What Is A Cervical Orgasm? How They Work & 12 Tips For How To Have One
The clitoris, vagina, and labia all get a lot of attention when it comes to fun sexual play for the people who have them. But what about the cervix? It's tucked back inside the vaginal canal, and not everyone recognizes the pleasure potential of this innocuous little nub. Consider: the cervical orgasm.
What is a cervical orgasm?
A cervical orgasm is a type of orgasm induced by stimulating or pressing against the cervix, which is the narrow canal connecting the vagina and the uterus.
The cervix is located at the very back of the vagina and surrounded by a lot of nerves, which may feel good when stimulated, explains Good Vibrations sexologist Carol Queen, Ph.D., Depending on the owner's phase of their menstrual cycle, reaching the cervix may involve pretty deep penetration, adds OB-GYN Sherry A. Ross, M.D., and that feeling of "fullness" combined with the stimulation of those deep vaginal nerve endings can produce an orgasm for some people.
Cervical orgasms aren't necessarily common, though, Ross says, and for some people, having the cervix touched can actually feel uncomfortable or painful. That said, one older study from 19851 found at least some women "reliably trigger orgasm through vaginal or cervical stimulation," and another small older study of 132 women found cervical stimulation contributed to the orgasms of 46% of them.
"The majority of women need to have some degree of direct clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm," Ross notes, though she adds that some people actually experience indirect stimulation of the clitoris through vaginal sex since the majority of the structure of the clitoris is actually internal and wraps around the vaginal canal.
What it feels like.
Cervical orgasms are often described as a more full-bodied orgasm experience and more intense than other types of orgasms. That may be because reaching the cervix requires very deep penetration and often involves filling the entire vaginal canal, says Ross, potentially contributing to a "full" feeling and lighting up all the many nerve endings throughout the pelvic area.
"With deep penetration during sexual intercourse, some women are more sexually aroused," Ross adds.
According to research involving MRI scans of the brain's response to cervical touch, the nerve endings stimulated by cervical stimulation—which are the nerves in the deep pelvic region—are different from those stimulated by clitoral stimulation, which seems to send sensory signals to the brain via the spine2.
In addition to the neurology, Queen adds that having past erotic experiences involving cervical stimulation might contribute to why some people find this type of stimulation feels particularly good. "If someone has had an arousing experience involving the cervix, it's likely that this area will retain erotic potential," they explain.
How to have a cervical orgasm:
Get familiar with your cervix first.
Before you can get off from stimulating your cervix, you'll need to know where your cervix is, how to reach it, and what it feels like when it's being touched. Consider starting by using your own fingers to reach into your vaginal canal and touch your cervix, which is located toward the top or apex of the vaginal canal and feels like the tip of a nose with a small divot in it. If you can't reach it with your fingers, try using a sex toy with a longer body. (You can do this with a partner as well!)
"Make sure the vagina is adequately lubricated and fingernails are trimmed if you choose to explore with fingers," Ross reminds.
Time it right.
"Researchers believe the best time to try a cervical orgasm is a few days before a woman has her period," naturopathic physician Jolene Brighten, N.D., tells mbg. "Your cervix is lowest and easier to stimulate then."
Get aroused before diving into cervical stimulation.
Before you dive into stimulating the cervix—which necessarily involves vaginal penetration—both Ross and Queen stress the importance of making sure the vagina is adequately aroused and lubricated.
"Make sure you're pretty turned on to begin with since vaginal penetration can feel irritating or painful if it commences before arousal does," Queen says.
Brighten adds, "Your cervix can be tender if you hit it too hard, so take it slowly."
Figure out which types of touch feel good.
There are lots of different ways to stimulate the cervix that could potentially feel good.
"For some, rhythmic intercourse with a partner whose penis (or strap-on!) can reach the cervix is perfect," Queen says.
Some other types of touch you could try, according to Queen, include:
- Moving the cervix around
- Stimulating the sides of the cervix
- Touching the os (the tiny opening at the center of the cervix)
- Rhythmic touch
"Experimentation is the best way to find your personal sexual road map," Ross adds. "Starting with fingers may give your partner better control in finding out what turns you on with cervical stimulation."
Try positions that allow for deeper penetration.
According to Ross, some sex positions may make it easier to have a cervical orgasm—namely, those that allow for deeper penetration. Missionary, doggy style, and cowgirl are some classics that tend to allow for deep thrusting. Consider having the person with the cervix positioned at the end of the bed with the penetrating partner standing on their feet so they have more leverage and thrusting power.
"Relax and start with the basics (like missionary position), and work up to doggy style, which helps you reach the deepest penetration for cervical orgasm," Brighten recommends. "There is no one-size-fits-all here; it's about exploring what works for your body."
Stimulate the A-spot.
The A-spot, also known as the anterior fornix, is the pocket of tissue located where the cervix protrudes from the vaginal wall, forming a soft "corner" between the vaginal wall and side of the cervix. Queen says the anterior fornix is probably the most nerve-endowed area of the deep vaginal region, so it may be the key to producing a cervical orgasm.
"Some people find the anterior fornix is sensitive, and a slim toy that can reach up alongside the cervix can help you explore it," they say. "A partner's fingers can stimulate here too."
Outside the bedroom, consider a mindfulness practice.
Once you begin trying this, you might notice that it's a little hard to distinguish the feeling of cervical stimulation as opposed to general vaginal stimulation, especially when you're in the middle of penetrative sex. That's why Brighten suggests spending time outside the bedroom working on your ability to focus in on different sensations in the body.
"Achieving a cervical orgasm requires a strong dose of mindfulness, so if you want to make one happen for you, consider taking up a regular meditation practice," she says. "Many women say to achieve them, you must be absolutely centered on your pelvis. If you want cervical orgasms, mindfulness matters!"
What does the cervix feel like?
The cervix feels like a round, raised nub protruding from the vaginal wall toward the apex of the vaginal canal. It usually feels soft and slightly spongy, but with a central firmness, somewhat like the tip of a nose. It's technically doughnut-shaped and has a very tiny opening at the center called the os, which you may be able to feel with your fingers.
How long is the vaginal canal? How many inches will it take to hit the cervix?
The vaginal canal can be anywhere from 2.7 to 5.8 inches long, with most being in the range of about 4.25 inches, according to Ross. However, the vaginal canal also stretches and gets longer when a person is aroused, and the cervix may also be higher or lower in the vaginal canal depending on where a person is in their menstrual cycle. It tends to be lowest (i.e., closest to the opening) just before menstruation, according to Brighten.
Is cervical penetration possible?
No, it's not possible for a penis, finger, or toy to penetrate the cervix. Cervical orgasms happen simply through cervical stimulation, not cervical penetration.
Does hitting the cervix hurt?
Not everybody likes the feeling of having their cervix touched. Hitting the cervix during sex can feel great for some people and even cause an orgasm, but for others, it may hurt and even cause soreness following intercourse, otherwise known as cervical bruising.
The cervix is very sensitive, so it's important to be careful when attempting to have a cervical orgasm. Deep penetration or excessive stimulation may lead to cervical pain or discomfort, or what's known as a bruised cervix, which may feel like cramping or soreness in the vaginal or pelvic region. Some people's cervixes respond poorly to any touch at all.
As Ross puts it, "The cervix contains nerve fibers that can create discomfort for most or pleasure for a few."
If you're experiencing any pain or discomfort from cervical play, don't force it—not everyone's bodies are receptive to this type of touch, and there are plenty of other types of orgasms to explore.
"If a person finds it painful (as opposed to 'meh'), it would be a good idea to tell a doctor about that," Queen adds. "Pelvic inflammatory disease and other health problems can result in a tender cervix and uterus that convey pain, not pleasure."
The bottom line.
The cervix can be a source of great erotic fun for some people, though it's not for everyone. If you're curious about trying to have a cervical orgasm, try out some cervical stimulation using your fingers, a toy, or some deep penetration with a penis or strap-on. If anything feels off, there's nothing wrong with going for a classic orgasm instead.
Kelly Gonsalves is a multi-certified sex educator and relationship coach helping people figure out how to create dating and sex lives that actually feel good — more open, more optimistic, and more pleasurable. In addition to working with individuals in her private practice, Kelly serves as the Sex & Relationships Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and she’s been trained and certified by leading sex and relationship institutions such as The Gottman Institute and Everyone Deserves Sex Ed, among others. Her work has been featured at The Cut, Vice, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and elsewhere.
With her warm, playful approach to coaching and facilitation, Kelly creates refreshingly candid spaces for processing and healing challenges around dating, sexuality, identity, body image, and relationships. She’s particularly enthusiastic about helping softhearted women get re-energized around the dating experience and find joy in the process of connecting with others. She believes relationships should be easy—and that, with room for self-reflection and the right toolkit, they can be.
You can stay in the loop about her latest programs, gatherings, and other projects through her newsletter: kellygonsalves.com/newsletter