Trying to get pregnant or simply want to be up to date with what’s happening inside your body?
A good way on identifying ovulation aside from charting your basal temperature and tracking your period is through checking your cervical position.
It might seem like a scary thought putting a finger up your vagina, reaching as far as you can go to locate this little nugget, but let me assure you that by following the right steps on how to check the cervical position, the procedure will be super comfortable and painless!
Before we jump right into the process of checking our cervical position, let’s back up a bit and get to know our cervix more and why knowing its position is beneficial for us.
- The Cervix: What Is It And Where To Find It
- The Importance Of Knowing Your Cervical Position
- Checking Your Cervical Position
- Putting It All Together
The Cervix: What Is It And Where To Find It
The cervix is part of the female reproductive system that differs in length and position from one woman to another. It acts as a passageway from the uterus to the vaginal canal.
I’d like to think of it more as a gate that facilitates entry and exit in and out of the house (in this case our house is the uterus also known as the womb).
The cervix can range anywhere from 2 to 5 cm in length and even with its size, it plays an amazingly big role in our reproductive health.
It Gives Us Clues
The varying levels of hormones change the consistency of our cervical mucus and together with its position, it can give us a clue on whether or not we’re ovulating.
During childbirth, your cervix dilates and gives the attending physician an idea of how near are you from giving birth.
Leads The Sperm Cells Inside Your Womb
Through its microscopic hairs called “cilia”, sperm cells are transported right through the cervical canal and on to your womb where they continue the race to meet your egg.
Facilitates The Flow of Menstrual Blood from The Uterus to The Vagina
Imagine the dam gates opening and closing to control the amount of water released and how water will flow freely without it. That’s how I envision the cervix working, except it doesn’t actually close but instead it thickens.
It Helps Protect The Baby in Your Tummy
During pregnancy, the cervix does not expand (to help keep the baby inside) and it produces a thicker cervical mucus that acts as a plug to seal the uterus and keep it from being infected.
Once you’re ready to give birth, this plug (or mucus) thins up while the cervical wall relaxes to initiate the delivery.
The Importance Of Knowing Your Cervical Position
Knowing your cervical position plays an important role when you’re trying to conceive. Based on its position you can tell whether you are ovulating or not.
During ovulation, you’d find that your cervix is at a higher position and will eventually get to a lower position during menstruation. However, if you have successfully conceived, your cervix will remain at that high spot.
Another important thing to check is how your cervix feels. Days before your period, your cervix should feel firm while during pregnancy it feels a lot softer.
Apart from hinting you on your ovulation, knowing your cervical position also plays a big role when shopping for a menstrual cup.
This ensures that you’d be getting the right and comfortable size depending on how far high or low your cervix is.
You must be thinking “but how do I feel my cervix?”, the next part of this article will teach you how.
Checking Your Cervical Position
When to Check
The proper timing will get you more accurate results. Here are some things to remember when checking for your cervical position (CP):
- Stick to a Schedule – Get your cervical position at the same time every day.
- Do It While You’re Relaxed – Perhaps after a nice, warm shower or upon waking up. When your body is relaxed, your vaginal walls won’t constrict as much and this will make checking your CP comfortable and less painful.
- Do Not Check Your Cervix After Sexual Stimulation or Intercourse – Sex can cause your cervical position to change giving you inaccurate results.
- Do Not Check Your Cervix If You Currently Have an Infection – You should wait till the infection clears out before you start checking again.
How To Check Your Cervical Position
- Cleanliness Comes First – Wash and sanitize your hands to avoid infection.
- Find a Comfortable Position – Standing with one leg stepping on the tub (or toilet) or sitting are the preferred positions when checking your CP as this shows the normal position of your cervix (with gravity and all) compared to doing it while lying down.
- Slowly Insert Your Index Finger In – Keep inching upward until you hit your cervix. You’d know when to stop when you feel a round, doughnut-shaped muscle that feels like the tip of your nose.
- Take Notes – With your index finger still inserted, take note how much of the finger is protruding outside from the vaginal opening. Aside from the position, also take note of its texture and any cervical mucus if available.
This is the so-called “Knuckle Rule” test. It divides your index finger into 3 sections (marked by the 3 joints on your finger). See further explanation below:
- If you’re able to insert your index finger up to the first joint/knuckle, that means your cervix is lying LOW.
- If you’re able to insert at least half of your index finger (or up until the second joint/knuckle), that means your cervix is lying MEDIUM (not too low or high).
- If you’re able to insert the index finger fully up until the third joint (or the base of your hand) or still can’t feel your cervix even if the entire finger is fully inside that means your cervix position is HIGH.
Q: How Do You Know If Your Cervix Is Open Or Closed?
A: It depends whether you’re ovulating or not. During ovulation, your cervix exudes a number of properties collectively known as SHOW (Soft, High, Open and Wet).
As you move closer to your period, the cervix becomes firmer, drier, and nearly closed (just has the right amount of opening to let the menstrual blood out).
Q: How Does Your Cervix Feel Right Before Your Period?
A: Your cervix should feel firmer like an unripened fruit and drier (with less mucus secretion). To give you an idea, it should feel like the tip of your nose.
Q: Is Your Cervix High Or Low In Early Pregnancy?
A: During early pregnancy, your cervix shall remain at a high position. This is unless you have a condition called prolapsed cervix which can be diagnosed by your physician.
If you’re pregnant and you notice that your cervix remains low (say after observing it for a month) and is accompanied by heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge, painful sex, constipation, recurring bladder infections, and lower back pain, consult your doctor ASAP to rule out whether you have a prolapsed cervix.
Q: What Does The Cervix Feel Like When Pregnant?
A: Your cervix should feel soft all throughout your pregnancy. As you near your expected delivery date, its cervical mucus thins out and soon you’d find it slowly dilating.
Once, you’re fully dilated (meaning your cervix is fully stretched out as the baby is crowning or pushing its head) it means you’re ready to deliver your baby!
Q: How Do You Check Your Cervix In Early Pregnancy?
A: The steps provided above should help you check your cervix during the early stages of pregnancy.
However, if you’re planning to use this as a tool to check whether you’re pregnant or not, it may not be 100% accurate as the position of the cervix differs from one woman to another (example: a woman can be pregnant even with a low lying cervix).
Putting It All Together
Remember our bodies are different and the size and position of our cervix differ from each other. Do not freak out if a friend has a higher cervix while yours lie low.
Our menstrual cycle plays a big role in how our cervix moves and tracking our cervical position can give us a general idea of what is normal and what’s not.
Hope this article on how to check cervical position helped in educating you about this teeny tiny part of our body and removed all your apprehensions.
Go ahead do yourself a favor and thoroughly check your body, let your cervix be your guide!