Smoothing of the cervix: signs, measurement, complications.

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Smoothing is the process of thinning, shortening, and softening the cervix to open the vaginal canal for childbirth . During pregnancy, the cervix is usually long, thick, and closed. The cervix helps protect the baby from germs that enter the uterus and can cause infection.

In preparation for delivery, the cervix must thin (disappear) and open (dilate) to allow the fetus to exit the uterus through the vagina. Read on to learn more about cleaning in late pregnancy and delivery, how to measure it, and how long it may take.

Ariel Skelly / Getty Images

What role does suspension play at work?

Smoothing and dilation are direct results of effective uterine contractions. If this is their first birth, it may last longer than those who have had previous deliveries, but those who give birth for the first time usually disappear before expanding. Later in pregnancy, erasure and expansion usually occur at the same time and faster.

In the weeks leading up to your due date, your healthcare provider can suggest how close you are to labor based on your cervix. It is worth noting that cervical flattening can begin several weeks before delivery. Once your cervix is completely worn, labor is likely to start soon.

Smoothing versus dilation

Smoothing and expanding are different processes that occur simultaneously:

  • Smoothing refers to the thinning, softening, and shortening of the cervix.
  • Dilation is measured in centimeters, and the cervix must be dilated between 0 and 10 centimeters for labor to take place through the vaginal birth canal.

The blurrier the cervix, the faster the dilation occurs.

Signs of extinction

Symptoms may or may not appear as the cervix flattens. Some people feel nothing at all.

Some of the possible symptoms of erasure include:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as training contractions or sham labor. They do not cause dilation, but they can help soften the cervix.
  • You lose the mucous plug
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Feeling that your baby has sunk further into the pelvis.

Keep in mind that these are common feelings in late pregnancy.

It can be hard to tell if what you're feeling is caused by enlargement, abrasion, childbirth, or just general pain during pregnancy.

Measurement erasure

Smoothing is measured as a percentage from 0 to 100%. When it is 0% worn, your cervix is 3-4cm long and thick, when it reaches 50%, your cervix will be about half as small and thick as before. When the cervix looks like paper, it means that it is totally or completely erased. Once the flattening is complete, the cervix can be fully dilated or opened for labor.

During your prenatal visits near the end of your pregnancy, your healthcare provider will examine you to see if your body is beginning to prepare for delivery. They will palpate the cervix to check for the following signs of labor:

  • Opening (expansion)
  • Position (movement towards the front of the vagina)
  • Shortening
  • Softening (ripening)
  • Thinning (erased)

After you deliver, your healthcare provider will regularly check your cervix to keep track of how much it has worn and dilated as labor approaches.

Can I measure my own smoothing?

You can have your cervix checked, but if you don't know how it felt before pregnancy, it can be difficult to recognize the changes. Your healthcare provider has received additional training to determine exactly how limited you are.

Complications

Relaxation is a normal part of labor and delivery. It usually starts on its own when your body is ready for labor. However, if it starts too early during pregnancy, or does not start when the pregnancy is overdue, it can lead to complications.

Early extinction

When the cervix is shorter than usual or not strong enough to stay closed during pregnancy, it can wear out and open too soon, which can lead to premature labor or premature labor.

Causes of premature erasure include:

  • Your cervix is shorter than average
  • Your cervix is weak (incompetent cervix)
  • Have had cervical surgery
  • You have had an injury to or near your cervix.
  • You have a genetic problem with your cervix.

Your healthcare provider can diagnose a short or weak cervix by looking at your medical history and pregnancy history, a physical exam, and an ultrasound of the cervix.

Treatment for a short or incompetent cervix includes:

  • Cerclage : This is a procedure in which the cervix is sutured to prevent it from opening during pregnancy. Doctors usually perform cerclage between 12 and 14 weeks' gestation. The stitches are usually removed at about 37 weeks.
  • Monitoring : If doctors believe that your cervix may thin and open early, they will monitor it during pregnancy.
  • Progesterone : Studies show that when given between weeks 16 and 36, progesterone can help prevent preterm labor.

Late anti-aliasing or no smoothing

When erasure and expansion do not occur on their own, the doctor may want to induce labor . A doctor can use various medications and medical devices to help the body cleanse itself and go into labor, including the following:

  • Catheter – Use a thin tube with an inflatable balloon at the end to gently stretch the cervix.
  • Prostaglandins :   A type of medicine that is injected into the vagina or taken by mouth to help soften or ripen the cervix.
  • Membrane stripping :   Gently slide over the membranes to slightly separate them from the fundus of the uterus and release natural prostaglandins.
  • Rupture of the amniotic sac: To break the amniotic sac, the doctor makes a small hole with a special tool. Most people deliver within a few hours after the amniotic fluid ruptures.

How long does the removal take?

Unfortunately, there is no set time for how long the erasure should take. Everyone experiences it differently. For some, the cervix may begin to soften and thin a few days or weeks before giving birth. For others, this may not happen until labor begins.

Get the word of drug information

A flattening of the cervix is an exciting sign that your body is preparing for labor. Sometimes the erasure can start too early and need to be stopped, or it can be slow and requires a little help from your doctor or midwife to continue. Most of the time, the erasure happens on its own when your body and your baby are ready.

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