What are cervical insufficiency and short cervix?
Cervical insufficiency (sometimes called incompetent cervix) refers to a cervix that opens too early during pregnancy, usually without pain and contractions. This usually occurs in the second or early third trimester of pregnancy, resulting in late miscarriage or premature birth. A woman may be diagnosed with cervical insufficiency based largely on this history. There is no specific diagnostic test. Medical experts do not always know why cervical insufficiency occurs. Factors that may contribute include (7): • Uterine defects: Women with certain uterine defects, such as bicornate uterus, are more likely to have cervical insufficiency than women without these defects (1, 2). • History of surgical procedures involving the cervix: These include LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure), which is used to diagnose and treat abnormal cells found during a Pap test. • Injuries during a previous birth. • Short cervix: The shorter the cervix, the more likely the woman is to have cervical in