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Born Too Soon

A test to detect possible premature birth

(HealthDayNews) -- Premature delivery is the leading cause of disability and death for babies. But there's a simple test to forestall any disaster.

A cervical ultrasound can detect early changes in the dilation of the cervix, the narrow, lower portion of the uterus. The cervix does not normally widen until contractions begin at the end of pregnancy, when the baby is ready to be born.

If the ultrasound test reveals early shortening of the cervix, doctors are able to take steps to prevent premature delivery. For one thing, they can try to delay an early delivery by putting a stitch in the cervix for extra support.

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