Premature birth is the birth of a fetus before 37 WOP, and according to Western literature before 34 WOP. Causes of preterm birth may be varied due to infections and abnormalities of the fetus, uterine abnormalities, previous premature births, uterine and cervical operations, external factors, and so on. The role of the obstetrician-gynecologist is to identify the risk groups and follow them. Follow-ups begin from 12th to 16th WOP with the cervical length measurement, and examinations occuring every 2-4 weeks to the 28th WOP, and if necessary, afterwards. For women who are not at risk, cervical length measurement is routinely performed during fetal morphology.
I would like to emphasize that vaginal ultrasonography is safe for the fetus and the mother. The benefits of the examination are so great that womens worries must be overcome for a higher purpose - your unborn child!
The examination is technically easy to perform and takes 30 seconds, but it has its own specifics and performance criteria. Incorrect performance and ignorance of the criteria can spoil this examination and lead to severe consequences! The most common mistake is due to the erroneous technique to measure a longer cervix that puts the pregnant woman in the low-risk group and not to take appropriate action to prevent premature birth.
After the examination, we define women with low and high risk of premature birth. Those at low risk do not need follow-up, unlike high-risk women.
Pregnant women who have a high chance of giving birth prematurely start therapy immediately. In the course of the check-ups we determine whether it is necessary to perform a cervical cerclage! Cerclage is a procedure for placing a thread around the birth canal that prevents it from opening and the baby being born. The success of this technique depends on many factors.
The most important thing to me is the fact that we can identify 80% of women who will give birth prematurely and with our actions we will prevent half of them giving birth prematurely or extend pregnancy to a period that can give the baby a chance to survive. In these cases, team work with neonatologists is very important!