If you're pregnant and have any risk factors for an incompetent cervix or you experience any symptoms during your second trimester that indicate you might have an incompetent cervix, consult your health care provider right away. Depending on the circumstances, you might need immediate medical care.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, as well as what to expect from your health care provider.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you might want to:
- Ask about pre-appointment restrictions. In most cases you'll be seen immediately. If that's not the case, ask whether you should restrict your activities while you wait for your appointment.
- Find a loved one or friend who can join you for your appointment. Fear and anxiety might make it difficult to focus on what your health care provider says. Take someone along who can help remember all the information.
- Write down questions to ask your health care provider. That way, you won't forget anything important that you want to ask, and you can make the most of your time with your health care provider.
Below are some basic questions to ask your health care provider about an incompetent cervix. If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
- Has my cervix begun to open? If so, how much?
- Is there anything I can do to help prolong my pregnancy?
- Are there any treatments that can prolong my pregnancy or help the baby?
- Do I need to be on bed rest? If so, for how long? What kinds of activities will I be able to do? Will I need to be in the hospital?
- What signs or symptoms should prompt me to call you?
- What signs or symptoms should prompt me to go to the hospital?
- What will happen to my baby if he or she is born now? What can I expect?
What to expect from your health care provider
Your health care provider is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
March 12, 2015
- When did you first notice your signs or symptoms?
- Have you had any contractions or changes in vaginal discharge?
- Have you had any previous pregnancies, miscarriages or cervical surgeries that I'm not aware of?
- How long would it take you to get to the hospital in an emergency, including time to arrange any necessary child care, transportation, and so on?
- Do you have friends or loved ones nearby who could care for you if you need bed rest?
- Berghella V, et al. Cervical insufficiency. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 14, 2014.
- Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 14, 2014.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2015. 54th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookID=1019. Accessed Dec. 14, 2014.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 24th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=1057. Accessed Dec. 14, 2014.
- Cervical insufficiency. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology_and_obstetrics/abnormalities_of_pregnancy/cervical_insufficiency.html#v1073896. Accessed Dec. 14, 2014.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 142: Cerclage for the management of cervical insufficiency. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2014;123:372.
- What can I do to promote a healthy pregnancy? National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preconceptioncare/conditioninfo/pages/healthy-pregnancy.aspx. Accessed Dec. 18, 2014.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 19, 2014.
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