When she found out she was pregnant, Carol Borba, 36, a physical education professional and fitness market entrepreneur, didn’t think twice: with her doctor’s approval, she decided she would try to keep exercising until the end of the year. her pregnancy.
An avid fitness trainer, a fitness influencer with 4.9 million YouTube subscribers and more than 1.8 million Instagram followers, he continued to run on the street, jumping, squatting and lifting weights, but only for 5 months.
In the 22nd week of her pregnancy, a prenatal examination found that she had a short cervix. This situation increases the risk of premature birth, so Borbak had to hit the brakes.
“When the doctor told me it was a shock because I was doing so well, running, jumping and doing everything on the street. The end of the pregnancy,” Borba says.
The physical education professional didn’t have to give up training altogether, but the impact exercises should be set aside at least until Diana’s baby arrives. Not to be outdone by the “butterflies” he nicknamed his followers, the most intense training sessions are now broadcast on Borbra’s social networks, along with a friend who is a physical education teacher.
Respecting the limitations of his situation, he did not stop training. “I can still do pilates, cycling at home and localized exercises. It’s not like before, but I want to be active until the end of pregnancy.”
“The benefits that exercise has brought me before pregnancy have increased in recent months because pregnancy causes a lot of fatigue,” she says. “Sometimes I’m at home and I say ‘I’m not going to train today,’ but when I do a live workout, for example, I train and it’s a feeling of calm, a fulfilling mission. I start lazy and end up refreshed.”
What is and what causes a short cervix
The uterus is the part at the end of the vagina. Fetal medical research has already shown that the region should measure more than 2.5 centimeters between the 18th and 24th weeks of pregnancy. If it’s smaller than that, the cervix is considered “short” —Carol Borbarena, for example, measures 2.2 inches.
“It is like a valve that keeps the uterus closed during pregnancy to reduce the risk of premature birth,” said João Bosco Borges, obstetrician and postgraduate coordinator at the Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa Sírio-Libanês (SP). ). “If it’s short, it’s considered ‘incompetent’ in medicine.”
When the uterus is short, it can cause the pressure on the growing baby to open up before the baby is ready for birth.
There is no specific reason for a smaller uterus, the doctor explained. There is also no behavior that can affect the situation: “It is never the patient’s fault, because it is an anatomical problem.”
How is the diagnosis made?
Common pregnancy symptoms such as back pain and abdominal cramps can be a sign of a short cervix. But like Borba, most women with the disease are asymptomatic.
The most reliable method of diagnosing complication is endobaginal ultrasound. According to the obstetrician of the Hospital Sírio-Libanês, the measurement of the uterus should be made between 18 and 23 weeks, that is, in the second trimester of pregnancy.
What are the risks?
The risk of premature birth is significantly higher among pregnant women with small uterus than among those of ideal size.
But that doesn’t mean a pregnant woman with a smaller uterus is doomed to have a preterm birth, Borges said. “It means he’s a patient who needs to be cared for and needs more rest,” says the doctor.
The obstetrician points out that the reverse reasoning also applies, which is that having a normal-sized collar does not automatically prevent the baby from giving birth early: urinary tract infection is the leading cause of preterm birth ”.
“But if everything goes well with the pregnancy and if the cervix is more than 2.5 cm, the chances of premature birth due to a short uterine uterus are greatly reduced. ”He summed up.
What is the treatment?
There are basically three ways to treat short cervix, says Borges. The appropriate path for each case should be evaluated by a professional.
One of them is progesterone, known as the “pregnancy hormone.” The substance helps prevent constipation and thus helps maintain pregnancy. Women can receive it weekly as an injection or as a daily vaginal medication for up to about 34-36 weeks of pregnancy.
The so-called “Arab pessary” is a silicone ring that is inserted into the vagina to keep the neck closed, as if it were a “lid”. Putting on the ring, Borges explains, is done by an obstetrician.
There is also the possibility of a small operation to perform a small surgery known as a “neck-to-neck cerclage”, in which a point is placed to help keep the neck closed. This option is indicated for women who have already had another miscarriage or miscarriage, for example.