7 Straight-Up Magical Things You Didn't Know About Your Cervix
Be honest—have you ever felt your cervix? Do you even know where your cervix is? If you answered no to either of these questions, you are certainly not alone. Most of our partners have spent more time with it than we have, yet this obscure connective tissue at the tip of the uterus is literally the doorway to life and yet we tend to ignore it unless an issue arises. But our cervix is chock-full of useful information! Here are a few of our favorite cervical secrets:
1. Your cervix is constantly changing.
Depending on where you are in your cycle, the position of the cervix varies. During your period, the cervix is low, firm (like the tip of your nose), and slightly open to allow the blood to flow. Once you stop bleeding, the cervix tends to stay low and hard but becomes tightly closed. As you get closer to ovulation, it rises to the top of the vagina and becomes soft and moist. When you’re ovulating, the cervix feels soft (like your lips), high, open, and very wet. After ovulation, the cervix drops again, becomes harder, and closes as it gets ready for menstruation again.
2. It can change your sex life!
Because your cervix is moving up and down, becoming soft or firm and slightly opening or closing, some positions for intercourse (or insertion of any kind) may be uncomfortable at certain times of the month. If you start paying attention to these patterns and getting familiar with how your cervix moves throughout your cycle, you might be able to avoid pain during penetration and increase your pleasure!
3. It's an indication of your fertility.
All those cervical changes aren’t just for nothing. They are actually indications of your fertility. If you learn to track your cervix you’ll know you’re the most fertile when your cervix feels higher (sometimes it’s even hard to reach) and softer. You might also notice that it feels slightly open. If you’re trying to get pregnant, this would be the best time for conception!
4. It creates magical fluids.
Tiny glands in the cervix create their own fluid with superpowers to help protect sperm so that we can propel our species forward. It can also create fluids for some lubrication au naturel! If you’re tracking your cycle, you’ll notice that the cervical fluid changes throughout the month. Typically, right after menstruation it tends to feel dry, and then as you approach ovulation, it gets stickier and progressively creamier. When you’re ovulating, the fluid is very slippery—almost like egg white and this consistency is what allows the sperm to survive and reach the egg. Oh, and this fluid is also your self-cleansing mechanism, helping to clear you of unwanted bacteria and dead cells. Like we said: magic!
5. It can give your whole body an orgasm.
While the studies are lacking, there is talk of a full-body orgasm stemming from cervical stimulation. Unlike a clitoral orgasm, a full-body orgasm does not build and come down but is more like constant waves—tingling and vibrations throughout the whole body.
6. It's the door to life!
During pregnancy, the cervix rises up and softens but remains tightly closed while baby grows inside the uterus. Thanks to a self-created mucus plug that blocks the cervical canal (think wine cork), your cervix protects itself and baby from unwanted visitors. Toward the end of pregnancy and sometimes not until labor this plug falls out and your cervix thins, opens and expands so much that the diameter of a baby’s head can fit through.
7. It's a detective: It can help you find any abnormalities.
Getting to know your cervix can help you detect potential health concerns earlier. Learning what your cervix feels like can better help you spot lumps, warts, or scarring, and learning your cervical fluid can give clues to infections based on changes in smell, color, consistency, and/or frequency. If you suspect something is up, you will be armed with info to bring to your gynecologist, who will, no doubt, appreciate the detective work.
Is your interest piqued? Here's how you can start playing around.
Wash your hands and watch for fingernails. It tends to be easiest to find your cervix while sitting on the toilet or squatting with one leg on the edge of the bathtub, just be sure to use the same position each time you check. Gently insert one or two fingers into the vagina. Use a lubricant on your fingers if it feels too dry. Feel for the cervix, located in the upper front or top. Once you get there, you’ll notice a tiny doughnut-shaped opening; you shouldn’t be able to go much farther. If you’re there then—yahoo!—you found it! If not, try again at another point in your cycle; we promise it’s there; your vaginal canal might just be a bit deeper.
If you’re curious about what the cervix looks like IRL, check out the Beautiful Cervix Project, which includes lots of graphic and REAL pictures of women’s cervixes!
Have fun exploring! You can thank us later.
Natalia Hailes is a DONA International certified birth doula and lactation specialist. She’s the co-founder of allbodies, a digital platform for modern health education, and the co-author of Why Did No One Tell Me This?. Her work has been featured in Newsweek and Teen Vogue.