ZocdocAnswersIs incompetent cervix hereditary?

Question

Is incompetent cervix hereditary?

Mother had two miscarriages due to this. Sister no issue but had c-section. Any advice on suggested tests? When should cervix be measured initially. Will also be asking OBGNY these questions but would appreciate some help.

Answer

Cervical incompetence is a term used to describe a cervix that can not stay closed during a pregnancy. It is relatively uncommon, but is responsible for many of miscarriages that occur in the third trimester. Cervical incompetence is not considered to be an inherited condition. With that said, I would imagine that you probably have a small increased risk for this because you mother had it. No doctor will be able to tell you how much more risk, but most will say that your increase risk is minimal. The major factors that increase the risk for cervical incompetence include 1. A previous instrumentation of you cervix (example, a dilatation and curettage), 2. a previous biopsy of the cervix, 3. a previous pre-term pregnancy, and 4. a history of exposure to the hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES). With regards to DES, this was a hormone used in medicine many years ago that you were not likely exposed to. The most common risk factor is previous cervical biopsy which is usually done after an abnormal pap smear. The only way to know if you will have an incompetent cervix is to see how your first pregnancy goes. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN so the two of you can plan a strategy to make sure that you cervix is staying competent.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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