Information for the public

Late miscarriages and preterm births can be caused by a weak (sometimes called an incompetent) cervix that shortens or opens too early in pregnancy. Cervical cerclage involves placing a stitch around the upper part of the cervix. In this procedure, the stitch is placed using a laparoscopic (keyhole) approach through the abdomen. The aim is to keep the cervix closed to prevent late miscarriages and preterm births. A caesarean section is needed to deliver the baby.

This procedure works well for cervical incompetence to prevent late miscarriage or preterm birth and there are no serious concerns about its safety.

NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3235-1

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