The effectiveness of cervical cerclage is a topic of debate. Studies show that cerclage can help prolong pregnancy and prevent premature birth for women who have a history of miscarriages or premature births and a short cervix. However, it's not clear if the procedure will promote a baby's health. Keep in mind that the timing of cervical cerclage can also affect the outcome. The later cervical cerclage is done during pregnancy, the greater the risk that the procedure will stimulate preterm labor or rupture the membranes.

In most cases, a successful pregnancy after cerclage indicates the need for cerclage during future pregnancies. Consult your health care provider about your options.

Feb. 18, 2012