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SMFM Consult Series #40: The role of routine cervical length screening in selected high- and low-risk women for preterm birth prevention

Preterm birth remains a major cause of neonatal death and short and long-term disability in the US andacross the world. The majority of preterm births are spontaneous and cervical length screening is onetool that can be utilized to identify women at increased risk who may be candidates for preventive interventions.The purpose of this document is to review the indications and rationale for cervical lengthscreening to prevent preterm birth in various clinical scenarios. The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicinerecommends (1) routine transvaginal cervical length screening for women with singleton pregnancy andhistory of prior spontaneous preterm birth (GRADE 1A); (2) routine transvaginal cervical length screeningnot be performed for women with cervical cerclage, multiple gestation, preterm premature rupture ofmembranes, or placenta previa (GRADE 2B); (3) practitioners who decide to implement universal cervicallength screening follow strict guidelines (GRADE 2B); (4) sonographers and/or practitioners receivespecific training in the acquisition and interpretation of cervical imaging during pregnancy (GRADE 2B).