The cervix is the canal at the base of the womb (uterus) that connects it to the vagina. It is also known as the neck of the womb. When a pregnancy reaches full term the cervix begins to shorten (efface) and open (dilate), allowing the baby to be born. This is part of the normal labour and birth process.
When the cervix shortens and opens in the second trimester (16 to 24 weeks) or early in the third trimester without any other symptoms of labour it is sometimes referred to as "cervical incompetence" as this term is sometimes used incorrectly instead of “preterm birth”. True cervical incompetence, in which there is a structural problem with the cervix, is uncommon and most women who have a preterm birth will not have any problems in their following pregnancies, even without treatment.
What we discuss here is the cases in which there is a structural weakness in the cervix that caused preterm birth.
- You may have undergone treatment for cervical cancer or precancerous cells such as trachelectomy (surgical removal of the cervix), LLETZ procedures or cone biopsy. In some cases, quite a lot of cervix may have been removed and it is a good idea to ask your gynaecologist whether more than 1 cm of tissue was removed.
- You may have experienced previous obstetric cervical trauma, such as cervical tearing during labour or prior dilation and curettage (D&C). This involves opening the cervix and surgically removal of part of the lining of the uterus and/or contents of the uterus, for example carried out after a first trimester miscarriage or abortion.
- You may have undergone a full or partially dilated emergency caesarean section in a previous pregnancy and had damage to the top of your cervix during the delivery of your baby.
- You may have been born with a connective tissue disorder such as hypermobility or ehlers danlos syndrome, which effects the collagen within the tissues of the cervix causing it to be weak.
- You may have been exposed to DES (Diethylstilbestrol) in the womb. DES was given to women up until 1971 as it was thought to prevent miscarriage but it has since been linked with issues of the reproductive system and preterm birth in those whose mother’s took it while pregnant.
- You may have a uterine abnormality. Uterine abnormalities have not been shown to affect the structure of the cervix but they are linked to preterm birth.
- You may have been born with a naturally weak or short cervix and this may be genetic .
If your cervix has been found to measure less than 25mm’s (2.5cm) during pregnancy it is a cause for concern and you should be treated as high risk for preterm birth. You may need treatment. You should also be monitored closely during future pregnancies.
Symptoms of cervical incompetence in pregnancy
There are no obvious symptoms you can look out for of the cervix opening too soon, whether this is due to cervical incompetence or other causes. Your cervix can shorten and dilate without any other signs.
If you have been told you are at risk of premature birth or you have any of the cervical problems listed above, it is important that you are monitored regularly in your pregnancy. This will include checks on the length of your cervix.
A pregnancy that has a risk of premature birth can be very scary. If at any time you are worried about any signs or symptoms you are experiencing; then you should contact your midwife immediately.
Look out for the symptoms below that could indicate premature labour.
- an increase in pelvic pressure within the vagina or rectum.
- an increase in discharge and/or a gush/repeat trickling of fluid, which could mean your waters have broken (preterm premature rupture of membranes).
- bleeding or losing your mucus plug.
- period type pains in your abdomen or lower back. These may have a rhythm or be constant.
Do I have cervical incompetence?
You are at higher risk of having cervical incompetence if you:
- have previously had one or more premature births or miscarriages during the second or early third trimester
- have any of the factors listed above.
A note on intrauterine infection and preterm birth
If you had an intrauterine infection (chorioamnionitis) in a previous premature birth, it is important to ensure your consultant considers the cervical problems listed above rather than assuming infection was the cause of the birth.
When a woman gives birth early the cervix shortens some time before birth. This allows bacteria (which are normally present in the vagina) to move up into the womb, which can develop into an infection.
Therefore it is very possible that it is the short cervix that allowed the infection to develop, rather than the infection causing the cervix to shorten and open.
Treatment for cervical incompetence
If your doctor thinks you are at risk of cervical incompetence or premature birth the length of your cervix will be monitored and if it is found to be short, treatment will be focused on prolonging your pregnancy.
You will have regular monitoring during your pregnancy with:
- transvaginal scans (an ultrasound wand that is inserted into the vagina to give the best view of the cervix length)
- vaginal swabs for markers of preterm birth (for example fetal fibronectin - a substance that is only present in the vagina when you are at increased risk of going into early labour)
This monitoring can be reassuring, or else can predict an increased chance of early delivery, before you are able to detect any symptoms yourself. It should start between 14-16 weeks of pregnancy.
Some consultants may also recommend antibiotic treatment to try and reduce the risk of infection, for example an antibiotic pessary that is inserted for one week of each month to try and prevent an infection happening. There is no evidence currently to support that this practice reduces the risk of early delivery.
If you are at very high risk of giving birth prematurely with cervical incompetence, the most common treatment is a stitch / cerclage, although the Arabin Pessary and vaginal progesterone are also recognised treatments for a short cervix.
Women without cervical incompetence but who have other risk factors for premature birth or whose cervix is shortening for other reasons may also benefit from the cervical stitch.
Research into cervical incompetence.
Our knowledge about cervical incompetence and the role it plays in premature birth is limited. For this reason, you may be asked to participate in research. It is your decision whether you wish to take part or not. Research into the causes and treatments for premature birth is very important to ensure that women receive the safest possible treatments with the best outcomes for both themselves and their babies and is a very important part of work done by Tommys.
Your feelings about cervical incompetence
Women have said to us that they suffer from feelings of guilt and self-hatred when they go through a late miscarriage or premature birth caused by cervical incompetent. This is very sad as the situation is not your fault, and usually there is nothing that you could have done to make a difference. It is important to seek professional help if you feel you are not coping and need support.
Some women do not like the term ‘incompetent cervix’, but it is used as a medical term. It does not describe you or your body.
Support groups for cervical incompetence
Support after loss and in subsequent pregnancies that are at risk of premature birth is very important. Being among those who understand all of your worries and concerns can be very comforting in your times of need. There are currently two support groups running on Facebook that are UK and Ireland based purely dedicated to cervical incompetence support. You can request to join if you need support.
Incompetent Cervix UK - a Facebook group for anyone and everyone in the UK and Ireland who would like advice, info or support on any aspect of cervical insufficiency.
UK TAC Support Group - a Facebook group specifically for women who have a transabdominal cerclage or are thinking of having one placed in the UK or in Ireland. It has been award nominated for the support it provides to its members.
Both groups send out joining messages to keep out trolls and selling pages, so please look out for a joining message from the admin team after you request to join.
- NICE (2007) Laparoscopic cerclage for the prevention of recurrent pregnancy loss due to recurrent miscarriage, National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence
- J David, Steer P et al (2010) High risk pregnancy, management options, Elsevier Saunders
- Warren JE1, Silver RM (2009) Genetics of the cervix in relation to preterm birth. Semin Perinatol. Oct;33(5):308-11. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2009.06.003
- Personal communication, Professor Andrew Shennan, Professor of Obstetrics at King's College London
Get our free app for parents of premature babies. It is the first of its kind in the UK. 'My Premature Baby' is available on all devices (phones, tablets).
The following symptoms before 37 weeks of pregnancy could indicate premature labour.
Giving birth to a premature baby is emotionally traumatic as well as physically. Sometimes it leads to depression.
You've probably been longing for this moment, but when it's time to take your premature baby home, it can be daunting.
ℹLast reviewed on June 12th, 2017. Next review date June 12th, 2020.
By Tessa (not verified) on 2 Jul 2019 - 02:08
I am 19 weeks 1 day today being sent home from the hospital after my water breaking a few days ago when they were checking my cervix I was 3 cm and they could feel my baby’s foot my membranes have retracted but they never said anything about baby’s foot. Can the baby retract its foot as well? Any hope my fluids will build back up and I can carry atleast 24 weeks to receive better care?
By Jessica (not verified) on 14 Jun 2019 - 22:40
I tragically lost my twin girls at 21 weeks, 5 days. At 21 weeks, 3 days, I went into labor and was rushed to the hospital. While there, the MFM noted that I was displaying symptoms of a uterine infection even though I'm not really a candidate for such an infection given my medical and personal history. He thought that was why I was in labor, and it was possible my cervix was connected. Labs came back later that there was an infection in my uterus but not in the sacs. Please note that I also have a unicornuate uterus (UU), so I was already a high-risk patient for a couple of reasons: the UU and twins.
The above article caught my attention because it connects uterine infection due to cervical incompetence as a potential cause of preterm labor. Since losing our daughters, I have consulted with MFMs in order to prepare for another pregnancy. My main worry has been cervical incompetence as the cause and what we can do about it next time. However, they are hesitant to consider immediately doing a cerclage at 14 weeks without first confirming shorter cervical lengths in case that was not the cause last time. We just aren't certain why preterm labor started. The main reason why we aren't jumping to cervical incompetence as a cause is that my cervix was in great shape 7 days earlier at 4.2 cm. It consistently measured in the 4-cm range from week 14 to week 20.
My question is, can a cervix go from 4.2 cm (i.e., not having a history of being on the shorter side over several weeks of measurements) to "incompetent" in a short period of time (i.e., a week or so)? The 4.2 cm measurement 7 days earlier is the primary reason we aren't doing a preventative cerclage immediately at 14 weeks in the next pregnancy. I'm just very curious if relying on that measurement will cause us to make a decision that leads to losing yet another child. I most desperately don't want to lose a third child in order to be positive it was my cervix becoming incompetent over a short period of time. Please let me know if there's any research on cervical lengths still being in good shape a short time before cervical incompetence leads to preterm labor.
By Jenn (not verified) on 17 Jul 2019 - 03:50
Yes, what you describe is incompetent cervix and can happen really fast. Mine went from normal to 4cm dilated in 2 days. I had a rescue cerclage done at 20 weeks and delivered at 24. Lost our daughter after 45 days in the NICU. I went on and had aTAC places in my last pregnancy and carried to term no problem. There’s a group dedicated to TAC and incompetent cervix called Abbyloopers, I strongly suggest looking at it, tons of info and stories from women that have had multiple losses due to IC. Good luck to you.
By Sehrish (not verified) on 22 May 2019 - 19:54
My cervix opened at 17 weeks without any pain and my water broke on this Saturday but baby is still breathing .is there any chance that baby Will survive.
By Mahreen (not verified) on 16 Jun 2019 - 23:30
Hi same thing has happend to me my cervix was fully opened when i got to the hospital with pain to find out that i have an i fection next morning my water broke. The medics have said there is nothing they can do to save my pregnancy but my babies heart beat is strong and on the scan it was moving. They have advised to take the pills and start the contractions and deliver but the baby wokt survive. Its heart breaking ti know my babies alive and i have to male this desion
By Callie Jones (not verified) on 16 May 2019 - 09:38
I had a private IC scan at 15+5 cervix was just under 4cm with no funnelling. I am now 19 weeks and have been having cramping on and off with vaginal and rectum pressure. Midwives have told me this is normal however I am worried it's a sign of IC despite a normal scan 4 weeks ago. Would you suggest a repeat IC scan?
By Barb (not verified) on 18 Jun 2019 - 01:21
Absolutely get another scan!!!! I lost three pregnancies to IC in which they all thought I was crazy! Finally found a doc that did a cerclage. I have a beautiful girl! Go to a DR. NOT a midwife. Get an Ob that is high risk Dr
By Ppcnm (not verified) on 5 Jul 2019 - 01:42
Midwives know how to identify cervical incompetence and know,how to,treat, as well, with meds...17P(Makena) and other meds such as progesterone suppositories. They consult with MDs when needed. If a cerclage is needed, an MD or DO would do that. Using a midwife does not mean you are sacrificing your pregnancy!
By Lily (not verified) on 4 May 2019 - 08:18
Hi, I had a punch biopsy four weeks before becoming pregnant . The results came back clear and I required no further treatment.
I’m having a cervix length scan at twenty weeks, I’m worried this is too late? Should I be getting one at 16 weeks ?
By Samantha Bourner (not verified) on 27 Jan 2019 - 22:15
So many stories on here remind me of my own experiences. I lost my first baby at almost 22 weeks. I'd lost my mucus plug a few days before going into labour. My GP wouldn't believe that was what had happened and said I must have thrush. That test was of course negative and I lost my son in a hospital room by myself. The young midwife had run off when I told her I was about to have my baby. A more experienced midwife came in just as I had my final push. My husband had been sent home to have dinner because they said it would be a long night. After I lost my son I saw a consultant who was rude and arrogant. I asked him if this could be anything to do with the cone biopsy I'd had several years earlier. He sneered at me and said thousands of women have these procedures and don't lose babies. It was put down to 'bad luck'. I went on to lose baby after baby. Eventually after almost going mad with grief I was sent to the recurrent miscarriage clinic in London. I was listened to about my recurring uti's which I was always told were testing as all clear. The case history showed I'd had placental abruption with my son. The blood clotting disorder I tested negative for at my local hospital came back as positive and I was told that any reports from me of uti's would be treated for symptoms rather than urine tests. I had a laporoscopy and a weak cervix was diagnosed. I had a break of a year and a half from my last miscarriage and had clexane injections and aspirin from the moment I got a positive result. I had to hold out until 15 weeks for a shirodkar stitch (a previous macdonald stitch with my last pregnancy did not hold). I was pregnant with twins but one twin died at around 10 weeks. I got to 15 weeks and had the stitch. It was a complete success. I was booked in for a csection at 38 weeks but had another placental abruption at 36 weeks. Despite two junior doctors ignoring my screams as I said you can't take a shirodkar stitch out by hand I thankfully got to the operating room in one piece and had my miracle baby. He's four now. I stitch pinch myself that it happened. For everyone who feels like their life is over I remember how that felt. It was a harrowing and isolating time.
By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jan 2019 - 14:14
Hi Samantha, thank you for sharing your story. If you need any support or advice, please do get in touch with us on the helpline or via our midwife email. All the best, Tommy's Midwife
By Pranjalika Das (not verified) on 29 Apr 2019 - 15:27
Same happened with me. At 28week. If my son had alive he would be suffering from cp
By Carrie (not verified) on 31 Oct 2018 - 03:41
I have a unicorniate uterus and have had previous cone biopsy treatment. Had my first consultant appointment today at 16w... she measured my cervical length as 12.5mm... I paid for a private scan at 14w and it was 41mm - consultant unsure weather this was measured incorrectly or it has shortened. She is unsure if there is going to be enough cervix to complete a stitch. She has signed me off work for 4 weeks, I had a progesterone injection today and she has booked appointment to try stitch next Tuesday. Is there any hope at all? I’m so worried I am having to wait a full week to get the stitch as it could really be too late by then. Thank you
By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Nov 2018 - 14:11
Hi Carrie, it is really hard for us to say as we do not have access to your full medical records and history. If the obstetric team can get a stitch in, then they will do so. Cervical stitches works wonders for some, and not at all for others. Please do speak to your Obstetric doctor for full information relating to you and your history directly as they will be best informed to be able to do this. Good luck - I hope it all goes well for you. Tommy's Midwife
By Anonymous (not verified) on 12 Oct 2018 - 07:42
Hi, I lost a baby at 22 weeks in 2017. - My cervix had opened and I went into spontaneous labour. Previously I had two emergency csections at full dilation and they assume this is why. I'm now pregnant again, 13 weeks. I've been told that they'll scan for length at 16 weeks but if all is ok at that point there will be no more scans. I had thought I'd have closer monitoring than that and concerned that something may develop after 16 weeks and be missed. Is there any guidance on how many scans should be provided / how frequent? Thanks
By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Oct 2018 - 12:48
This is a link to the guidance from NICE about cervical incompetence. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng25/chapter/Recommendations#prophylactic-vaginal-progesterone-and-prophylactic-cervical-cerclage
It discusses the potential tests and treatments. Hope it is helpful for you.
By D (not verified) on 4 Sep 2018 - 14:04
My partner is 19 weeks pregnant today.
She has had her cervix measured 3 times over the last 6 weeks, starting at 26mm, then 28mm, and just yesterday at 22-24mm.
She had a Lettz procedure several years ago to treat cervical disease.
She has had one quite bad bleed at around 11 weeks in her pregnancy.
She has experienced some cramping and stomach pains throughout.
The consultant advised she could consider a cervical cerclage. She also advised given the history of surgery and bleeding/cramps that the procedure itself could cause preterm. She told us we need to decide ourselves. And would not come down either side on the do it/don't do it. Leaving us in limbo.
We are at a loss. Trying to evaluate the risk of not doing it and preterm, versus the risk of doing it causing a preterm
Can anyone help shed some light? How much risk is associated with the stitch procedure? Is the consultant in essence just covering herself regarding the risk.
By Midwife @Tommys on 11 Sep 2018 - 10:08
Thank you for your comment.
I am sorry to hear about your partner's pregnancy complications. Without access to her medical records I am not able to provide more information other than to say that her risk of pregnancy loss may be increased due to the cervix shortening already.
I have attached a link with more information about cervical cerclage that may help
Contact Tommy's PregnancyLine 0800 0147 800
By Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Nov 2018 - 23:28
I have no medical knowledge except my own experience but my husband and I just lost our twin boys at 21.5 weeks because of preterm birth. We were at the best hospital in Chicago in th which risk group, and they said I had a short cervix but they couldn’t do anything about it. I am so angry. Cerclages are used regularly in single pregnancies but not in twin ones. No one has given me a good answer as to why except it’s still wing studies. If I were you, I would definitely do the cerclage and then go to the hospital as soon as you fell any symptom at all. Doing nothing seems crazy to me now looking back, and my boys are gone because of it. I hope your baby turns out healthy and happy.
By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Nov 2018 - 11:26
Hi Thank you for sharing your story.
We are so very sorry to hear about the loss of your twin boys, we cannot even begin to imagine how you and your family must be feeling at this time. If we can offer you any support then please email the Tommy's Midwives on [email protected] Take Care of your self, Tommy's Midwives x
By Ayoola mutiat busayo (not verified) on 26 Feb 2018 - 15:28
Hi,i lost my second pregnant and i went for D&C then doctor flush it out,later i got my third pregnant but during my delivery my cervix tore is now going to 3 years now i want to know if i can get pregnant without any problem or cs
By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Feb 2018 - 09:55
The best person to ask would be your obstetric doctor. He or she can go through all of your history and medical notes with you and try to highlight if there was any indication as to why this occurred and if it is possible that it could happen again. The answer to your question needs to be based on you as an individual. Without knowing any of your history in such depth, it would be impossible to know. Please do make a pre-conception appointment with your obstetric doctor at your soonest convenience so you are better informed in moving forward and in expanding your family further. Please take good care of yourself!
All the best, Sophie, Tommy's Midwife
By anonymous (not verified) on 10 Feb 2018 - 19:14
can one put shirodkar cerclag and McDonald cerclag at the same time during pregnancy
By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Feb 2018 - 09:34
No, not usually. It is often one or the other, depending on the condition, length etc of your cervix. I have personally not heard of any women having both sutures put in at once. This might be worth asking your Obstetric Consultant at your next appointment as this will be more their specialty than ours.
All the best
Sophie, Tommy's Midwife
By Marie (not verified) on 2 Feb 2018 - 14:24
Hi, I lost my baby boy way back 2014. It was my first pregnancy and was shocked when I was told by the doctor that the reason why I lost my baby is because I have an incompetent cervix. I havent had any history of any operations or have been taking drugs of any sort. And it has been bothering me all this years that I have lost my baby to the point of blaming myself for what happened. I even tried committing suicide because I almost can't forgive myself.
By Midwife @Tommys on 2 Feb 2018 - 14:36
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby and that you have been feeling so much guilt for this to point where you have tried to take your own life. Many women who have an incompetent cervix have also not had operations or taken drugs and have not done anything at all to cause the loss of their baby. I am really concerned that you get the help and support to recover from this. Have you seen your GP for a referral for counselling and to discuss the options of having some medication to help you with your emotions? Has anyone gone through your notes with you and tried to piece together what happened? If not then you can contact the hospital and ask for this. Please do get the help and know we are here Monday to Friday 9-5pm either via phone 0800 0147 800 or email [email protected] There are also great organisations such as Samaritans who can also help if you are feeling suicidal.
Please do not blame yourself for the loss of your boy, look after yourself and please do contact someone for help. With love and thoughts at this time, Tommy's midwives x
By Irene (not verified) on 30 Jul 2018 - 23:13
Hi I also lost my babies one at 22 weeks back in 1977 and a year later one at 23 weeks . I had a incompetent cervix and had a shirodkar sutre inserted for my next pregnancy at went to 40 weeks I went on to have seven children all with shirodkar sutre I am proof they work don't give up try again I'm now a Nannie to 21 grandchildren and last week became a great Nannie and have two more grandchildren on the way xxxxso there you have it chin up and try again xxxbest wishes for the future
By Anonymous (not verified) on 5 Jan 2018 - 09:43
Im 15 weeks pregnant. Ive had a previous premmie due to IC. My issues come from lletz and biopsy treatments. Met my consultant the another day and we all expected a stitch. However upon examination they say my cervix is too flat due to the treatments so it cant be dont. Im now on progesterone and being told to take it easy im on 2 weekly monitoring as my cervix is already 27mm. Ive read storiea where people have had stitches even with what i have. Im so worried and just need to know is there really nothing else that can be done?
By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Jan 2018 - 16:32
I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing such an anxious time in your pregnancy at the moment. I would need to know further information about your pregnancy history to advise you further so you can email us with more information to [email protected] Alternatively you can contact our research centre in London at St Thomas' who support women at risk of premature birth. If London is practical for you then please do email us and we can provide you with the contact details to speak with them or look at the info on our website here: https://www.tommys.org/our-organisation/help-and-support/clinical-trials
Good luck and take care x
By Nicola (not verified) on 21 Dec 2017 - 20:16
Hi. I'm 39, 17wks 5 days into my first pregnancy after years of infertility, and I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. I saw the Obstetrician for the first time today and was told they wouldn't be checking my cervix as they don't see the need. My next appointment with them is 32wks. Can/should I insist on an internal scan to check my cervix? Or would I have to go private? Thanks. Nicola
By Midwife @Tommys on 2 Jan 2018 - 14:21
thanks for your post. Can you explain to me what your concerns were with your cervix? Transvaginal scans can be done from 14-24 weeks of pregnancy but this would only be done if there was an indication to do so.
For example previous pre term birth, cervical biopsy/surgery or late miscarriage.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Nov 2017 - 16:16
My sonography show cervical length 4.0cm .width at internal is 2.8 cm with funelling seen and cervical incompetents what does it mean n how it can be cure
By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Nov 2017 - 16:35
Without any history and clinical details this is a difficult question. Length 4cm is normal but evidence of funnelling is related to risk of cervical incompetence. I would advise that you talk to your consultant and ask if any treatment is recommended. It will depend on how many weeks you are and what your history is. Best wishes and take care
By Anonymous (not verified) on 6 Jun 2017 - 08:14
Hi, I lost my baby boy at nearly 21 weeks on the 27th May. I'm so confused as I have no answers.
I went into the hospital on the Friday 26th with a very small amount of water or dampness, pink discharge and abdominal pain. They found a slight infection in my urine and did an internal though said the neck of the womb (cervix) was completely shut. They then discharged me with possible constipation.
I went back the next day as the pain increased. The same tests were then done and they found a possible infection in my blood and then this time they did the internal and found that I was going into labour. On delivery the midwife said the placenta had a terrible odour which would point to a placenta infection. Though my obs were ok after and I was given a course of antibiotics. I called up since to see if there were any results and the only thing back was the vaginal swab from the Friday which showed possible vaginal bacterosis..
I've received a letter which says we can go for a consultation on the 25th August.. 3 months away! I'm finding it physically impossible to wait this long and I'm blaming myself compleletely.. basrd on the above description would this indicate anything? I'm desperate to know the reason. Cervical incompetence? Placenta infection?
By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Jun 2017 - 09:25
Hi, i am so so sorry to hear about the passing of your baby boy in May. That must have been awful for you!
Please do feel free to call us on 08000147800 if you feel that a friendly ear would be helpful.
Sadly, as we do not know your full obstetric and medical history as we have not cared for you, your question is difficult to answer. Your own consultant is far better placed, with test results, scans etc to give you the full clinical picture.
It would be a good idea to call the clinic where you will be seen for your consultant appointment and ask to be put on the cancellation waiting list, or for your appointment to be brought forward. I agree, that 3 months is such a long time for you to have wait when you are feeling at a loss until you have some answers. But please do feel free to call us or email us on [email protected]
By Anonymous (not verified) on 5 Jun 2017 - 16:12
I recently lost my baby at 22 weeks. After suffering from PCOS for years and trying for four years to conceive, baby Chloe was our little miracle child. A week ago while at work, my water broke and I rushed to the emergency room. They had told me that I had lost all amniotic fluid and they feared that I or the baby would get an infection. The following day we went to a perinatal doctor who told us that the chances of the baby surviving are gone. My umbilical cord fell from inside the womb and it was pretty much out. I delivered my little girl on May 31st. I have never dealt with anything so traumatizing in my life and I don't know if I should try getting pregnant again. I was told I should wait a year to try again. How successful is the stitch?
By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Jun 2017 - 16:40
I am so sorry to hear about this. You must still be in shock after such a traumatising experience. Please feel able to call us on 0800 0147 800 if we can be of any help over the next few weeks.
Regarding when to try again, there is no good evidence that you shouldn't try again soon. Some people suggest that you should wait until after a period but this is in fact in order to date a pregnancy accurately. We advise that you try when you feel that you are ready both physically and emotionally and there is no right or wrong time for this.
Cervical cerclage is where a stitch is placed around the neck of the womb. It is usually done between 12 and 24 weeks. I would advise discussing this with your consultant before you become pregnant. It helps to keep the cervix long and closed and therefore to reduce the risk of premature labour. Hope this helps. With our best wishes Tommy's midwives x
By Peaches (not verified) on 2 Aug 2017 - 05:20
I feel your pain! I recently lost my baby girl on June 15th after a year on fertility drugs and trying. We took s break with plans for IVF in 6 months...when too our surprise we where pregnant. My little miracle for sure.I had no real warning other than constipation earlier that day. My water broke in the middle of the night...no pain..no bleeding... I really thought I had pee on myself and when back to bed. I was 17wk3day. No pain..no bleeding.. Until. I passed a clot later that day and conistipation. By the time I got to the doctor he could see her little feet.
To say I feel betrayed by my body and the world is an understatement.
I feel cheated. I felt unprepared for the changes my body that gave birth too soon fighting to return to normal had to deal with.
I feel hurt cause my situation was treated like a medical condition rather than a life in altering situation. I'm now awaiting my first cycle and I'm anxious cause I want and need my body to operate correctly. Our hopes are to try again before the years over...but after the PCOS battle ..I wonder would it just happen? Will my body reset? So many questions...no real answers. After all the testing...blood work....procedures Dr appointments. How did I get here? Believing that God knows best and is gonna restore what he took s is my only peace.
By Midwife @Tommys on 2 Aug 2017 - 09:41
I am so sorry to hear what you have been through. It would make sense for you to have a debrief appointment with a consultant obstetrician/gynecologist at the hospital where you had this experience so that they can review your medical history, and your notes and discuss the future plan of care to try to ensure that this does not happen again. Having a debrief session, as well as a pre-conception appointment would ensure that they are prepared to care for you if and when you decide to go ahead for another pregnancy. If you feel that contacting us in a more private forum (email or telephone call) would be of use to you, then please do get in touch! Thinking of you at this difficult time.
By anonymous (not verified) on 29 May 2017 - 20:54
i had 3miscarrges first 1 on 26weeks ,sec 1 on 24weeks,last on 8weeks with no pain i dont know whats my problem pls help
By Midwife @Tommys on 31 May 2017 - 11:19
I am so sorry to hear this. If you live in the U.K, you can be referred by your GP to one of our Tommy's Miscarriage Centre's. We have three across the country. They will see any woman who has had three or more miscarriages. The clinics offer a number of additional tests as well as the chance to be a part of research trials if this was something that you would be interested in.
Please feel free to email us privatly on [email protected] or by phone on 0800 0147800 if you would like to know more.
I do hope that you have been well supported by your GP and by the obstetric teams. You can make an appointment to discuss your obstetric history with a consultant at your local hospital to make a plan of care on how to proceed also.
Take good care of yourself.
By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Mar 2017 - 11:37
Hi, thank you for your post I am really sorry you have had bleeding in your pregnancy and don't feel supported by your unit. If you would like to talk we have a midwife weekdays 9-5 pm on 0800 0147 800 and I hope you can stay in contact with us through your pregnancy.
By tm (not verified) on 28 Mar 2017 - 12:28
Hi,i lost four children due to cirvical incompetent. The first one was 23 weeks.second one was 18 weeks,third one 23 weeks again then the last one was 19 weeks.cirvical suturing were done when i was 12 weeks on the last pregnancy but the water came while I'm 19 weeks.i only have one child which is born between those four miscourage .suturing were done and it worked for me until 36 weeks. So I'm willing to try again although I'm getting old 39 years.please help.
By Midwife @Tommys on 28 Mar 2017 - 13:16
I am so terribly sorry to hear of the loss of your four children and cannot even begin to imagine what you have been through during these times. To be able to help you here is difficult as your history is complex. If you live near London you can ask for your GP to refer you to our Preterm clinic at St Thomas' or we can provide you with the details to contact them directly. Please feel free to email us [email protected] and we will try support you best we can.
By Emma (not verified) on 25 Mar 2017 - 13:56
Hi I've had pressure from about 13 weeks, I've had some bleeds some of them large some of them light. Constant discharge with mucus and blood. the worse the pain gets the worse the discharge is. I've told them about this but some of them say it could be SPD. No one has mentioned this yet we've had two miscarriages one was a haemorrhage and I needed emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and the second was an incomplete miscarriage and needed a d and c. We've had two live births 11 and 12 years ago. With the first being 4 weeks early.
I don't think they'll investigate this pregnancy because we haven't had 3 miscarriages. I'm now 21 weeks. If they don't investigate how long can I hold on to the pregnancy if this is the case. Or is the fact I've passed clots and it's closed again mean that this isn't a possibility. Sorry I'm desperate to know what's going on and what I can do.
By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Mar 2017 - 09:32
Hi Emma. If you are concerned about your pregnancy, with your history, then you must insist that you have an appointment with an Obstetric Consultant. Your clinic midwife can refer you for a consultant appointment. Alternatively, you can go to your local labour ward, triage or day assessment unit to be reviewed to see if you can get any more answers to your questions. Your midwife and Obstetric team will have full access to your history and medical notes and will therefore have your full clinical picture to make an accurate plan of care for you. It might be sensible for you to have additional scans too, which your midwife or doctor can arrange for you. Please take good care of yourself and feel free to contact us again if you need more advice.
By Emma (not verified) on 28 Mar 2017 - 18:48
To be honest we have tried several times to find out what's going on and they've just sort of fobbed us off. I know there's something not right but they don't seem bothered. When you phone to say I've had a bleed they just say if you produce more than a towel an hour then come in. And when you do they leave you for about 4 days for a quick scan. No investigations nothing. It feels as if they only want to know if they can write you off their books for that pregnancy.
By Midwife @Tommys on 25 Jan 2017 - 13:42
Hello thank you for posting. I am so sorry to hear that you have lost four babies due to this.
What care have you had so far in your pregnancies? As you are high risk it would make sense to have a plan in place in your next pregnancy to ensure that you have additional scans, extra antenatal care and possibly your specialist doctors would insert a stitch into your cervix with the hope that this would allow you to carry your baby later into pregnancy.
You need to be referred to a specialist obstetrician through your GP and it would be very important to have your medical notes so that you can have a plan in place to support you in the future.
If you would like further advice please email us at [email protected] or call us on 0800 0147 800. There is hope and amazing specialist teams to support you in the UK.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 24 Jan 2017 - 18:40
Hi, i had four miscarriages as as a result of cervicl insufficiency. Please what can i do to avoid miscarriage?
By Worried (not verified) on 27 Dec 2016 - 20:50
Hi, during the summer I had my first pregnancy and at my 20 week scan showed that my cervix was opening and proms. I had a stitch done but my waters broke the next day. Stitches were removed but then didn't go into labour for another three weeks. Gave birth at 23 weeks and baby survived for 2 weeks. I'm nervous to think about another pregnancy. Is it likely this will happen again? What would be the plan if I had another pregnancy?