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Old 09-27-2012  
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Default What is Cervical Effacement?

If this is your first pregnancy, you may be a bit uncertain about labor and the signs to look for. Your body will go through many changes to prepare for birth, including cervical effacement and dilation. These signs will come weeks before delivery and your doctor will check for effacement during your routine doctor’s visits before your due date.

What is Cervical Effacement?
Cervical effacement is also known as thinning, softening or ripening of the cervix. The vast majority of effacement occurs during your last few weeks of pregnancy and you will not feel it happening at all. During routine vaginal exams, your health care provider will check for effacement to make sure your body is preparing for childbirth and getting close to labor. Your cervix is around 4 centimeters long during most of your pregnancy and slowly thins before and during labor. When you are 50% effaced, your cervix will be around 2 centimeters. Before a vaginal delivery, cervical effacement must be at 100% and dilation must be at 10 centimeters.
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