cerclage success

hi, i wanted to post on this board for anyone considering a cerclage in the near future. i have had two success stories with a cerclage. after my little boy was born at 25 weeks in 2008 and died shortly after from an infection, we fell pregnant again very quickly and were told i couldnt have a preventative cerclage because i didnt have a long enough history to prove cervical incompetence. i ended up in hospital at 20 weeks,in labour, funneled completely and some of the membranes starting to bulge from my cervix. the docs told me i would lose this baby but they would try a stitch just in case. the stitch gave me one cm of cervix, and i was on strict hospital bed rest until 33 weeks when i went into labour again and delivered a healthy five pound one baby girl, ella. while i was in labour with her the doc told me he didnt think i'd go more than two weeks given the severity of my cervical incompetence. i went 13 weeks and one day. proof that the doctors dont always know what will happen and sometimes with sheer determination you can have a good outcome. ella is now a very bright, active 19 month old who has had no developmental problems. :). i am currently 29 weeks pregnant with my third baby, with this baby i had a stitch put in at 13 weeks. so far, my cervix has not even funnelled, no change at all which in my opinion and the doctors, is a miracle and proof that this little band of fabric WORKS. in my mind, it i was to fall pregnant again, i would not even consider going through the pregnancy without the stitch.bear in mind that my cervix is truly incompetent and cannot keep a baby in naturally AT ALL and the stitch works with me. if i was to have the stitch out now, my baby would be born today. there has been a lot of resting with this preventative cerclage, and it is still a long, slow, frustrating road but i am nearly thirty weeks and still out of hospital. my doctor thinks we are well on track for 36, it was so wonderful to hear him say those words after all we have been through. so, if you are reading this, weighing up the pros and cons of having a cerclage, please, please get it done. it has given me the precious gift of one beautiful little girl and is about to give me another.

25 Replies

  • In reply to MichelleMN:

    Thank you for sharing. We have a 34 weeker and 27 weeker but this is my first time with a cerclage. I did Mekena with the 27 weeker but had an abruption. I am still having intense cramping after a week following the procedure. Is that typical? I had minimal bleeding. I did get a slight fever that day but went a away and may have been due to tummy bug. Of course the tummy bug would afflict our house following my surgery. I have an appointment today but am very concerned.
  • Hi HockeyMom,

    I was in your place at the end of March. We went in to find out the gender, and what was supposed to be an hour and a half ultrasound turned into a three hour appt when we found out that in addition to having a boy (!) I had an incompetent cervix and was funneling. My perinatologist (who had just become my perinatologist that day!) put in a cerclage the very next day, and I am now at 30w5d (yep, 77 days of bed rest!) It has been quite a ride; I have some posts on the main page (out of the cerclage folder) about how I've felt and how I've been dealing with this. I am so thankful for my cerclage and for my perinatologist!! I was sent home on Indomethacin to prevent contractions/cramping and Keflex to prevent infection. I was sore for about a week; the spinal threw my back for a loop.

    I am not on progesterone, but I am on anti-contraction meds now as I went into pre-term labor at week 24-25 due to my cervix shortening again (think of it was an amoeba...it doesn't "grow back" but it moves/fluxuates.) I did three weeks in the hospital in May, most of which were on magnesium to stop contractions. My cerclage is still holding although I get nervous about my water breaking on the stitch as my cervical length is so small (.78 cm).

    As far as cerclage success, it has worked wonders for me and I thank my stars that I didn't have a pre-term loss. I had none of these complications with my first son; we have no idea why this happened this time. There is a gal on the Bedrest Club board on BabyCenter with me who had a rescue cerclage that failed, and she is still on hospital bedrest with PPROM....but she made it past the 24 week mark and is still hanging in there. There was someone else on the board who had a second set of stitches put in. Most of the personal stories of cerclage I've heard of, though, have gone well.

    Best of luck to you!!

  • Oookkk... Just came from Dr.. Cerclage is officially OUT :confused: it did feel like just a little tugging and pinching but not at all like the horror stories i read about.. It took like 2/3 minutes and that seems long.. It was quick and not at all painful.. dr said my cervix is long and very closed...so now its just waiting... Ooooo im nervous... Wish me luck girls...
    So Melanie it will be fine.. Remember your right behind me :grin:
    EsmieRigoJr :wink:
  • Hockeymom- i forgot to mention i had steroid shots at 28 weeks... And yes p17 shots are miracolous....and lots of faith and prayer...
  • Hi Hockey mom-Welcome to share.... Im so sorry for how your feeling right now... I know its a tuff, situation...if you have read my posts and others here, you will see that we have all gone through similar situations... And all the stories ive read are all ending with a beautiful baby in the mothers arms... Ive lost 2 beautiful babies at 26 weeks and now i have this beautiful baby boy whos almost here in less than 2 weeks :grin: hopefully....i had a preventive cerclage at 13 weeks and p17shots and LOTS of BEDREST... But see all worth it... My sons almost here... Do the cerclage and bedrest. Its all worth it..
    Melanie.. Yes ill let you know.. Hmm hopefully all goes perfect :wink:
  • Mel, dont worry too much about the cerclage removal.I had it taken out with no pain medication and would describe it as uncomfortable with a quick sharp sting as the thread is removed, maybe 3 seconds. I'm a big wimp and it really wasn't so bad, the anticipation and fear were worse. Besides, it is such a happy occasion to be that far along! Good luck!

    Hockeymom, I'm so sorry you are going through this, I know you must be so scared. A happy ending is possible so hang in there! Ask your Dr about p17 shots, I think they are miraculous. My ob just had a patient exactly like your story deliver at 34 weeks a healthy baby girl. She did the cerclage and the p17 shots. Sending good vibes and prayers your way. Good luck too.

    Esmie- that is so wonderful, congratulations!!
  • Hi Hockeymom,

    I was in your shoes last year. I went to my 20 week sono/check up and was told i was funneling, had IC, and my cervix was only .5cm. I had an emergent cerclage which lasted 5 days :(. I ended up losing my son after my water broke and 14 hours of labor. This time around, i had a cerclage placed at 12 weeks and i am currently 32 weeks pregnant. I have heard success stories of some women when they received an emergent cerclage, i think it just depends on your situation, however, i would def get it. Do you know what your cervix was measuring?? Also, if you do get it, stay on bed rest and only get up to use the restroom and shower once a day/every other day. I wish you the best of luck and hope everything works for you and your husband.

  • Hi Hockeymom, Welcome to Share!

    In general cerclages are very effective. They tend to be most effective when placed between 12-14 weeks before any "funny business" begins, but frequently you don't know you need one until you are in a situation like yours. Emergency cerclages (placed in the 20ish week timing) are a little riskier, only because your cervix is already a little weak and you chance for infection is higher. (Infection is the biggest risk of a cerclage)

    When you have an emergency cerclage, it will likely be paired with bedrest. It kind of stinks, but it'a well worth it. I know a number of women who had a cerclage and bedrest and carried full term or nearly full term.

    My daughter (my 1st pregnancy) was born at 25 weeks due to IC or Pre-Term Labor. In my 2nd pregnancy I had a preventative cerclage which was placed around 13 weeks. I was not put on bedrest but did receive 17P shots as well to help prevent PTL. I gave birth to a healthy full term baby at 38.5 weeks. I would do it again in a heartbeat. After watching my daughter struggle in the NICU I would do just about anything to prevent that again.

    But talk to your drs and see what they recommend, they know your particular case the best and can steer you the right way.

    Best wishes,
  • Thank you so much for all these posts. I have not stopped researching this CI since my dr. apt yesterday diagnosed me with it. I will be 21 weeks tomorrow and thought everything was going well until they told me about my short and funneled cervix at my 20week checkup yesterday. i have to go see a fetal specialist on wednesday for further checking and do not know what to expect until then. i read a lot of 'controversy' about the procedure, but have yet to find anything on the internet that talked about it not working! All the sites i come accross talk about the success of it - so i assume the risks are outweighed for this procedure? Any advice and guidance would be helpful. This is DH and mine first baby after 5 years of marriage - we are so excited and i cant help but be the worrying mother right now, which i know isnt good for my body right now.
    thans much all. :frown:
  • Melanie: Wonderful news!! I've heard both sides of the story. It seems like the ones that have it hurt have been having lots of contractions, and the ones that haven't been having contractions say it doesn't hurt all that bad.
  • Esmie, Let me know how the cerclage removal goes. Im a little nervous about the process. My dr said it should go fast, however, she has had some patients require an epidural :( ouch!! Good Luck and yay for 36 weeks!!!

  • Just seen dr and girls.. Next week cerclage comes out... Omg im sooi excited!!! Although I
    Might add its perfectly tight and cervix is great!!! Its a miracle!!! Im so excited!!!
    EsmieRigoJr...... :sillygrin:
  • Girls.. Ive officially declared my cerclage a super success!!!!! measuring at 36 weeks preggo and no difficulties what so ever.. I believe this stitch has done its great job.. I declare the cerclage a blessing :grin:
    EsmieRigoJr... :grin:
  • Melanie- that is awesome news. Glad your doc is so wonderful.

  • Had my 32 week check up today and my cervix is measuring steady at 3.3 cm!!!! My dr. is just so happy and thrilled, as i am too :). She will be removing my stitch in 3 weeks!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! Cerclage has been a blessing for me and this pregnancy!!! Can't wait til i am able to get the cerclage out!! My dr. told me when i take it out to throw a party and run laps or whatever i wanted to do!! I CAN NOT WAIT!!