What Is A Shortened Cervix?

questions to ask your doctor

A Mom-to-be recently asked:

What do you know about an early shortened cervix? What were your experiences?

The cervix is the opening to the uterus (womb) that sits at the top of the vagina (birth canal). It opens, shortens and gets thinner and softer so your baby can pass through the birth canal during labor and birth. In some women, the cervix opens too early during pregnancy or is shorter than normal.  A short cervix can cause problems during pregnancy, including premature birth and miscarriage. Treatment can help you have a healthy pregnancy and stay pregnant longer. (Source: March of Dimes)

Here’s what our Twiniversity fans had to say!

– It happened to my friend with a singleton pregnancy and she had shots every week since the beginning of the second trimester until her scheduled c-section at 37 wks. The doctors were already on high alert because her first son was born at 25 weeks, considered a nonviable age but he went home after a 5-month stay at the NICU. Both of her boys are healthy and thriving.

– Make sure your doctor is right for you and have faith.

pregnanct woman on hospital bed rest

– I have a history of preterm labor. I had my son at 35 weeks so I immediately went to a perinatologist when I found out I was pregnant with twins. My cervix started to shorten at 26 weeks, went into labor at 31 weeks, and was in the hospital for a week until they stopped it. I walked around dilated to 7cm and 90% effaced until 37 weeks when they broke my water because I was full-term then. They didn’t think it was safe for me to continue walking around like that because if my water broke on its own I definitely wouldn’t have time to get to the hospital. They were 100% right. I delivered both of my twins within 45 minutes of my water breaking. I am beyond grateful I was being followed by a perinatologist and they caught me going into preterm labor before I even really felt anything. The last 11 weeks of my pregnancy was the most stressful time of my life but you can make it to full term with a shortened cervix and have healthy perfect little babies!

– I had preterm labor at 21 weeks with a shortened cervix. I was put on bed rest and had regular visits to the perinatologist. It kept shortening, but kept my twins in until 36 weeks. Had healthy baby boys with no NICU time!

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It is pretty common

– I had a shortened cervix early on but my OB/GYN said it was fine no big deal. At 24 weeks went into preterm labor for 3 days and I was admitted into hospital. At 24 weeks and 5 days my twins were born. I wish my OB/GYN would have told me to take it easy or go on bed rest. But they’re wonderful now after 116 days in NICU.

– Mine began shortening early and I had regular visits to the perinatologist. I was given the steroid shots to help lung development at about 28 weeks. My cervix was virtually gone by 30 weeks so I was put on bed rest. For other reasons, I delivered about a week and a half later. Six weeks in NICU. Everyone’s perfectly healthy a year and a half later!

– Mine was short early on but stayed closed. I had the twins at 37 weeks because my blood pressure started going up and no NICU. Good luck

– Mine started thinning at 18 weeks, then funneling, then eventually dilating at 22 weeks. I saw a perinatologist at 20 weeks who was pretty cold (basically said there’s no hope). We went for a second opinion once I started dilating and he did an emergency cerclage that day. Made it another 15 WEEKS after that! Babies born pink and screaming at 37 weeks 2 days.

baby bump

Results will vary. Widely.

– Mine shortened down to basically nothing at 16 weeks. I had an emergency cerclage and spent the rest of my pregnancy on bed rest (4+ weeks of it on hospital bed rest). I delivered at 31 weeks.

– Went on strict hospital bed rest for this at 23 weeks. Still couldn’t stop the babies from coming early at 28 weeks. They are okay now, but the 3.5 months of NICU stay was hell.

– I got a cerclage for that, which basically means they suture your cervix so that it can’t open preterm. There is a time limit to do that though. I had it done at 19 weeks and made it to 38 week and 1 day.

– I found out I had a shortened cervix at 30 weeks which was closed. I had no idea. A couple of days later my cervix was 3 cm and 70% effaced. I spent 4 days in the hospital, 2 of which I received steroid injections and magnesium to stop labor. I’m now 32 weeks and playing the “waiting game”

– I was put on bed rest at 23 weeks for this. I was given a progesterone shot weekly. The shots were discontinued at 34 weeks and I had the babies at 35 weeks, 6 days.

What Is A Shortened Cervix_

– I had a shortened cervix early, at 20 weeks. I then went into preterm labor and had two hospital stays to stop the preterm labor. Ended up on bed rest for 2 months and the boys were born at 34 weeks. It was a frustrating experience!

– Went on bedrest for that at 27 weeks, had the 2 steroid shots and was allowed modified bedrest at 34 weeks (could walk around the house). Delivered my girls 4 days later. They were in the NICU for 3 days. Bedrest sucks but with two healthy active kids it was worth it.

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