Each pregnant woman is looking for a healthy baby. The cervical length is one of the factors that may cause pregnancy complications. Scroll down to know all about the length of the cervix and how it may affect your pregnancy.
What Is The Cervix?
The cervix is the opening to the uterus, which is situated above the vagina. This expands, shortens and becomes thinner and smoother so that during labor and birth your baby can pass through the birth canal.
During childbirth, the cervix opens too early or is shorter than normal in some women. Throughout childbirth, these conditions can cause complications.
What Is Cervical Length?
The cervix is a 3-centimeter long canal linking the cervix with the vagina. The cervical length is simply the length of the canal, including the opening of the cervix and the length of the cervix should be specified for the growth of a healthy child in females who are pregnant.
Why Is The Length Of The Cervical Important?
Until you get pregnant, the cervix is almost inflexible. This gets softer, shorter loses muscle tone and dilates before you conceive. This is known as cervical effacement, which helps the fetus to fit into the cervical canal while being born If your cervix is too short, however, you may run the risk of premature labor and all the complications associated with premature birth.
Factors That Influence the Cervical Length
- Uterine Inflammation
- Distended Uterus
- Pregnancy Complications
- Cervical Insufficiency
How To Measure Cervical Length
A transvaginal ultrasound scan can help measure the length of the cervix. Ideally, the length of the cervix should be about 3.5–5 cm in the 24th week, while it should be 3.5–4 cm at 28 weeks. The cervical length is 3-3.5 cm at 32 weeks. A cervix less than 2.5 cm increases the probability of premature birth.
Causes Of Short Cervix
The main cause of a short cervix during pregnancy is an ineffective or defective cervix. The baby grows and becomes heavier during pregnancy, pressing on the cervix. If the cervix is small, the cervix can open before the baby is ready for birth because of baby pressure. This condition is called a cervix deficient and incompetent.
While the majority of losses in pregnancy in the first trimester occur due to chromosomal abnormalities, most losses occur due to the incompetent cervix in the second trimester. Luckily, insufficient cervix is not very common. The incompetence of the cervix can occur in only 1 in 100 pregnancies.
In addition to a short cervix, one or more of the following conditions may lead to an inadequate cervix:
- An earlier surgery on the cervix
- Abortion or miscarriage trauma to the cervix
- Cervical trauma
- Uterine abnormalities or cervical lacerations with vaginal delivery
Short cervix symptoms
Although some women are often asymptomatic, they experience some mild symptoms of a short cervix. The symptoms usually develop within 14 to 20 weeks of pregnancy, including:
- Light vaginal bleeding
- Contractions (similar to Braxton-Hicks)
- Change in color, and consistency of vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pressure
- Abdominal cramps
Complications Of Short Cervix
The risk of premature labor increases if the cervix is short. This is because, during your pregnancy, the cervix may not remain closed the way it is supposed to be. Women with a short cervix during pregnancy are more likely than women with a longer and thicker cervix to have preterm labor.
The good news is that a small cervix is being handled. Doctors may recommend a couple of different methods to help prevent premature birth. Daily prenatal care helps the physician to detect and treat any short cervix complications in a timely manner.
Dealing With a Short Cervix
If your cervix is too short, here are a few things you should do:
This is a minor procedure in which a few sutures will stitch your cervix. The procedure is done quickly and under anesthesia. It’s done for women who have had pre-term deliveries. Many doctors claim that cerclages can lead to infection and inflammation, but they can be treated with the right drugs.
A silicone device called a pessary may be used to secure the cervix and keep it shut.
3. Bed Rest
There should be no compromise on bed rest. Lying on stops the cervix from falling down on the vagina and the fetus stopping it from removing at an early stage.
4. Hormonal Treatment:
Your doctor will place the pregnancy hormone, progesterone, in the cervical region in this treatment Progesterone may stop labor from being started.
Knowing the changes that your body is going through during pregnancy is crucial. If during pregnancy, you have any questions about the cervical length, check with your gynecologist.
Also Read: Know What Is Cervical Incompetence