Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 1, 2016

Don’t perform routine cervical length screening for preterm birth risk assessment in asymptomatic women before 16 weeks of gestation or beyond 24 weeks of gestation.

The predictive ability of cervical length measurement prior to 16 weeks of gestation for preterm birth risk assessment is limited. It should be performed, when indicated, between 16 and 24 weeks of gestation. Routine cervical length screening for preterm birth risk assessment in asymptomatic women beyond 24 weeks of gestation has not been proven to be effective.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

As a national medical specialty society, The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine relies on the input of any number of its committees in the development of various documents. In the case of the items included in this list, the Publications Committee reviewed the literature and evidence from SMFM’s published documents for possible topics. A sub-group of the Committee initially developed a list of 10 items that the Committee then ranked for the top five with input and suggestions by the Society’s Executive Committee. The final list has been reviewed and approved by the Society’s Risk Management Committee and Executive Committee.

SMFM’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.smfm.org

Sources

Iams JD, Goldenberg RL, Meis PJ, Mercer BM, Moawad A, Das A, Thom E, McNellis D, Copper RL, Johnson F, Roberts JM. The length of the cervix and the risk of spontaneous premature delivery. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit Network. N Engl J Med. 1996 Feb 29;334(9):567-72.

Conoscenti G, Meir YJ, D’Ottavio G, Rustico MA, Pinzano R, Fischer-Tamaro L, Stampalija T, Natale R, Maso G, Mandruzzato G. Does cervical length at 13–15 weeks’ gestation predict preterm delivery in an unselected population? Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Feb;21(2):128-34.

Ozdemir I, Demirci F, Yucel O, Erkorkmaz U. Ultrasonographic cervical length measurement at 10-14 and 20-24 weeks gestation and the risk of preterm delivery. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2007 Feb;130(2):176-9.

Berghella V, Talucci M, Desai A. Does transvaginal sonographic measurement of cervical length before 14 weeks predict preterm delivery in high-risk pregnancies? Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Feb;21(2):140-4.