Cervical insufficiency, or cervical incompetence, is a medical problem that can develop during pregnancy. The cervix is supposed to widen when a woman has carried the baby to term and it is time to deliver. Unfortunately, cervical incompetence involves the cervix starting to both dilate (grow wider) and efface (become thinner) prior to the time when the baby is due.

When a woman experiences cervical incompetence, she may experience a miscarriage of her child. If the miscarriage occurs during the second or third trimester, she may experience a pre-term birth. The condition, while relatively rare, may be responsible for as many as a quarter of all second-trimester miscarriages that occur.

Doctors are supposed to provide care to their patients, and they are supposed to be reasonably competent in performing that care. They are also supposed to avoid causing harm to their patients through their actions. Unfortunately, in certain cases, treatments or procedures performed by doctors can create a risk of cervical insufficiency. For example, here are 3 ways a doctor’s malpractice can contribute to causing cervical insufficiency or exacerbating the problems that this cervical condition causes.
1. A doctor’s failure to properly monitor a patient who has risk factors for cervical insufficiency can lead to miscarriage or complications.
There are many potential risk factors for cervical insufficiency, including having cervical incompetence in a prior pregnancy. If a doctor is aware of risk factors and does not adequately monitor the patient and provide treatment if there are signs that the fetus might be affected, then the doctor may be responsible for the injury to the fetus resulting from cervical insufficiency. Cervical insufficiency can generally be treated, if treatment is needed, through a procedure called cervical cerclage to reinforce the cervix.
2. A doctor’s use of conization.
Conization is a cervical biopsy that is normally performed for diagnostic reasons and/or to get a sample of precancerous cells. Unfortunately, conization is a risk factor for developing cervical insufficiency. If a doctor performs this procedure on a patient without alerting her of the risk factors, especially if the doctor has reason to suspect the patient is or will shortly become pregnant, this could potentially be considered malpractice.
3. A doctor’s repeated use of procedures that weaken the cervix.

This is especially a problem late in the term of the pregnancy. Procedures such as mechanical dilation, for example, can weaken the cervix and cause insufficiency to develop.

Getting Help

If you believe your doctor has committed malpractice and contributed to your cervical insufficiency, it is important to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney for advice.

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