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
Health Problems in Pregnancy
Every pregnancy has some risk of problems. You may have problems because of a health condition you had before you got pregnant. You could also develop a condition during pregnancy. Other causes of problems during pregnancy can include being pregnant with more than one baby, a health problem in a previous pregnancy, substance abuse during pregnancy, or being over age 35. Any of these can affect your health, the health of your baby, or both.
If you have a chronic condition, you should talk to your health care provider about how to minimize your risk before you get pregnant. Once you are pregnant, you may need a health care team to monitor your pregnancy. Some common conditions that can complicate a pregnancy include
- High blood pressure
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Kidney problems
- Autoimmune disorders
Other conditions that can make pregnancy risky can happen while you are pregnant - for example, gestational diabetes and Rh incompatibility. Good prenatal care can help detect and treat them.
Some discomforts, like nausea, back pain, and fatigue, are common during pregnancy. Sometimes it is hard to know what is normal. Call your health care provider if something is bothering or worrying you.