Comparison of cerclage and cerclage pessary in the treatment of pregnant women with incompetent cervix and threatened preterm delivery




Cervical incompetence is one of the causes of preterm delivery. Ultrasound examination of the cervix has given the evidence that cervical shortening, dilatation of internal cervical os and funneling observed long before term are the warning signs of preterm delivery. Early diagnosis and treatment may serve better outcome. Cerclage, which has been employed for more than 50 years is a traumatic procedure, furthermore requiring anaesthesia. Cerclage pessary can be a safe alternative to cerclage. This method seems to be less invasive. The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of the two methods employed in gravid patients between 22 and 27 completed weeks of pregnancy with clinically and ultrasonographically confirmed shortening of the cervix.


We analysed 57 patients, 22 treated with McDonald cerclage procedure and 35 with pessary. The primary outcome measure was prolongation of pregnancy--mean 13.4 weeks and 12.1 weeks for cerclage and pessary respectively (p = 0.06). There were no significant differences regarding the mode of delivery, rate of prematurity, mean birthweight and Apgar score.


Cerclage and cerclage pessary are equally effective methods of prolongation of pregnancy in gravid patients with incompetent cervix and threatened preterm labor. The choice of the method does not affect the mode of delivery as well as neonatal outcome.


Author Information

Katedry i Kliniki Połoznictwa i Ginekologii II Wydziału Lekarskiego AM w Warszawie.