Information for Patients
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, the place where a baby grows during pregnancy. The cervix has a small opening that expands during childbirth. It also allows menstrual blood to leave a woman's body.
Your health care provider may perform a Pap test during your health checkup to look for changes to the cells of the cervix, including cervical cancer. Other problems with the cervix include:
- Cervicitis - inflammation of the cervix. This is usually from an infection.
- Cervical incompetence - This can happen during pregnancy. The opening of the cervix widens long before the baby is due.
- Cervical polyps and cysts - abnormal growths on the cervix
Infections and Pregnancy
During pregnancy, some common infections like the common cold or a skin infection do not usually cause serious problems. But other infections can be dangerous to you, your baby, or both. Some infections may lead to preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Others can cause serious illness, birth defects, and lifelong disabilities, such as hearing loss or learning problems.
Some of the infections that can be dangerous during pregnancy include
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- Group B strep (GBS)
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Urinary tract infections
- Yeast infections
- Zika virus
To try to prevent infections,
- Don't eat raw or undercooked meat
- Don't share food or drinks with other people
- Wash your hands frequently
- Don't empty cat litter. Cats can transmit toxoplasmosis.
If you do get an infection during pregnancy, contact your health care provider about how best to protect you and your baby. Only some medicines are safe during pregnancy.