Incompetent Cervix

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Marietta and Powder Springs, GA

Incompetent Cervix

About Incompetent Cervix

An incompetent cervix increases your risk of serious pregnancy complications, including premature birth. At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates in Marietta and Powder Springs, Georgia, the expert team provides attentive care to manage and treat cervical insufficiency. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Incompetent Cervix Q&A

What is an incompetent cervix?

An incompetent cervix happens when the cervix weakens and softens too early during pregnancy. 

Normally, your cervix remains closed and firm until later in the third trimester of pregnancy. It slowly softens and opens as you get closer to labor. That helps keep your baby safe and secure in the womb. 

Your cervix opening too soon can increase your risk of premature birth and miscarriage. The earlier you recognize the signs of an incompetent cervix and seek medical advice, the better you can manage the condition and protect your pregnancy.

What are the signs of an incompetent cervix?

Common signs of an incompetent cervix include:

  • Pelvic pressure or heaviness
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Lower back pain
  • Watery or bloody vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal cramps

Many women don’t experience symptoms, so attending regular prenatal visits at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates is important to diagnose this condition early on.

Why does an incompetent cervix happen?

An incompetent cervix doesn’t always have a single cause. However, it often stems from genetic and environmental factors, including:

  • Having Marfan’s or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Previous miscarriages in the second trimester
  • Previous cone biopsy or LEEP procedure
  • Multifetal pregnancy
  • Hormonal changes

The Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates team closely monitors your cervix during pregnancy to catch any signs of cervical insufficiency early. This proactive approach can help protect your pregnancy and support a healthy delivery.

What are the treatments for an incompetent cervix?

The right treatment for an incompetent cervix depends on several factors, including the condition’s severity. Treatments the team may recommend include:


This surgical procedure involves placing a stitch around the cervix to help keep it closed. It’s typically done during the second trimester.

Progesterone therapy

Progesterone is a hormone that can help strengthen the cervix. You may take it as a weekly injection or a vaginal suppository.

Bed rest

Reducing physical activity and staying off your feet may help take pressure off your cervix.


A pessary is a small device placed in your vagina to help support your cervix.

Cervical length monitoring

Regular ultrasound scans can measure the length of your cervix and help your care team decide on appropriate treatments.

You can have a healthy pregnancy and delivery with an incompetent cervix. Call Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates today or schedule an appointment online to receive the comprehensive care you deserve.