Q:

How can you use the length of your cervix to predict your due date?

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Quick Answer

Cervical length is not used to predict due dates because it is unreliable. Its measurement is used to assess the risk of preterm labor in women with a shortened cervix, explains WebMD. Cervical effacement, or thinning, is used for tracking the process of labor, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Cervical length is only used for predicting premature labor between 16 and 32 weeks because all women in labor have cervical shortening, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The average cervical length between 20 and 30 weeks gestation is 35 millimeters; this group represents a low risk for premature labor. Between 28 and 30 weeks of gestation, women with a cervical length of 25 millimeters or less have been shown to have a significant risk of pre-term labor, explains the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Preterm labor occurs before 37 weeks of gestation and is a complication in 12 percent of all pregnancies. It accounts for 75 to 95 percent of all neonatal deaths, which is why assessing cervical length in the presence of other risk factors is important, states the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Prevention of premature labor in the presence of a short cervix depends on the physician and the risk. Many obstetricians recommend bed rest, the use of tocolytics or the placement of a cervical cerclage. A cerclage is a surgical stitch placed in the opening of the cervix between 13 and 15 weeks to prevent pregnancy loss. It is often used in cases of recurrent pregnancy loss or cervical insufficiency, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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Related Questions

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    Is there any real evidence that eating pineapple induces labor?

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    Anecdotal evidence suggests that eating pineapple does not induce labor but instead ripens the cervix by stimulating prostaglandins, notes OBGYN North. However, no scientific evidence exists to confirm the effect of pineapple consumption on the cervix, as of 2015.

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    How does the cervix change during pregnancy?

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    Throughout pregnancy, the cervix serves as a barrier to protect a growing fetus during development by remaining firmly closed, but as labor approaches, the cervix effaces and dilates, or shortens and opens, to allow for the passage of the baby through the birth canal, according to BabyZone. Mainly composed of collagen, the cervix is capable of withstanding the growing pressure of a fetus until delivery, as stated in BabyZone.

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    What does it mean when you are 70 percent effaced and 2 centimeters dilated?

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    A woman's cervix needs to be 100 percent effaced and 10 centimeters dilated to give birth vaginally; therefore, being 70 percent effaced means her cervix is 30 percent away from being ready for childbirth. Being two centimeters dilated means her cervix needs to dilate 8 more centimeters. According to American Pregnancy, effacement refers to how much the cervix thins out or "ripens" in preparation for birth. Cervical dilation refers to the opening of the cervix.

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    What does the cervix feel like at 4 weeks pregnant?

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