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Cervical Length Screening FAQs

Cervical Length Screening: FAQs and Common Concerns

Cervical length screening is a critical diagnostic tool used in prenatal care, specifically for pregnant women at a high risk of preterm delivery. This screening tool involves measuring the length of the cervix to assess the likelihood of premature birth. Here, we address some common questions and concerns about cervical length screening to provide a better understanding of the procedure and its importance.

What is Cervical Length Screening?

Cervical length screening is used to assess the length of the cervix during pregnancy. A shorter cervix may indicate an increased risk of preterm birth, making this screening crucial for identifying high-risk pregnancies.

Why is Cervical Length Screening Important?

Cervical length screening is vital because it helps identify women at a higher risk of preterm delivery. Early detection allows your doctor to implement preventive measures or interventions to reduce the risk of premature birth.

Who Should Undergo Cervical Length Screening?

Cervical length screening is typically recommended for pregnant women who have specific risk factors for preterm birth, such as a history of preterm labour, cervical surgery, or multiple pregnancies (twins or more). Ultrasound Care provides cervical length screening for all women who come for a 19-20 week scan, unless they advise they do not want it. We do this as the evidence shows that about 45% of preterm births can be prevented with treatment if a short cervix is detected in time.

How is Cervical Length Screening Performed?

The procedure involves a transvaginal ultrasound. Our specially trained sonographer or obstetrician will insert a small ultrasound probe into the vagina to obtain an image of the cervix. The measurement is taken from this ultrasound image.

When is Cervical Length Screening Usually Done?

Cervical length screening is typically performed between 19 and 20 weeks of gestation unless your obstetric history warrants earlier screening. This timeframe allows for early detection and intervention if needed.

What Does a Short Cervix Measurement Indicate?

A short cervix measurement may indicate an increased risk of preterm birth. Your doctor or midwife will discuss the implications of the measurement and potential interventions or treatments.

What Interventions Are Available for a Short Cervix?

If a short cervix is detected, your doctor or midwife may recommend interventions such as progesterone therapy, cervical cerclage (a surgical procedure to stitch the cervix closed), or close monitoring throughout the pregnancy.

Is Cervical Length Screening Safe for Mother and Baby?

Yes, cervical length screening is considered safe for both mother and the baby. It is a routine procedure performed by trained professionals and is not associated with any known risks.

Can a Short Cervix Be Lengthened?

While a short cervix cannot be lengthened, interventions such as cervical cerclage and progesterone therapy can help reduce the risk of preterm birth.

What Happens After a Cervical Length Screening?

After the screening, your doctor will discuss the results with you and recommend any necessary follow-up care or interventions. It is essential to follow your doctor’s guidance closely.

Can Cervical Length Screening Guarantee a Full-Term Pregnancy?

No, cervical length screening cannot guarantee a full-term pregnancy. However, it can help identify high-risk pregnancies early, allowing for interventions and close monitoring to increase the chances of a full-term delivery.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Cervical Length Screening?

Cervical length screening is a safe procedure which women usually don’t find uncomfortable.

In conclusion, cervical length screening is a valuable tool in prenatal care, helping identify pregnant women at a higher risk of preterm birth. It is a safe and non-invasive procedure performed by our trained healthcare professionals. If you have concerns about your pregnancy or are at high risk of preterm birth, consult with your Doctor to determine whether cervical length screening is appropriate for you. Early detection and appropriate interventions can significantly impact the outcome of your pregnancy and the health of your baby.