In case you have a short cervix during pregnancy then it is very likely that it will dilate and efface too soon. Usually this occurs in the end of the second trimester or the beginning of the third trimester. There is just too much pressure that the cervix has to bear. Normally there are no related symptoms.
What does pregnancy’s short cervix mean?
Having such a problem could result from having a miscarriage in the second trimester. Another cause could be premature rupture of the membranes which means that the water breaks before term and even before you are in labor. The third cause is preterm delivery.
In case you have short cervix when being pregnant your chances of preterm delivery increase, and it means that you could give birth before reaching the 32nd week of pregnancy.
How do you know you have short cervix while you are pregnant?
In the past it was said that you are affected by it if you had several miscarriages in the second trimester or preterm births and there was no other known cause of it.
Even at this point there is no screening to determine whether you have been affected by it. Nonetheless if the doctor considers that you could have cervical insufficiency he or she may suggest you to have vaginal ultrasounds starting with the 16th week.
This is done in order to take measures of the cervix and to recognize the signs of abnormalities. In case during the tests it is found that you present major abnormalities, your pregnancy will be considered of high risk regarding preterm delivery.
Nonetheless diagnosing short cervix during pregnancy is still quite difficult, and it is still debated whether any treatment could help with the problem and whether they will help avoiding preterm labor.
Who is at the most risk?
You are more likely to be affected by an insufficient cervix in case you had preterm labor in the past or second term miscarriage without any other cause. The chances increase even further if you had more than one case of the ones mentioned above.
Some procedures, such as LEEP or cone biopsy could increase the chances of having an incompetent cervix. Another thing that you have to think about is whether your mother took the drug DES while she has been pregnant with you. This is a drug that has been given by the caregivers to prevent miscarriage.
Because it caused a cervix that is incompetent in case of new born girls and also for being ineffective, the drug has been withdrawn from the market. You should ask your mother about this.
A previous cervical injury could also cause a cervix that is too short. This may have occurred during a pregnancy or the procedures known as D&C.
If you know that you have been affected by short cervix during pregnancy then you should prepare for all the effects it could have on your pregnancy and also tell your doctor what extra information you have regarding your condition and your medical history.