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How Can Cervical Incompetence Lead To Birth Injuries?


A woman’s cervix plays multiple, important roles during pregnancy. It initially serves as support for the growing fetus, and then gradually opens late-term to accommodate the infant moving through the birth canal. Cervical insufficiency is a medical condition that occurs when there are weaknesses or structural defects that affect these functions. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), incompetent cervix impacts .5 percent of women generally – a figure that rises to 8 percent in women with a history of miscarriage. If not diagnosed and addressed, cervical insufficiency can lead to loss of pregnancy.

There are treatments and strategies for preventing incompetent cervix from affecting the fetus. Because the most significant issues can occur early in pregnancy, prompt attention is critical. Failures may constitute medical malpractice, so you should discuss options with a Miami birth injuries attorney. Some background information is also useful.

 Symptoms of Cervical Incompetence

 Early in pregnancy, it is difficult for the mother to detect signs of insufficient cervix. It is totally normal for the cervix to gradually loosen and soften in later stages, at which point contractions and the delivery process begin. When this happens too soon, there may be no pain or sensation of problems. Still, the cervix is struggling to keep the baby secure.

By middle to later stages of pregnancy, a mother may experience such symptoms as:

  • Discomfort, pressure, or pain in the pelvic area
  • Aching in the lower back that onsets suddenly or feels different than normal strains of pregnancy
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Changes in vaginal discharge
  • Light or medium bleeding

Risks and Complications 

There are patients who have higher levels of cervical incompetence, usually based upon medical history. Trauma to the cervix, even harm that occurs years earlier, can cause damage that weakens the tissues. Procedures such as dilation and curettage can also damage the cervix, which is why statistics trend higher for women who had a previous miscarriage: Loss of pregnancy is typically followed by D&C.

The most extreme risks of cervical incompetence are sudden loss of pregnancy and still birth, where the fetus is coming too early simply because the cervix cannot hold on. At later stages, the fetus may survive, but there are still complications related to premature birth.

There are treatment options for insufficient cervix once the condition is detected. A cervical cerclage involves stitching the cervix closed with strong sutures, which are removed by the 36th week of pregnancy. Hormone therapy may also be effective, but the traditional treatment of bed rest is usually insufficient on its own.

 A Florida Birth Injuries Lawyer Can Explain the Legal Process

If your baby suffered harm because of the failure to diagnose and treat cervical incompetence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Our team at Freidin Brown, P.A. is experienced with birth injury cases, so we are ready to provide essential legal support. Please contact our firm today to set up a free case assessment at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL. A med mal attorney can advise you after reviewing your details.

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