What is the cervix?
This is a peculiar connecting tube between the uterus and the vagina, about 3-4 cm long, and about 2.5 cm in diameter. There are two parts in the cervix: the lower and the upper. The lower part is called vaginal, because it extends into the vaginal cavity, and the upper part - supra-vaginal, because it is located above the vagina. Inside the cervix, there is a cervical canal that opens into the uterine cavity with an internal pharynx. Outside, the surface of the cervix has a pinkish hue, it is smooth and shiny, strong, and from the inside - bright pink, velvety and friable.
Cervix after conception
During pregnancy, a number of changes take place in this organ. For example, a short time after fertilization changes its color: it becomes cyanotic. The reason for this is the extensive vascular network and its blood supply. In this case, the glands of the neck expand and become more branched.
At 9 months of pregnancy, the doctor notes softening of the cervical tissue and its "maturation". Such changes in the body of a pregnant woman indicate the readiness for the birth of a child. Immediately before birth the cervix of the uterus is shortened (up to 10-15 mm) and is located in the center of the small pelvis. According to the opening of the cervical canal, the obstetrician-gynecologist determines the approach of the labor activity, which begins with the expansion of the internal throat and fights.
Cervical norm during pregnancy
For 9 months, a woman is often forced to visit a gynecologist. In the best possible way, that is, with a healthy pregnancy without complications, at least 9-12 times. If there are health problems or the risk of miscarriage, this number can be several times greater.
At the first examination, the doctor finds the cervix and determines its shape, size, consistency, location. In normal pregnancy, the cervix is ??tight to the touch and deflected back, the channel is not passable for the finger. If there is a threat of spontaneous miscarriage, the doctor will determine this by the shortened and softened cervix of the uterus, while the canal is opened.
Periodic visit to the gynecologist will allow to recognize the pathology or disease in time and take the necessary measures. During the examinations the doctor takes tests: smear on the flora (this analysis will help determine the inflammatory process, detect some types of infection (fungal, candidiasis, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis) and cytological examination (thus studying the features of the structure of the surface and cervical canal cells, which makes it possible to identify various oncological diseases at the earliest stages).
As a rule, if at first women do not have pathology of the cervix, a planned study of the condition of this organ is carried out at 20, 28, 32, 36 weeks b belt. If the observed any violations, the survey is carried out more frequently. Some of the changes of the cervix state and nature of the discharge may indicate the possibility of threatened abortion. The adopted measures allow time to continue the pregnancy.
We describe the most common diseases of the cervix, which can significantly affect both the course and the outcome of pregnancy:
Isthmiko-cervical insufficiency during pregnancy
This pathological condition of the cervix, with which the musculature in the area of ??the isthmus of the uterus does not contract. In this case, the cervix is ??opened before the time, which causes the inability to retain the fetus. Recall that with a healthy pregnancy, the cervix is ??tightly closed. Without support, the fetus gradually descends, labor activity develops and miscarriage occurs. Late miscarriages occurring between 20 and 30 weeks of pregnancy are most relevant for ischemic-cervical insufficiency. In some women, premature opening of the cervix can be accompanied by a stabbing pain in the vagina, while in others it can be asymptomatic. Most often, the ICI develops as a result of underdevelopment of the uterus and hormonal failures, but also among the reasons for its occurrence:
- Congenital disorders of the neck with a deficiency of connective tissue fibers and a relative increase in the proportion of smooth muscle tissue.
- Congenital hypoplasia of the cervix.
- Injury of the isthmus and cervix with abortion, delivery of a large fetus, the imposition of obstetric forceps.
Endocervicitis of the cervix
Often this disease - inflammation of the cervical canal - causes spontaneous abortion and premature birth. In this case, an increased amount of mucus from the cervical canal is allocated, the site of inflammation is scarlet. As a rule, the causes of development of endocervicitis are sexually transmitted infections, streptococcus, staphylococcus, E. coli, enterococcus and other similar diseases. The most characteristic symptoms of this disease are plentiful discharge with an unpleasant odor.
Cervical erosion during pregnancy
Erosion implies a pathological condition in which cervical wounds are formed on the cervix, that is, damage to the integrity of the outer surface of this organ is observed. Erosion may be caused by inflammatory diseases of the cervix, most often caused by papillomavirus, hormonal disorders, trauma from the use of barrier and chemical contraceptives. The wound itself after a few days is delayed, but the problem is that it does not overgrow the cells that cover the outer surface of the cervix, but others that line the inner mucous cervix. During pregnancy, erosion is not affected, and treatment is left for the postpartum period.
The cervix in pregnancy is an important organ, both in anatomical and functional terms. Remember that it promotes the process of fertilization, prevents infection in the uterus and appendages, helps to "bear" the fetus, participates in childbirth. That is why monitoring the condition of the cervix during the gestation of the baby is simply necessary.