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Cervical Device May Help Lower Preemie Birth Risk

By Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Women with a relatively short cervix are at higher risk of preterm delivery, but new research shows that a cervical device may cut that risk substantially.

The Italian study included 300 women with a short cervix. Half of them used a small silicone ring called a cervical pessary, while the other half acted as a "control" group and did not use the device.

A cervical pessary is designed to keep the cervix closed and to change the inclination of the cervical canal. Previous findings about the effectiveness of the device have been contradictory, the researchers noted.

In this study, women who used the cervical device had about half the risk of preterm birth -- defined as delivery at less than 34 weeks of pregnancy -- compared to women in the control group.

Women who used the pessary also tended to deliver larger, healthier babies that did not require neonatal ICU care, the study found.

Use of the pessary did not cut down on the need for C-section delivery, infections or the risk of fetal or infant death.

The study was conducted at just one facility and the findings must be confirmed in larger clinical trials conducted at multiple sites, said a team led by Dr. Gabriele Saccone, of the University of Naples Federico II.

One U.S. obstetrician-gynecologist said the findings could be a boon for women.

"The pessary is a low-cost treatment with almost no risks and does not require anesthesia," said Dr. Jennifer Wu, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "It holds real promise for helping with shortened cervix patients, especially in low-resource areas."

Dr. James Ducey, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City, called the study "well done." However, he agreed that "more high-quality research is needed" to determine whether the pessary can "make an impact on the preterm birth rate."

The study was published Dec. 19 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on preterm birth.

SOURCES: Jennifer Wu, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; James Ducey, M.D., director, obstetrics and maternal fetal medicine, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; Dec. 19, 2017, news release, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=729454

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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