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Future MOMS

Measuring cervical stiffness - 
A world first in pregnancy care

Many pregnancies are accompanied by certain symptoms: a pulling sensation in the abdomen, abdominal pain or downward pressure. Especially in early pregnancy, these can be worrying symptoms. Fortunately, they are mostly harmless [10]. But the symptoms should always be assessed by a specialist, because for the health of mother and child it is important to recognise the few critical cases as early as possible.


The ETH spin-off Pregnolia is taking an innovative step into the future with its measuring device for the stiffness of the cervix. Pregnolia provides gynaecologists with a new device for prenatal care [1] and gives pregnant women a safe feeling for a healthy pregnancy. Current studies also give hope for effective, early detection of premature births [3].

A leap
in the pregnancy care

Until now, gynaecologists have been faced with a mystery: half of premature births occur quite suddenly without any prior symptoms or causes [4]. One of the reasons for a premature birth can be a cervical insufficiency. Softer cervical tissue or shortening can be signs of an impending premature birth [5]. Therefore, the condition of the cervix is examined during pregnancy. Pregnolia now makes it possible to measure cervical stiffness with an uncomplicated procedure - a world first in prenatal diagnostics [1][6].

The following health insurances cover the examination through their supplementary insurances:

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Sanitas Krankenversicherung

myFlex Outpatient Insurance

Supplementary insurance

Supplementary insurance Classic, Family, Jump

For all self-paying women, the examination costs 150 - 200 CHF

A measuring device for the Cervical Stiffness

Until now, cervical stiffness could only be determined by vaginal palpation with the fingers and the associated subjective assessment [7]. With the Pregnolia System, a reliable device is now available that can measure the stiffness precisely and quantitatively [1][2][6].

The Pregnolia measurement supports the assessment of premature birth risk:

  • safe for you and your baby

  • pain-free

  • less intrusive and more hygienic than palpation

  • no ultrasounds

Funktionsprinzip der Zervixsteifigkeitsmessung

The "SoftCervix" study at 12 Swiss hospitals is investigating whether cervical insufficiency can be detected earlier. For this purpose, the stiffness and length of the cervix are 
measured in the 5th month. The stiffness is determined with the Pregnolia measuring device. This examination is supplemented by two ultrasound measurements

Learn more about Pregnolia? 

Watch our film here.

the cervix softens
before it shortens

During pregnancy, the cervix becomes softer and shorter. Eventually, the cervix will open completely at birth [5]. A very soft cervix can be a sign of an impending premature birth.


A clinical study by ETH Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich has shown that the cervix first softens during pregnancy and only then shortens [1][6]. This means that the Pregnolia System can identify a change in the cervix earlier than an ultrasound exam may detect a change in length. This is possible only with an objective and sensitive measurement device like the Pregnolia System, which is much more precise than the subjective method of palpation [2].

The cervix softens before it shortens

1] Badir, S. et al. (2013). Cervical softening occurs early in pregnancy: characterization of cervical stiffness in 100 healthy women using the aspiration technique. Prenat Diagn, 33(8), 737–741


The Pregnolia System
in use

The following gynaecology practices and clinics use Pregnolia's measuring device:

Pregnolia Messzentren Schweiz




Dr. med. Matti S. Kuronen, Aarau
Dr. med. Fides Küng Straumann, Zürich
Dr. med. Michael M. Rabner, Zürich
Hebammenpraxis Zürich
gynhealth GmbH, Zürich
Dr. med. Svea Klein, Medbase Uster
Dr. med. Maja Rohrbach, Männerdorf
Dr. med. Peter Böhni, Altstätten SG
Arzthaus St.Gallen


Dr. med. Urs Kalberer, Biel




Dr. med. Marin Aljinovic, Bern


If you are interested in a measurement, please contact the practice directly.


Is your gynaecologist missing from the list? New practices are being added all the time and will be listed here.  Contact her/him! Download the brochure for your next consultation. Your gynaecologist can contact us at any time.

Questions and answers about Preventive examination with the Pregnolia System


[1] Badir S. et al., Cervical softening occurs early in pregnancy: characterization of cervical stiffness in 100 healthy women using the aspiration technique.
Prenatal Diagnosis 2013; 33(8): 737-741.

[2] Badir S. et al., Aspiration technique-based device is more reliable in cervical stiffness assessment than digital palpation.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2020; 20 (391).

[3] Parra-Saavedra M. et al., Prediction of preterm birth using the cervical consistency index. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2011; 38: 44–51.

[4] March of Dimes, PMNCH, Save the children, Who. Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth. Eds CP. Howson, MV Kinney, JE Lawn.
World Health Organization. Geneva, 2012

[5] Word K., et al., Dynamics of Cervical Remodeling during Pregnancy and Parturition: Mechanisms and Current Concepts. Semin. Reprod. Med., pp. 69–80, 2007.

[6] Badir S. et al., A novel procedure for the mechanical characterization of the uterine cervix during pregnancy.
Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 2013; 27:143-153.

[7] Feltovich H., Cervical evaluation. Obstet. Gynecol. 2017; 130(1):51–63.

[8] SoftCervix study:

[9] Federal Statistical Office:

[10] Mayer I.E., Hussain H. Abdominal pain during pregnancy. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America 1998; 27(1):1-36.

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