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He found that among the women whose cervix was more than 1.18 inches (3 cm) long at the time it was measured, less than 50 percent of these women delivered within a week.
Sometimes, women have a medical condition that necessitates delivering their baby soon, but not necessarily immediately.And during labor, the cervix thins down, or effaces completely, and then opens to allow the baby's head to come out.[7 Facts Women and Men Should Know About the Vagina]"The beginning of changes in the cervix happen internally, not externally," Berghella told Live Science.That's why manual exams don't predict labor very well: Because the changes are happening internally, doctors can't feel them from the outside.However, transvaginal ultrasounds reveal the shape of the entire cervix, allowing doctors to see if the process has started, Berghella said.
[Blossoming Body: 8 Odd Changes That Happen During Pregnancy]The method is safe, and women already get frequent ultrasound scans during pregnancy, said study co-author Dr.