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Effacement is the process by which the cervix prepares for delivery by ripened or thinned stage of the cervix. A normal cervix will measure between 3 to 5 centimeters in length, at the near the end of pregnancy, the cervix will begin thinning out and becoming shorter. This process is referred as effacement. The cervix naturally starts to become shorter and it gradually begins to drops closer to cervix then it softens, shortens and becomes thinner seems to disappear.
Effacement is measured in percentages. For example, your health care provider may tell you that you are effaced 50%, which means you are half way to being completely effaced. When you are 100% effaced or completely effaced, your cervix is paper-thin and labor is right around the corner.
Related Journals of Effacement
Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Journal of Pregnancy, BMC Women's Health, Current Women's Health Reviews, Harvard women's health watch, Health Care for Women International.