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Cervical Scan

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At Emirates Hospitals, we understand the importance of monitoring your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy. We offer a variety of prenatal scans to assess your baby’s development and well-being, ensuring you receive the most comprehensive care possible.

A cervical scan, also known as a transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) cervical length scan, is a prenatal procedure used to assess the health and condition of your cervix during pregnancy. The cervix is the lower, narrow end of the uterus that connects it to the vagina. Throughout pregnancy, the cervix plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy environment for your developing baby. A cervical scan provides valuable information about the cervix’s length and potential risks associated with preterm birth.

Why is a Cervical Scan Performed?

A cervical scan is typically performed during the second trimester of pregnancy, between 16 and 24 weeks, under specific circumstances. Here are some reasons why your doctor might recommend a cervical scan:

  • High-risk factors for preterm birth: If you have a history of preterm birth in a previous pregnancy, a cervical insufficiency (incompetent cervix), or are carrying multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), a cervical scan can assess the risk of early delivery.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting: If you experience any unexpected vaginal bleeding or spotting during pregnancy, a cervical scan can help identify potential causes, such as a shortened cervix.
  • Previous cervical surgery: If you have undergone previous cervical procedures like a cone biopsy or LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure), a cervical scan can monitor the cervix’s strength and health.
  • Uterine abnormalities: If an ultrasound reveals any abnormalities in the shape or structure of your uterus, a cervical scan can offer a more detailed evaluation.

What to Expect During a Cervical Scan

A cervical scan is a straightforward outpatient procedure that typically takes around 15 to 20 minutes. To ensure clear images, you might be advised to empty your bladder beforehand. During the scan, a sonographer, a trained healthcare professional in ultrasound imaging, will guide you into a comfortable position on an examination table. A covered transvaginal probe will then be gently inserted into your vagina. This probe emits high-frequency sound waves that bounce off your cervix, creating detailed images visible on a screen. While the sonographer may offer some preliminary observations, your doctor will thoroughly analyze the scan results and discuss them with you in detail at a later appointment.

What the Scan Can Reveal

A cervical scan primarily focuses on measuring the length of your cervix. During pregnancy, a healthy cervix remains relatively long and closed. However, a shortened cervix can indicate an increased risk of preterm birth. The scan can also reveal:

  • Cervical shape: The scan can assess the overall shape and appearance of the cervix, identifying any potential abnormalities.
  • Funneling: The scan can detect if the upper part of the cervix (internal os) is beginning to open (funnel) prematurely.
  • Presence of cervical cerclage (stitch): If you have had a cervical stitch placed to reinforce a weak cervix, the scan can confirm its position and integrity.

What Happens After a Cervical Scan?

Following the scan, your doctor will discuss the results with you. If the scan reveals a healthy cervix of normal length,you might not require any further interventions and continue with routine prenatal care. However, if the scan indicates a shortened cervix or other concerns, your doctor might recommend:

  • Increased monitoring: More frequent prenatal checkups and additional scans might be advised to keep a close eye on your cervix.
  • Pelvic rest: Limiting strenuous activities or sexual intercourse might be recommended to minimize pressure on the cervix.
  • Cervical cerclage: In some cases, a stitch (cerclage) might be placed around the cervix to help keep it closed during pregnancy.
  • Medication: Certain medications might be prescribed to help relax the uterus and reduce the risk of preterm labor.

By providing valuable information about your cervical health, a cervical scan allows your doctor to make informed decisions about your care and promote a healthy pregnancy. Remember, early detection and intervention are key to reducing the risk of preterm birth complications.

Last update date: 02-07-2024

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