Importance of Closed Cervix in Pregnancy

The cervix is an internal organ, which rarely comes to our mind, until pregnancy occurs. Let us first understand the role of this tiny organ and why a closed cervix in pregnancy is necessary.

Cervix During Pregnancy

The cervix is the part connecting the vagina to the uterus. In normal times, there is also a discharge of sticky whitish cervical mucus during ovulation.

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Open Cervix During Pregnancy
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Soon after ovulation and the monthly period is over, the mouth of the cervix again closes and becomes dry.

During pregnancy, the cervix plays a crucial part, and undergoes a transformation in size, shape and texture. The cervix is closed during pregnancy, and only dilates when the baby’s full term is over, and it is time to emerge outside. A mucus plug at its mouth keeps the cervix closed during pregnancy. This is done to keep the baby safe inside the uterus. Since the main component of the cervix is collagen, it is able to soften, dilate, elongate, and act like a gateway for the baby to emerge. Read about friable cervix during pregnancy

Closed Cervix During Pregnancy

The cervix softens, shortens and widens according to the needs of pregnancy. But whatever shape it acquires, its main function is to remain closed in order to prevent the baby from slipping out. If the cervix does not remain closed, pre-term labor may happen, leading to a miscarriage. If for some reason, the cervix is unable to remain closed during this crucial time, it is called an incompetent cervix. In such a case, your doctor may advise you to get a cervical cerclage done. In this, a few stitches will be required to keep the cervix closed. This, however, is a rare procedure, with less than one per cent women needing it.

Cervix Conditions During Pregnancy

As the pregnancy advances, the cervix stretches and thins, and becomes a bluish color. The water content increases, blood vessels increase, making the cervix softer. This is often to as the ‘ripening’ of the cervix. The cervix begins to open once labor contractions begin. The mucus plug is expelled, and the mouth of the cervix begins to dilate, in order to allow the baby’s head to slip out. It may dilate as much as 5 cms or more during the initial stages of delivery. Due to the extreme elasticity of the cervix, it is able to come back to its original size within a few days of delivery.

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Cervix Condition When Pregnant
Closed Cervix Pregnancy
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