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The University of Chicago Medicine - The Family Birth Center

Transvaginal Cervical Cerclage

Surgical Treatment for Cervical Insufficiency

For women with a history of pre-term delivery or a short cervix, our specialists may recommend transvaginal cervical cerclage (TVC). Performed by maternal-fetal medicine experts, this surgical procedure secures a short or weak cervix (also called incompetent cervix or cervical insufficiency), minimizing the risk of miscarriage or premature delivery.

In a transvaginal cerclage, the doctor sews the cervix shut with a suture placed through the vagina, usually during the 13th or 14th week of the pregnancy. This method creates a "purse string" around the cervix, which helps reduce the risk of pregnancy loss. At about 37 weeks, the doctor removes the stitches so that a vaginal delivery is possible.

If you are a candidate for transvaginal cerclage, discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor. Based on personal factors, such as your medical history and the length of your cervix, our team may recommend that you have transvaginal cerclage or transabdominal cerclage (TAC) for the treatment of incompetent cervix.