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Increasing Cervical Length Linked to Prolonged Pregnancy

Increased likelihood of prolonged pregnancy with increasing cervical length among nulliparous women

WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For nulliparous women, increasing second-trimester cervical length is associated with an increased likelihood of prolonged pregnancy, according to a study published online July 15 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Emily A. Donelan, M.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a cohort study of nulliparous women with a singleton pregnancy. Participants underwent routine cervical length measurement between 18 and 24 weeks of gestation and were divided into quartiles by cervical length. The researchers examined the correlation between cervical length and prolonged pregnancy.

The researchers found that 9,165 women met inclusion criteria and that 16.2 percent of them had a prolonged pregnancy. A prolonged pregnancy was more likely with increasing cervical length quartiles (12.9, 15.8, 17.1, and 18.6 percent). The significant correlation persisted after adjustment for confounding variables. In an analysis confined to women who achieved at least 39 weeks of gestation, the results were consistent with the overall analysis.

"Increasing second-trimester cervical length is associated with an increased likelihood of having a prolonged pregnancy in nulliparous women," the authors write.

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