Cervical cerclage is a rarely used type of surgery that involves sewing shut the outlet of the uterus (cervix) to prevent it from opening before a pregnancy is carried to early term (week 37).

Cervical cerclage may be used for a woman who has given birth prematurely in a previous pregnancy and had minimal or no contractions before the birth. It may also be used when the muscles of the cervix are suspected to be weakened (incompetent cervix). If preterm labor starts, the cerclage will be removed right away. Otherwise, it is usually removed at 36 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. And labor will usually start within 2 weeks.