- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Hegar's sign I

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Compressibility and softening of the cervical isthmus (the portion of the cervix between the uterus and the vaginal portion of the cervix), a sign that may be present during second and third months of pregnancy – fourth to sixth week. It is due to the softening of lower segments of the uterus and to the fact that the foetus does not fill the uterine cavity at this stage, leaving and empty space in the lower part. The sign is not a positive one for pregnancy, absence of the sign does not exclude pregnancy.

The sign was first described by one of Hegar's assistant (not the one who described his dilator) and later mentioned in Hegar's textbook of 1895. Here Hegar credited his student for his early publication of the sign. Unfortunately, we have not found the bibliography for 1884.


  • E. Sonntag:
    Das Hegar'sche Schwangerschaftzeichen. Leipzig, 1892. Ca. 20 pp.
    Sammlung Klinischer Vorträge herausgegeben, Leipzig, Neue Folge no. 58.
  • A. Hegar:
    Diagnose der frühesten Schwangerschaftsperiode.
    Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, Berlin, 1895, 21 (35): 565-567.

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