How is an incompetent cervix diagnosed?

An incompetent cervix is typically diagnosed by transvaginal ultrasound. Certain factors such as prior loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) or history of premature birth may lead to increased suspicion of incompetent cervix.

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Sadly, it's usually diagnosed after a woman loses two pregnancies in the second or third trimester. If, like me, you know you're at risk for incompetent cervix, you need to see a perinatologist during your pregnancy. A perinatologist is a specialist in high risk pregnancies, and what they will do is follow you monthly with ultrasounds after your first trimester to watch the cervical length. If it looks like it's "coning," or getting shorter, they can place a cerclage to strengthen the cervix and keep the pregnancy.

If you have already lost pregnancies due to an incompetent cervix, you can have a permanent cerclage placed before you get pregnant again.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.