn and medical director at Massachusetts General Hospital West


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