Procedure associated with increased risk of premature birth
New research has found this thread was associated with an increased rate of premature birth and baby death compared with a thinner thread.

In a new study, researchers at Imperial College London analysed 671 UK women who received a cervical stitch procedure to prevent miscarriage or premature birth.

The procedure, which is performed on around two million women a year globally, is offered to women deemed at high risk of miscarriage or premature birth. The process involves surgeons placing a stitch in the cervix to hold it closed and delay labour. The closed cervix also acts as a barrier to infection, and so shutting it with a stitch prevents bacteria passing through the cervix and into the womb.

Surgeons use one of two types of thread for the stitch - the majority use a thicker woven thread, and around 20 per cent use a thinner thread.

The study results, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, suggest the thicker thread is associated with a three-fold increase in rate of baby death in the womb when compared to the thinner thread, and is associated with an increased rate of premature birth. It's thought the thicker woven structure of the thread encourages the growth of dangerous bacteria.

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