Cervical cerclage is a surgery performed to keep the cervix closed when there is a risk of premature dilation. This prevents premature births or miscarriages.
During pregnancy, the cervix remains thick and firm until the end of the third trimester. As labor approaches, it softens and thins, beginning preparation for dilation and your baby’s passage through the birth canal.
However, in some cases, this process begins earlier than expected and a cerclage needs to be performed. The main objective of this surgical procedure is to maintain the structural integrity of the cervix and thus prolong the pregnancy, avoiding premature delivery.
In this article, you will understand why some women need cervical cerclage and how it is done. Keep reading!
What Is Cervical Cerclage?
Uterine or cervical cerclage is a surgery performed to prevent premature labor and thus minimize the risks to the mother and her baby. Basically, it is a “seam” made on the cervix in the vaginal portion.
As you know, the cervix is the entrance to the uterine cavity. The cerclage suture prevents the neck from opening prematurely. This stops the descent of the fetal bursa which can trigger labor.
When Is It Necessary To Perform This Surgery?
The main condition that causes an early thinning of the cervix is isthmocervical insufficiency, which is popularly known as having a “short cervix.” This insufficiency occurs due to anatomical or functional problems.
However, it is a condition with no other signs. Therefore, it is usually only identified during ultrasounds performed during pregnancy or when the pregnant woman has one or more miscarriages for no apparent reason.
In addition, this surgery is indicated for women with a history of preterm labor before 34 weeks or who are in their first pregnancy but have a cervix less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick before 24 weeks.
We must emphasize that cervical cerclage is not always necessary in these cases – your doctor may recommend bed rest during pregnancy. Generally, this care is quite effective.
How Is Cervical Cerclage Procedure Performed?
The uterine cerclage procedure is usually performed shortly after the third month of pregnancy and under general anesthesia. The surgeon inserts the speculum into the vagina, an instrument that opens the vaginal canal to access the cervix.
Then, a non-absorbable suture is performed, which is removed in the 37th week of pregnancy so that labor can occur normally. Although it is a relatively simple procedure, it is delicate and requires that the pregnant woman remains in the hospital for 24 hours, under observation. In the following months, you need rest and sexual abstinence.
As you have seen, cervical cerclage can prevent miscarriages and premature births, especially when the woman has isthmocervical insufficiency. Therefore, it is important to know the procedure and, of course, carry out adequate prenatal care so that your doctor can identify and treat this and other conditions that may put the pregnancy at risk.
Now that you know everything about cervical cerclage, take the opportunity to download the Kinedu app for FREE and get prepared for the arrival of your baby with the support of experts.