Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Contact us to schedule a virtual visit.

How Does Abdominal Cerclage Help Prevent Preterm Labor?

Preterm labor can put you and your baby at risk, especially if it starts occurring as early as the second trimester. An estimated 15-20% of cases of preterm labor and second-trimester pregnancy loss are associated with incompetent cervix. This is a condition in which the cervix starts to open prematurely, kickstarting the labor process. If you have experienced a related preterm birth or a loss in a previous pregnancy, abdominal cerclage may help prevent a repeat.

At the OB/GYN practice of Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG, in Las Vegas, every effort is made to support you throughout your pregnancy and birthing process. If you have suffered a loss due to incompetent cervix, Dr. Swainston can perform a procedure known as abdominal cerclage to help keep your cervix closed and prevent preterm labor.

Signs of an incompetent cervix

If you have an incompetent cervix, it’s not because of anything you did or didn’t do. This condition affects many women, and the cause is not fully known. Some women develop an incompetent cervix after a medical procedure, while others seem to have a genetic predisposition

Incompetent cervix in women is most often diagnosed after a pregnancy loss or a premature birth. If you have experienced either of these, Dr. Swainston can discuss your risks and options with you, and he may recommend an abdominal cerclage.

How an abdominal cerclage works

Dr. Swainston performs this procedure using a laparoscopic approach, meaning the surgery is performed using tiny incisions and very small tools. The surgery is also guided by robotic assistance, making every movement very precise.

Dr. Swainston makes the incisions in the lower abdomen and stitches the cervix closed so it cannot open. This can prevent pre-term labor or pregnancy loss in many women who have suffered such issues from incompetent cervix in the past. 

You can have a cerclage procedure even before you become pregnant if you are considered high risk. You can also have the procedure done as soon as you find out you're pregnant. The procedure is a fairly quick one, and you normally won’t have to go on bed rest afterward, unless you are extremely high risk with a history of multiple losses.

An important thing to know about cerclage is that you will need to have a Caesarean section to safely deliver your baby once you have reached full term. The stitches are typically left in after delivery and shouldn’t cause any future problems. 

If you’re at a high risk for preterm labor or pregnancy loss due to an incompetent cervix, it may be time to consider abdominal cerclage. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Do Ovarian Cysts Resolve on Their Own?

Ovarian cysts are a common gynecological condition. If you suspect you have one, you might wonder if you need medical attention or whether they’ll go away on their own. Keep reading to find out what you need to know.

Who Shouldn't Get a Hysterectomy?

A hysterectomy can address many conditions that affect your uterus and supporting structures. However, this minimally invasive surgery isn’t for everyone. Here’s a look at who should and shouldn’t consider a hysterectomy.

5 Common Causes of Pelvic Pain

As a woman, you understand pelvic pain related to period cramps. But if you’re experiencing chronic or severe pelvic pain, it could be a sign of an underlying condition. Take a moment to learn five causes of pelvic pain and how we can help.

What Happens if Endometriosis is Left Untreated?

If you have endometriosis, you’re not alone. Millions of women struggle with this painful, often disruptive condition, and many choose not to seek treatment. Keep reading to learn why seeking treatment is important and how we help.

Understanding Your Birth Control Options

You have many options when it comes to choosing birth control. But with so many choices, knowing what’s best for you and your body isn’t always easy. Here’s what you need to know.