Cervical Incompetence (CI) is a condition in which the cervix of a pregnant woman begins to open (dilate) and thin (efface) before the pregnancy has reached term. "Incompetence" refers to the weakness of the muscle of the cervix, which can not be voluntarily controlled. CI is a cause of miscarriage and preterm birth in the second and third trimesters.
In CI, the cervix dilates and effaces without pain or uterine contractions because of the growing pressure of the pregnant uterus. If these changes are not halted, rupture of the membranes and premature delivery can result.
CI occurs in only 1-2% of all pregnancies, however it is the cause of 20-25% of miscarriages in the second trimester as well as 10% of preterm deliveries.
The goal of intervention is the successful prevention of premature delivery. This allows the fetus time to develop as fully as possible, thus preventing the multitude of complications associated with prematurity.
Treatment consists mainly of a procedure called cerclage, along with bedrest and possibly medications to prevent contractions and premature delivery. Even with cerclage and additional therapies, the risk of preterm birth is high (about 25%).
Get the Facts... With your MediFocus Guide
The Medifocus Guide on Cervical Incompetence provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What Your Doctor Reads:
- What are the most common symptoms of cervical incompetence?
- Are there any recognized risk factors for developing cervical incompetence?
- What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of cervical incompetence?
- What is the current standard of care for the treatment of cervical incompetence?
- What treatment options are available for the management of cervical incompetence?
- Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
- Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in cervical incompetence?
- Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for cervical incompetence?
- What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about cervical incompetence?
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
MediFocus Guides... When You Need Trustworthy Medical Information
- Management of cervical cerclage after preterm premature rupture of membranes.
Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 1999
- Can examination of the cervix provide useful information for prediction of cervical incompetence and following preterm labour?.
Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 1999
- Prevention of preterm birth.
Baillieres Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 1995
- Emergency cerclage: a review.
Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 1995
- Short cervical length by ultrasound and cerclage.
Journal of Perinatology. 2000
- Amniocentesis for selection before rescue cerclage.
Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2000
- Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction studies in the analysis of medical materials: Gore-Tex versus braided polyester tape for repair of the incompetent cervix.
- Cervical incompetence: elective, emergent, or urgent cerclage.
American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1999
- Pregnancy outcomes in women treated with elective versus ultrasound-indicated cervical cerclage.
Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1998
- Comparison of elective and empiric cerclage and the role of emergency cerclage.
Journal of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. 1998
MediFocus.com understands that consumers who are facing serious medical issues need access to credible, up-to-date medical information to help them make informed health-care decisions. That's why we've developed the MediFocus Guides...the most advanced and trustworthy patient research guides for over 200 chronic and life-threatening conditions. Each MediFocus Guide includes a detailed overview of the condition including information about diagnosis, treatment options, cutting-edge research, and new developments; excerpts of important journal articles from the current medical literature focusing on standard treatments and treatment options; a directory of leading authors and medical institutions who specialize in the treatment of the condition; and a listing of organizations and support groups where you can obtain additional information about the illness.
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