Cervix in pregnancy: problems and solutions

July 8, 2024

The cervix in pregnancy plays a crucial role in fetal growth, protection, and ultimately childbirth.

Let’s look together at the various problems the cervix can face during the journey of gestation and possible solutions.

The crucial role of the cervix in pregnancy

The uterine cervix is part of the female reproductive system and has the task of keeping the fetus safe in the uterus until the moment of birth.

However, several conditions can affect its functionality, putting the course of pregnancy at risk.

Some are congenital anomalies, others are mechanical issues. Let’s look at them one by one.

Hidden pitfalls: Müllerian malformations and cervical incompetence

Among the problems that can affect the cervix, Müllerian malformations deserve particular attention.

These congenital anomalies, which develop during embryonic life, can influence the structure of the uterus and cervix.

Although often asymptomatic, they can cause difficulties in conception or increase the risk of miscarriages.

Cervical incompetence, also known as cervical insufficiency, is another condition not to be underestimated.

In this case, the cervix fails to support the increasing weight of pregnancy, increasing the risk of premature birth or miscarriage.

Early diagnosis of this condition can be complex, as it often presents no obvious symptoms until a complication occurs.

cervix in pregnancy

Modern solutions for ancient problems

Fortunately, modern medicine offers several options to address these challenges.

For cervical insufficiency, for example, transvaginal cervical cerclage has proven to be an effective intervention.

This procedure involves applying a small synthetic tape around the cervix to strengthen it, thus reducing the risk of complications.

It’s important to emphasize that not all conditions necessarily require surgical intervention.

In some cases, rest and abstention from intense physical activities may be sufficient to manage the situation.

Uterine fibroids: unwanted guests

Uterine fibroids, while not directly related to the cervix, can affect pregnancy and deserve mention.

These benign uterine growths are very common, especially in women over 45.

Although in most cases they do not require treatment, in some situations they can interfere with conception or increase the risk of complications during pregnancy.

Symptoms of fibroids may include:

  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Sensation of pelvic heaviness
  • Difficulty in conceiving

The importance of prevention and regular check-ups

The key to successfully addressing these challenges lies in prevention and regular check-ups.

Periodic gynecological visits can help identify potential problems early, allowing for timely and targeted interventions.

It is essential that women of childbearing age, especially if planning a pregnancy, undergo regular screenings.

These check-ups may include pelvic ultrasounds, blood tests, and, in some cases, more in-depth diagnostic procedures.

A holistic approach to reproductive health

The health of the cervix during pregnancy is a crucial aspect of female reproductive health. A holistic approach, combining

  • regular check-ups
  • healthy lifestyle
  • when necessary, targeted medical interventions

can make a difference in ensuring the success of a pregnancy.

Remember that every woman is unique, and what works for one might not be suitable for another.

Consultation with an expert gynecologist remains the fundamental starting point for navigating the sometimes turbulent waters of pregnancy and reproductive health.

We are with you

We at Parentalife are by your side throughout the journey of parenthood, from the fertile period, to pre-birth, to life with children.

We support you with our guides, our courses, and with personalized consultations.

We are with you.

SOURCES

Prendiville W, Sankaranarayanan R. Colposcopy and Treatment of Cervical Precancer. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2017. (IARC Technical Report, No. 45.) Chapter 2., Anatomy of the uterine cervix and the transformation zone. Available here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK568392/

About the Author

Severino Cirillo

Health, Wellness and Education Expert. With a degree in Community Health, he is the CEO of Informed Parent and is responsible for validating the blog's scientific information and coordinating the editorial team of experts, consisting of gynecologists, midwives, psychotherapists, and others in pregnancy, perinatal, and parenting wellness and health.