Cervical Incompetence Specialist

Advanced Women's Center

Okey Okoli, M.D. FACOG

Obstetrics and Gynecology located in San Antonio, TX

Cervical incompetence can make it challenging to carry a pregnancy to term, but there are effective treatment options available. Dr. Okey Okoli helps women find the best way to support a healthy pregnancy, including treating cervical incompetence. At Advanced Women’s Center, compassionate care is a foundational part of the practice. That’s why so many women from in and around San Antonio, Texas, wouldn’t consider going to any other obstetrician for a high-risk pregnancy. To learn more about Dr. Okoli and his services, call or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

Cervical Incompetence Q & A

What is a cervical incompetence?

The term “cervical incompetence” is used to describe a condition in which a woman’s uterine cervix is unable to retain a pregnancy after the second trimester. It’s also sometimes referred to as cervical insufficiency.

Women who suffer from cervical incompetence are at an elevated risk of premature delivery or miscarriage. The condition is relatively rare, and affects only 1 out of every 100 pregnancies. However, it’s estimated that nearly 25% of miscarriages in the second trimester are the result of an incompetent cervix.

Many women are unaware that they have a problem with their cervix until they go through a miscarriage in their second or third trimester — a heartbreaking event. In subsequent pregnancies, your doctor can carefully screen for cervical issues from the time you first find out that you’re expecting.

What causes cervical incompetence, and what are the symptoms?

There are a number of things that can cause cervical incompetence. Some of the known causes include:

  • Previous cervical surgery
  • Cervical damage caused by previous birth
  • Exposure to diethylstilbestrol
  • Previous miscarriage or D&C

It's important for pregnant women to seek medical care anytime they notice discomfort during their pregnancy. For those who've had previous pregnancies, any notable differences should prompt a call to Dr. Okoli.

Some of the symptoms of cervical incompetence include:

  • Cramping
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Back pain

How is cervical incompetence treated?

Managing cervical incompetence or cervical insufficiency depends on the specific needs of each woman — Dr. Okoli works with you to determine the best treatment approach.

One option is known as cervical cerclage. It involves placing a suture at the cervicovaginal junction. This approach is best suited for women with a history of miscarriage or preterm birth, and those who have a past experience of painless cervical dilation.

Other approaches include using progesterone supplementation or a cervical pessary to address cervical incompetence. These treatments are less established than cervical cerclage, however, and have their own pros and cons.

Finding an obstetrician who has the skills and experience to treat cervical incompetence is important. Dr. Okoli has helped many women from the greater San Antonio area achieve their dreams of motherhood through effective treatment for cervical incompetence. Schedule a consultation to find out more, or if you have any questions.