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Incompetent Cervix

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is an incompetent cervix?

An incompetent cervix is also called cervical insufficiency. It 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 may begin 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 of your baby.

What causes an incompetent cervix?

The cause of your incompetent cervix may not be known. The following are common causes:

What are the signs and symptoms of an incompetent cervix?

How is an incompetent cervix diagnosed?

How is an incompetent cervix treated?

You may need to rest in bed during the last several months of your pregnancy. You may need to rest on your left side most of the time. This may help prevent premature labor or delivery. You may also need any of the following:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.