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The cervix is also called the neck of the uterus or cervix uteri. The uterus provides protection and security for the vagina and uterus. In a sense, the cervix is the link between the vagina and the uterus. It lies deep inside the vagina, but it is possible to feel the cervix with the fingers. In this way, the midwife can also feel during the birth how far the cervix has already opened. The further, the shorter the period until the baby will see the light of day.
The Cervix – Cervix Uteri
When the cervix is palpated, resistance is felt, which closes the uterus. The opening of the cervix is called the internal cervix. When the cervix opens to the vagina, it is called the external cervix. Because the distance between the outer and inner cervix is hardly appreciable, it is generally referred to as the cervix. However, the length of the cervix uteri is different for each woman. In some women, the cervix is longer; in others, it is shorter.
The Cervix During Sex
During sexual intercourse, the external cervix plays an essential role. During a woman’s orgasm, it virtually dips into the man’s seminal fluid-like waves. In this way, it ensures the transfer of sperm to the uterus. Even if the woman uses a condom for contraception, the wave-like movements of the cervix take place. The situation is different, however, when contraception is used with the pill. Then the cervix does not move so that the semen cannot be passed on and penetrate the uterus.
Why you should examine your cervix yourself and what crucial role the uterus plays before and during pregnancy – this and more is revealed in this guidebook article:
The Cervix – The “Vital” Role Of The Cervix Uteri
Before and during pregnancy, the cervix does remarkable things. In the case of pregnancy of a woman who has not given birth to a baby before, it is called nullipara. Your cervix looks like a small, slightly thick ring with a tiny round opening in the middle. You can feel this opening yourself by gently inserting two fingers into your vagina. The cervix changes throughout the menstrual cycle. For example, immediately after menstruation, it feels soft and smooth. However, during menstruation, the cervix hardens.
Shortly before ovulation, the cervix shifts a bit further upwards. It is then difficult to feel it. One of the reasons for this is that more cervical mucus is produced during this phase. The cervical mucus is a thin, clear substance. The cervix uteri are now slightly open so that the flow of mucus is not obstructed. At the same time, Mother Nature has arranged it in such a way that this makes it easier for male sperm to be transferred to the uterus for the purpose of fertilization.
Identifying Fertile And Infertile Days With Cervical Mucus
On infertile days, the cervix is further down. It is now lower again and feels harder than during the fertile phase. At the same time, very little cervical mucus is produced. Mother Nature has thought of something here too because on infertile days it is not necessary to transport semen through the vagina, as fertilization would not be possible now anyway.
The Cervix – The Only Entrance And Exit To The Uterus
The softer the cervix is and the higher it is located inside the vagina, the more fertile you are right now. At the same time, you should know that checking the cervix is by no means the most reliable form of contraception. If an egg is fertilized and pregnancy occurs, the hCG hormone is released in the female body. This is also the signal that a pregnancy now exists. As a consequence, the uterus moves upwards and hardens.
A solid plug of cervical mucus is formed, which tightly closes the cervix. This ensures that germs, bacteria, and other pathogens cannot enter the uterus or the amniotic sac. The unborn child is therefore optimally protected. The cervix remains in this constellation until the end of the pregnancy. Sometimes, however, it is still possible for it to shorten and become soft. This is usually due to cervical insufficiency. In the worst case, this can lead to preterm labor or premature birth.
To prevent cervical insufficiency, it is important that you attend regular check-ups with your trusted gynecologist. In the case of cervical insufficiency, strict bed rest is usually prescribed. Sometimes it is recommended to close the cervix surgically. On the other hand, it should be noted that such an operation can be accompanied by sometimes considerable risks.
Surgical Closure Of The Cervix Can Be Performed Using These Methods:
– Cerclage is used to sew the cervix completely shut. This is a very complex procedure that could be quite painful for the pregnant woman afterward.
– Under certain conditions, the cervix is closed with a plastic ring. This is called a cerclage pessary, which is placed around the uterus like a chain so that further opening of the cervix is prevented.
– Instead of surgery, it is sometimes sufficient to lie still and prevent excessive movements and efforts. This can also counteract possible further opening of the cervix.
How To Check Your Cervix Yourself
The cervix is located at the end of the uterus and can – with a little practice – be felt with the fingers. Lie on your back on a soft surface and insert your finger and middle finger into the vagina.
You should only perform the self-examination with clean fingers, otherwise, germs could get into the uterus. You should also make sure that your fingernails are as short as possible. This will prevent injuries.
When you feel your cervix for the first time, it is advisable to do this immediately after your period. At this time, it protrudes a little further into the vagina, so it is easier to feel the cervix with your fingers. As soon as you come into contact with something that feels like a hard lump, you have reached the cervix. You will certainly also feel a slight depression in the middle.
If you feel the cervix shortly before ovulation, it is usually more difficult to find it, as it always moves upwards a little at this time.
Once you have reached the cervix, try to feel it extensively. It protrudes a little into the vagina. If it is slightly open, you will feel a distinct depression. If the uterus is closed, you will only feel a small bump. A soft cervix will give a little and feel something like an earlobe. A hard cervix, on the other hand, feels like the tip of your nose: slightly cartilaginous but still somewhat soft.
True to the motto: “Practice makes perfect”, it is recommended that you test the sensation over a longer period of time. Only then can you really get a feel for it? You should perform this “exercise” two to three times a day. Only in this way will you be able to feel the different textures and the changed positioning of the cervix.
How The Cervix Changes
The opening of the cervix changes depending on the cycle you are in. You will also notice changes in its firmness and positioning. These three-cycle phases are of fundamental importance:
– The uterus after menstruation
Following the period, it is usually relatively easy to perform a self-examination of the cervix. This is because it is now relatively deep and even protrudes a few centimeters into the vagina. Moreover, it is now hardened and closed, so that you can feel it particularly easy. If you try to feel cervical mucus, this is hardly possible immediately after your period.
– The cervix during the fertile phase
The further up the cervix moves, the clearer it becomes that ovulation is now imminent. This also means that it is now more difficult to feel. Some women can no longer feel it at all during this phase of the cycle. It feels particularly soft now, and the cervical mucus secreted is also comparatively thin during this phase.
If you still want to feel the cervix during this phase of the cycle, it can be helpful to squat down.
– The cervix after ovulation
Once the ovulation phase is over, the cervix will close again and harden. It is now easier to palpate again because it now also moves downwards a little. Another noticeable feature is that the cervical mucus now appears slightly lumpy. This is because it now closes the entrance to the uterus with a mucus plug, making it impossible for male sperm to pass through.
How To Check Your Fertility Status
Do you and your sweetheart have a desire to have a child that should finally come true? Then it is important that you know how to “read” your fertility at the cervix. Checking the fertile phase, on the other hand, is also important if you want to you want reliable, natural contraception instead:
– If the cervix is wide open and feels soft, this is an unmistakable indication that you are now in the highly fertile phase. The cervical mucus now has a particularly fluid consistency.
– If the cervix feels hard and is closed, you are probably in the infertile phase. This is also indicated by the comparatively deep position of the cervix.
Good To Know
The individual cycles merge slowly into one another. This means that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between a soft and a hard cervix. You should therefore not only pay attention to the texture of the surface, but also to the positioning of the cervix. In this context, it is equally important to pay attention to how the cervical mucus feels. Is the cervical mucus rather thin or thick? There are several factors to consider when checking your fertility status if you want an approximately reliable determination of your fertility.
The Cervix During Birth
When the uterine muscle contracts rhythmically, this is a clear sign of the so-called opening phase. It’s time – your baby will see the light of day in a few moments. During the opening phase, the cervix will gradually open. At the same time, it will move further forward. It will therefore become easier and easier to feel with your fingers. Therefore, the midwife will check the opening of the cervix at regular intervals to estimate how far your baby has already passed through the birth canal.
The Uterus Shortly Before Birth
In the opening phase, the cervix will be about two to three centimeters open. So it is possible to feel inside with two fingers. If the midwife ‘s index and middle fingers visually form a “V”, the cervix is already about four centimeters wide open. If, on the other hand, she can spread her fingers wide apart, an opening of the cervix of about seven to eight centimeters has been reached. Then it takes only two to three centimeters to fully open so that the baby can finally “come into the world”.
It happens that the cervix – for whatever reason – does not want to open completely. Then it is important to stimulate the blood circulation in the pelvic floor of the expectant mother so that the cervix is loosened. Sometimes raspberry leaf tea helps, in most cases, the hormone prostaglandin is administered. It has a labor-promoting effect: after the prostaglandin suppository has been inserted into the vagina, the muscle fibers of the cervix contract rhythmically. This is the first sign that the first contractions will begin a few minutes later. Now it gets exciting because then the birth is almost imminent.
The cervix is highly sensitive, and it holds its secrets. At the same time, it is an anatomical “marvel” that is of essential importance, especially before and during pregnancy. This is why many women find it extremely exciting to know that they can examine their cervix “on their own” and even take a look at their fertility status.