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Cervical Position: What Your Cervical Position Tells You About Your Fertility
One way to become familiar with your menstrual cycle and ovulation is by checking your cervical position. Checking your cervical position will allow you to notice changes throughout the month and get a personal prediction of your most fertile time of the month. It helps you to know when ovulation is about to occur and can also indicate whether or not pregnancy has been achieved.
Keep in mind that if you have been monitoring your cervical position and tracking ovulation, but still have not gotten pregnant, it may be time to see a fertility doctor. A woman under the age of 35 who has been trying to conceive for one year with well-timed intercourse, or a woman over the age of 35 who has been trying for six months without success should consult a fertility doctor.
How to Check Your Cervical Position
- Checking the cervical position takes some practice. A good time to try is after a bath or shower.
- Always wash your hands well prior to checking your cervix.
- Keep nails trim so as not to cause discomfort.
- Sitting on the toilet or squatting or standing with one leg on the edge of the bathtub are good positions to be in. Use the same position each time you check your cervix.
- Gently insert one or two fingers into the vagina. Feel for the cervix - located in the upper front or top.
With practice you will start to notice the changes the cervix goes through during your monthly cycle. (Some women are squeamish about checking during bleeding, and wait until menstrual flow stops.) Because every woman’s cycle is different, including the length of different phases of the cycle, it may take several cycles before you get to know your own body.
The position and texture of your cervix will change during your cycle:
- During menstrual bleeding, the cervix is normally low and hard and slightly open to allow the blood to flow out. It feels like the tip of your nose.
- After your period stops, the cervix remains low and hard and the opening to the uterus (uterine os) remains closed.
- As you approach ovulation, the cervix rises up to the top of the vagina and becomes softer and moister.
- At the height of ovulation, the cervix feels more like your lips than your nose and the uterine os is open to allow sperm to enter in. Sometimes the cervix seems to disappear – which just means it has become so soft that it blends in with the vagina walls and rises so high that the finger cannot touch it. This is known as SHOW - soft, high, open and wet. This is your most fertile time and is the optimal time to have sex to achieve pregnancy.
- Once ovulation occurs, the cervix drops lower and becomes more firm - once again feeling like the tip of your nose. The opening to the uterus will become tightly closed. This can happen immediately after ovulation or may take several hours to several days.
- When pregnancy occurs, the cervix will rise up and become soft, yet the os will remain tightly closed. This occurs at different times for different women – as early as 12 days after ovulation or well after the pregnancy has been confirmed by a home pregnancy test or doctor.
Monitoring Your Cervical Position
Not every woman is comfortable performing the check and there are other ways to monitor your cycle. But this is something that is simple, can be done at home, and can help you take control of your fertility. Getting to know yourself and all your fertile signs will help you time intercourse for pregnancy.