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Cervical stitch (cerclage) for preventing pregnancy loss in women

Drakeley AJ, Roberts D, Alfirevic Z
Published Online: 
17 February 2010

Cervical stitch (cerclage) may help prevent miscarriage due to a cervical factor, but has not been shown to benefit other women.

The cervix (opening of the uterus) normally stays tightly closed during pregnancy. Occasionally it starts to open early, leading to miscarriage. For some women, this recurs in subsequent pregnancies. This may be due to cervical weakness (incompetence) if the miscarriage occurs in the second or early third trimester. One option is cervical cerclage: surgery to insert a suture (stitch) to keep the cervix closed. The review of trials found that there was no overall reduction in pregnancy loss and preterm delivery rates with either a prophylactic or therapeutic cervical stitch for short cervix on ultrasound.

This record should be cited as: 
Drakeley AJ, Roberts D, Alfirevic Z. Cervical stitch (cerclage) for preventing pregnancy loss in women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003253. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003253
Assessed as up to date: 
7 September 2002