How To Check Your Own Cervix
How To Check Your Own Cervix
I need today & the weekend to relax, so I am posting a draft! Prayers of support still appreciated!
Want to know how to check your own cervix but do not know how? Are you trying to conceive, or are you trying to check yourself for dilation in late pregnancy?
These tips will help you learn about the art of cervix checking, and learn more about your body in a whole. Checking your cervical position takes some practice. Over the course of a few cycles you will get to know your body well.
Cervical checking tips
1. A good time to check your cervix is after a bath or shower.
(I have even done it inside of the shower.)
2. Always wash your hands well prior to checking your cervix.
3. Keep nails short, neat, clean and filed down to prevent any discomfort.
4. Sitting on the toilet, squatting or standing with one leg on the edge of the bathtub are all very good positions to be in for cervix checking.
5. Be sure and use the same position each time you check your cervix for consistent results.
6. Gently insert one or two fingers into the vagina. Your cervix is located in the upper front or top.
Some times of the month it will be easier to reach than at other times. (See below for more information on this.)
1. A non-fertile cervix is low, closed and firm. It feels like the tip of a nose. It is easy to reach with your fingers.
2. As you approach ovulation the cervix becomes soft and raises up higher. Sometimes it feels nearly impossible to reach.
3. An ovulatory cervix is slightly open to allow fertile mucus to pass through and allow sperm to travel upstream for potential fertilization.
During this time you should notice being ‘wetter’ than usual. Mucus gets stretchy like this when you are at peak fertility.
4. After ovulation the cervix closes, lowers down, and becomes firm like the tip of a nose again. Your cervical mucus becomes tacky and far more dry.
5. During menstruation the cervix is low, hard and slightly open to allow the menstrual flow to pass through.
6. If pregnancy is achieved the cervix will rise up again and become soft, yet will remain closed for the duration of your pregnancy.
This event will happen at different times for different women, therefore, it is not a reliable method of pregnancy testing.
(These changes occur at approximately 12 days post ovulation – 6 weeks of pregnancy. So there is quite a variation there.)
Pregnant cervix checking
At the end of pregnancy the cervix starts dilating. This can happen over a period of days or weeks, or may happen the very day you give birth. Checking your cervix during pregnancy CAN be dangerous. If you know your body well and plan on doing this, be sure to follow the steps above and be very sure your hands are very clean. I always did this in the shower.
Don’t over do it, as cervix checking during pregnancy has a potential to introduce bacteria into your body and cause infection. Also, if the bag of waters is low and bulging you could potentially cause your water to break prematurely, therefore, it is important for you to wait until term to check your cervix.
Dilation of the cervix
If a cervix is dilated there are centimeters doctors will measure it in. This means how many fingers that can slip inside of the cervical opening.
(I did this at home until 3 centimeters. I was stuck there for a couple of weeks. )
1 finger = 1 centimeter dilated
2 fingers = 2 centimeters dilated
3 fingers = 3 centimeters dilated
Up to 10 centimeters which =’s complete dilation
Effacement is even harder to feel at home. (I left that one to the doctor.) Effacement is the thinning and shortening of the cervix itself, as shown in the photograph above. It has nothing to do with dilation. The two can vary a lot. You can be 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced, or 3 centimeters dilated and 0% effaced. There’s no hard and fast rule.
In active labor both of these things will happen more rapidly. Only when 10 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced will your baby be born. This is when the doctor says, ”PUSH!”
Remember: Don’t poke and prod too much at the cervix during pregnancy. It can cause irritation, spotting and even bleeding. Be very gentle if you do choose to check at this point in time. If you suspect you are dilating too early..see your doctor. He or she is the expert, and they know exactly what they are doing.
Again, do not check your cervix until late pregnancy due to the risks. Make sure your bean or beans are fully baked. (37+ weeks.) Though the risks are slim, they are possible.
I hope this helps.
Happy TTC or pregnancy to all!