Your husband’s incompetent. Your mother on Facetime? Tres incompétente. But your cervix? Well, that’s a new one.
According to the Mayo Clinic, an incompetent cervix, aka cervical insufficiency, occurs when you experience weakened cervical tissue, which can contribute to miscarriage or premature birth. Prior to pregnancy, your cervix (which is the lower part of your uterus that opens to the vagina) is closed and firm. As your pregnancy progresses, the cervix gradually softens and opens. With an incompetent cervix, your cervix might open too soon, which can cause above-mentioned issues.
An incompetent cervix might be hard to pinpoint, but if your cervix begins to open too early, or you have prior history, your medical provider could recommend preventative medicine, ultrasounds or a procedure called cervical cerclage, which closes the cervix with sutures. Symptoms of an incompetent cervix can range from mild discomfort or spotting to cramping and discharge (aka every other symptom of pregnancy, ever).
While many women don’t have known risks of cervical incompetence, some include prior cervical trauma or surgery and genetic disorders. While you can’t prevent it, prenatal visits will help your medical provider monitor your and your baby’s health. And while you’re there, can you ask about a name change? No matter how your cervix is behaving, it’s anything but incompetent.