Not all women have a strong cervix, which is the part of a woman’s reproductive system that serves as the opening to the uterus. When the woman has a weak cervix, which is also known as an incompetent cervix, the baby’s life may be compromised. Here at Garden OB/GYN, our excellent team of physicians offer cervical cerclage treatment to provide comfort and security to our beloved mothers and babies in Garden City and surrounding areas.
What is a cervical cerclage?
Cervical cerclage is the treatment of choice for pregnant women with cervical incompetence. It is done by sewing the cervix close during pregnancy to prevent the possibility of premature birth or pregnancy loss. There are two ways that a cervical cerclage procedure can be done: through the vagina or through the abdomen, which is a less common method. The stitches are usually removed from the cervix at around the 37th week of the woman’s pregnancy.
Should I have a cervical cerclage?
During your initial consultation with us at Garden OB/GYN, our doctors will identify if you need the procedure. Typically, it is needed when the pregnant mother’s cervix threatens to open up due to the pressure of the developing pregnancy. An incompetent cervix can result from a history of miscarriages during the second trimester, having previously undergone a cone biopsy or a “LEEP” treatment, or having a damaged cervix due to pregnancy termination.
When is a cervical cerclage performed?
The best time to have a cervical cerclage is within 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. However, in some cases, a cerclage has to be placed much earlier. This procedure is called emergent cerclage and is done when the cervix is already beginning to open or shorten. If a woman has already undergone a cerclage procedure, her following pregnancies will require such treatment as well.
What can I expect during my cervical cerclage procedure?
Typically, patients will be given general, epidural, or spinal anesthesia to keep the procedure as painless as possible. The doctor will then stitch a band of strong thread around the mother’s cervix. The cervix will be firmly closed as the thread is tightened appropriately.
What can I expect after my cervical cerclage procedure?
After your cervical cerclage procedure, our doctors will provide you with specific instructions including information on the possible side effects. Generally, you will experience some bleeding and cramping for a few days after the procedure. You may also notice thick vaginal discharges that can continue until the end of the pregnancy. You may have to take certain medications to keep you away from infection or from experiencing preterm labor. For the next two to three days, rest and relaxation will help your cervical cerclage treatment produce positive results.