DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Cervical cerclage is a procedure in which sutures are used to close the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that opens to the vagina — during pregnancy to help prevent premature birth.
Cervical cerclage can be done through the vagina (transvaginal cervical cerclage) or through the abdomen (transabdominal cervical cerclage). Typically, the sutures are removed when a baby is considered full term — during week 37 of pregnancy. If necessary, the sutures can be removed earlier.
Your health care provider might recommend cervical cerclage if your cervix is at risk of opening before your baby is ready to be born or, in some cases, if your cervix begins to open too early. However, cervical cerclage isn't appropriate for everyone. It can cause serious side effects and doesn't always prevent premature birth. Understand the risks of cervical cerclage and whether the procedure might benefit you and your baby.
- Johnson JR, et al. Cervical insufficiency. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 4, 2011.
- Norwitz ER. Transabdominal cervical cerclage. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 4, 2011.
- Norwitz ER. Transvaginal cervical cerclage. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 4, 2011.
- Norwitz ER. Prevention of spontaneous preterm birth. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 22, 2011.
- Mancuso MS, et al. Prevention of preterm birth based on a short cervix: Cerclage. Seminars in Perinatology. 2009;33:325.
- Fox NS, et al. Cervical cerclage: A review of the evidence. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey. 2008;63:58.
- Debbs RH, et al. Contemporary use of cerclage in pregnancy. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2009;52:597.
- Daskalakis GJ. Prematurity prevention: The role of cerclage. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2009;21:148.
- Cunningham FG, et al. Williams Obstetrics. 23rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6035539. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Rodgers VL, et al. Obstetrics and obstetric disorders. In: McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9353. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Haas DM. Preterm birth. Clinical Evidence. 2011;4:1404.
- Groom KM, et al. Preconception transabdominal cervicoisthmic cerclage. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2004;191:230.
- Ludmir J, et al. Cervical incompetence. In: Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06930-7..50027-X&isbn=978-0-443-06930-7&uniqId=301267705-3. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.