An incompetent cervix is a condition in which painless stretching (dilation) of the cervix occurs prematurely. The woman usually doesn't notice it happening. Membranes may rupture without warning, and it usually results in premature delivery of the baby.
The problem is not usually diagnosed until after one or more deliveries of a premature infant without any pain before delivery. If it's your first pregnancy, you can't know if you have an incompetent cervix.
Some researchers believe the situation occurs because of previous trauma to the cervix, such as a D&C (dilatation and curettage) for an abortion or a miscarriage. It may also occur if surgery has been performed on the cervix.
Treatment for an incompetent cervix is usually surgical. Sewing the cervix shut can reinforce a weak cervix. After 36 weeks of pregnancy or when the woman goes into labor, the suture is removed and the baby can be born normally.