(HealthDay News) — Cervical cerclage is a commonly performed obstetric procedure and its rate of use has remained steady in recent years, according to a study published online July 7 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Alexander M. Friedman, MD, from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues evaluated the use of cervical cerclage based on U.S. natality records from 2005–2012 (21,312,920 pregnancies).

The researchers identified 71,582 women who underwent cerclage (overall rate ranged between 0.3% and 0.4% during the study period). A common factor associated with cerclage was multiple gestation (cerclage performed in 0.3% of singleton pregnancies vs. 1.3% of twins, 7.9% of triplets, and 18% of higher-order pregnancies). Prior preterm birth (2.4%) was also associated with cerclage. These factors remained significant in multivariate regression analyses.

“Cerclage is a commonly performed obstetric procedure that was used in similar clinical scenarios over the course of the study period. Although research evidence is less supportive of cerclage use in particular high-risk groups such as multiple gestations, these findings have not been translated into clinical practice,” the authors write.

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