I'm worried about this- one of my friends gave birth at 26 weeks to a baby who sadly didn't make it and another at 29 weeks who thankfully did- all because of her cervix and having treatment for pre-cancerous cells. I had a couple of biopsies and a LLETZ (electrical current passed through a wire to burn off a layer of my cervix) about 3 years ago. I mentioned it to my midwife when he took my medical histroy but he didn't seem bothered. Do you think I should mention it at my next midwife appointment tomorrow? Seems like such a simple thing to identify and would save a lot of heartache if they routinely looked for problems.
Most specialists won't do anything before you are 12 weeks pregnant becase of hte risk of losing the baby - if your cervix already has a stitch in and oyu miscarry for other reasons then obviously it can be dangerous.
However, if you have had previous pregnancy losses that have been attributed to an incompetent cervix then at around 12 weeks they should be booking you in to have a cervical stitch put in.
If you have no other reason to suspect oyu have an incompetent cervix other than previous Lletz treatment etc then you MAY be offered cervical length scans. I must stress though that lots of women have LLETZ treatment and have no problems whatsoever with their pregnancy and so lots of hospitals and midwifes do not offer scans. This was hte case in my area and I had to really fight to get any scans on the nhs.
I was told hte best time to begin scanning and monitoring cervical length is 16 weeks, because then the endometric layer is more removed from hte cervical area. Also prior to then the weight of the baby on your cervix is minimal. Depending on your cervical length at the scans you should then follow this course of treatment (again this is only what my consultant told me)
3cm +: cervix should be fine, you might want an additional scan at 20 weeks just to be sure
2.5cm +: regular scans every 2 weeks, restricted movement (no exercise, sex or standing / waking around for long periods of time)
2cm +: weekly scans and discussion of cervical stitch being put in
1.5cm +: cervical stitch and possible bed rest
Obviously if your scans show that your cervix is shrinking over time you might want to discuss the cervical stitch being put in earlier.
Older research stated that funneling of the cervix was the only reason for a cervical stitch to be put in - and my first consultant believed hte same thing. More recent research in America has shown that cervical length is also key so make sure that you challenge anyone who says "there's no funnelling so you'll be fine".
Very helpful ladies...I am in the same position, 18wks and cervix is 3cm. Had vaginal scan, doc says to check monthly. Been really worried as not sure how quickly it can open...but your msg's have put my mind at ease a little bit. Doc worried me a bit by saying having a stitch in does risk bleeding and infection, but I suppose he has to say that?
I had a biopsy on my cervix about 10 years ago and had a scan to check the length of my cervix. The consultant was happy with the length (3.9) and said it didnt need to be followed up any further.
Last week when I went to the hospital with painful cramps, the doctor there said she was concerned that because I'd had this biopsy, I was still at risk of prem labour, even tho my cervix measured up fine at the last scan I'm seeing my MW on Friday so I will be talking to her then about it.
Lou78 sounds like your cervix is holding up well honey, it's good they're still checking it regularly though. Having a stitch in does pose a risk, you do bleed (for about a week) but it's not heavy or really dangerous to the baby, it's just a result of the surgery. There is, as with everything, a risk of infection but that is quite small - you just need to be extra vigilant for the signs and go to Delivery Suite for a check up if you're at all worried. There is also a risk of miscarriage if your cervix is open as your amniotic fluid can be very occasionally be punctured by the procedure. However, most surgeons will only carry out the procedure if htey are happy it is less risky to put a stitch in than to leave things be.
Mynx: I shouldn't worry too much, if you're 34 weeks already they will probably suggest you rest up a bit. Most people with a stitch in have it taken out between 36 and 38 weeks because it is believed that the baby would be perfectly safe if born then. Speak to your midwife - she may well have some more advice - she might do an internal check of your cervix (but she might not as sometimes internals can upset things more). Good luck honey, you haven't got too long left xxxx
I just been told I have a short cervix (no funneling)..it measured 22mm last week and today I had it checked again and it measured 17mm, the Dr said that it was much diffferent as they measure different parts of it. I also had a swab done to see if I would go into labour within the next 2 weeks (i think this is a new thing), apparently I won't gointo labour in the next 2 weeks but have to go back in 2 weeks time to have the tests again. I'm off work until the next scan but they didn't seem too worried about it as the swab was negative. I have read so many different things that its confusing.
Thanks for this thread...This is a constant worry of mine as well. I had a cone biopsy done and then a LEEP procedure soon after and this was all about 3 years ago. At my first prenatal visit my NP said that my cervix looks long and that she isn't concerned, but I also think that for our peace if mind they should do a check every visit to make sure nothing changes the farther along we get. I went in to my dr's last week for frequent braxton hix and expressed my concern about incompetent cervix and he told me next time if I want them to check just let them know and what really upset me was why couldn't he just check right then and there?? eeerrrrgh!! So now I sit here about a week later still worrying about it and wondering if I'm secretly dilating!
My hospital had a policy where unless you had lst two babies in the 2nd trimester they would not check for incompetent cervix regularly, they did one scan at 14 weeks and another at 20 weeks. My 14 week scan showed my cervix was already struggling to cope at 2.6cm we didn't want to take the risk.
I'm glad that other hosptials treat their patients better!
Hospitals in Sweden dont look for IC at all. Unless you have lost babies in second tri.
i too lost my daughter at 21 weeks, my cervix was found to be incompetent,i originally entered with a hind water leak, thought to be caused where the two sacs rub together as it slips down into the ever decreasing cervical space. anyway, i just had a emergency stitch placed. the most accurate way to check your cervical length is with internal scans, my last one was 20mm long and at that point last tuesday they decided to intervene. when you book in with your midwife explain the problems and when she sends your notes away to your chosen hospital you will get your first scan appointment and a appointment with a specialist to make a plan for this pregnancy. this is the scariest time of my life, aside from having to watch my daughter pass away infront of my eyes last time, and this time we hae done everything possible... if this does not work nothing will. best of luck x
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