Correlation between visual examination of the cervix and digital examination

Leonardo Pereira, Rebecca Gould, Jacquelyn Pelham, Jay Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective. To determine the correlation between visual assessment of the cervix and digital examination. Methods. Prospective study of patients presenting to Labor and Delivery. Exclusion criteria were preterm premature ruptured membranes (PPROM) and placenta previa. Visual and digital assessments of cervical dilation, effacement, position, and station of fetal presenting part were made. Correlation between visual and digital examinations was measured using Spearman rank correlation coefficient (COR). Ap-value <0.05 was considered significant. Results. The study involved a total of 107 patients at a mean gestational age of 32.3 weeks (range 17-41). Seven patients had ruptured membranes, and 46 were nulliparous. Visual assessment correlated with digital examination for all parameters measured with Spearman rank correlation coefficients between 0.618 and 0.686 (all significant at p < 0.001). Correlations between visual and digital assessment of cervical dilation, effacement, station, and position were not as strong (0.291-0.699), but remained significant (p < 0.02) in a subgroup of 50 preterm patients <34 weeks gestation. Conclusion. Visual assessment correlates with digital examination of the cervix. This correlation remained significant in a subset of preterm patients with intact membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Cervical assessment
  • Cervical examination
  • Digital examination
  • Visual examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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