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Q&A: What Exactly Is an Incompetent Cervix?

What exactly is an incompetent cervix?
ByAshley S. Roman, MD
OB-GYN
Updated
March 2, 2017
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Incompetent cervix is the weakening of the cervix so that it effaces and dilates when you’re not having any contractions. Incompetent cervix is usually only diagnosed if a woman has previously lost a pregnancy because of it. If you’re in this situation, your doctor may order a cerclage, a surgery intended to sew the cervix so dilation isn’t possible. According to the American Pregnancy Association, incompetent or weakened cervix only happens in about 1 to 2 percent of pregnancies.

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