Thinning Cervix: Can I Carry This Baby Full Term?

My daughter, now 23 weeks pregnant, has been told she has a thinning cervix. What is the treatment for this, and what are her chances of carrying this baby full term?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

This is a real concern if it is accurate. A thinning (effacing) cervix indicates that the lower uterine segment is preparing for birth. It stretches out and facilitates dilatation. Cervical effacement, however, is a very subjective assessment. In her case, to determine if she is really at risk for preterm labor, use of the newest techniques of ultrasound measurement of the cervix would be appropriate.

Sometimes, this would be an indication for a cerclage -- a purse-string suturing of the cervix to hold it closed until the last month, when it is removed. There are several contraindications for this, and it does not always work.

I think she should see a specialist in preterm labor as soon as possible. It may be that the provider misjudged, or she has a naturally short cervix.

I hope that all works out for your daughter and for your family.

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