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Incompetent Cervix


An incompetent cervix is a condition that causes your cervix to start opening at 4 to 6 months of pregnancy. The cervix is the bottom part of the uterus. Normally, the cervix remains closed for the full 9 months of pregnancy. An incompetent cervix begins to thin and widen without any pain or contractions. The amniotic fluid sac may bulge down into the opening of your cervix until it breaks. This can cause a miscarriage or premature delivery or your baby.


Follow up with your primary healthcare provider (PHP) or obstetrician as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


You may need to rest in bed on your left side most of the time. This will help prevent premature labor or delivery.

Do not smoke:

If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can cause premature labor or delivery. Ask your PHP for information if you need help quitting.

Contact your PHP if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have lower abdominal or back pain.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have fluid draining from your vagina.
  • You have foul-smelling discharge coming from your vagina.
  • You have regular contractions.
  • You have vaginal bleeding.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.