Cervix position and changes in cervical position during the menstrual cycle can tell you a lot about your fertility.
During your fertility window, the cervix shows and is soft. One can easily use a finger to check the position of the cervix and interpret the changes in cervical position. Charting basal body temperature, tracking ovulation and looking for changes in the cervix helps you get pregnant fast.
Changes in cervix position or cervical mucus depend on the stage of menstrual cycle you are currently at. The uterus undergoes a transformation during labor which divides the latter into three stages. When the cervix dilates and effaces, it is the start of active labor.
Why check your cervix position? You can track ovulation by looking for the subtle changes in the cervix. Couples trying to conceive must know the four positions of the cervix.
Cervix Position And Cervical Mucus Changes
The mucus and position changes have a pattern. For the same reasons, cervical position also changes during menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Method of checking cervix position is similar to checking cervical mucus.
After checking the position, you can draw out the mucus and examine it between your fingers. Mucus may not be enough during quite a few cervical checks. Just note whatever you observe in your log.
If the mucus is thick and gooey then ovulation is not near and baby making is futile. When the mucus stretches between fingers and forms a string, the egg white cervical mucus, chances of getting pregnant rise.
While checking the cervix before getting pregnant, note:
- High – means you’re fertile and ovulation is just about to occur
- Medium – doesn’t show much, just that chances for getting pregnant are not high
- Low – means you’re about to get your period or just finished it
- Thin slit – implies you’re in your fertility window and the cervix is firm and only slightly open
- Shut lips – either your period got over or ovulation ended and you’re approaching due date
- Wider opening – shows that your period is just about to start
- Firm rubber-like – feel is a sign of fertility, firmness for favoring climax and reaching deep for sperms
- Limp Loose – says that the cervix isn’t active and about to bleed
- Hard thorny – period flow is going to stop or already has and the soft cervix is tilted back giving a hard feel
- Moist – approaching ovulation and the non-fertile period has ended
- Dripping with Mucus – ovulation occurred and you can get pregnant
- Few blobs of gooey mucus – fertility window has ended and progesterone from the cyst is rising
- Dry – period is over and the new cycle will begin shortly
During pregnancy, the two things you observe while checking cervical position are height and wetness. The height shows that period is not near and that’s because you’ve conceived. While the wetness is from the mucus plug that forms by the 7th week. Renewal of mucus continues to take place throughout the entire 40 weeks.
Why is your cervix hard or soft?
A soft high cervix is a sign of fertility while a low lying and hard cervix show that ovulation is not near. Your cervix could be permanently open if you had a vaginal delivery or miscarriage. Estrogen is responsible for softening of tissues. The levels of estrogen are high during fertile days. Cervical mucus also softens the area. The hormone takes a dip if you don’t conceive.
Gradually, the other hormone progesterone secreted from corpus luteum (remaining part of ovum) is maintained. It makes the mucus dense and gooey. This makes the cervix sticky and hard. Soft tissues don’t have the moistening and feel rough.
Later progesterone secretion stops and period flow rushes through the cervix.
Cervix Position High, Medium Or Low
You need to have an idea of how the cervix changes during phases of the menstrual cycle. The height of cervical opening and the position are two ways to figure out the stage of the cycle you’re in.
High Cervix – Fertile Or Not?
A high cervix in menstrual cycle means that you are about to ovulate. The reason why the cervix shifts high up is to reduce the distance between the uterus and os.
Reducing the time and difficulty for sperms to reach the tubes a high cervix becomes firm. Lodging in the upper part your cervix is most difficult to reach near ovulation.
Don’t confuse firm rubber-like cervix with a hard cervix. A hard cervix feels parched and dry near period. A firm cervix, on the contrary, is nicely packed and has a tiny opening.
Near ovulation, the cervix is soft, high, open and wet. Some people say that having a high cervix near period means you’re pregnant. The height of cervix along with mucus changes can be a sign, alone the position is not enough.
Point to note here, high cervix and high cervix position are different! A permanently high cervix doesn’t mean you are more fertile or can’t get pregnant.
Your doctor may tell you about high cervix after a PAP test. Depending on how high and whether covered by other tissue, your OB will guide you about getting pregnant with the high cervix.
When you check the cervical position mid cycle you may feel the cervix neither high nor low.
The cervix remains closed or wide open for nonfertile days. Medium cervix won’t tell you much about the stage of the menstrual cycle.
The mucus at this stage starts transitioning from clumpy to stringy wet or vice versa. Whether you’re going from period to ovulation or coming back to the period, cervix medium depth occurs.
Cervix Low – Period or Pregnancy?
A low lying cervix indicates that ovulation happened long ago. The Estrogen level drops and the cervix returns to the lower end.
What does a low cervix mean? It means that you are not in your most fertile period. When the cervix is limp you are just about to get your aunt flow. Descending of the cervix and dropping hormone levels onset menstrual flow.
Once the period ends, your cervix remains low and tilts towards the rectum. The external os will feel tight and dry. After delivery or miscarriage, your cervix may never close completely. Nothing to worry about!
You cannot detect pregnancy based merely on cervical position. A low lying cervix does not indicate pregnancy at all. Neither does it mean the opposite when you consider it isolated. During labor lowered and effaced cervix is not enough indication.
The cervix can shorten and open anything less than 4 cm and stay like that for weeks. You can try to predict your labor within a day or three from the due date, but not before that.
How to check cervical position?
Your hands must be clean when you insert your finger inside your vagina. Do not use any tool or pointed object. Avoid checking your cervix when you have a yeast infection or first day of the period. Any contamination can spread in your reproductive system and cause infection.
Your doctor will check your cervix when labor is about to begin. If you do that yourself, then be careful that you don’t break your water. And if pregnant water leaks spontaneously, then repeated checks can cause bacterial infection.
Two Ways For Checking Cervix Position
You can either squat and check your cervix or stand with legs apart. Putting a mirror underneath will get you some visual cues. That will guide you better where you are putting your finger.
Whatever you choose, you will have to continue with it for at least one cycle. Try checking at the same time. Checking after emptying your bowels will be ideal.
What is the knuckle rule for cervix position?
Your finger has three knuckle folds. When you insert your finger the depth of the finger going inside will tell you the height of cervix. There is no other way to feel the height of cervix.
Some women find it difficult to reach the cervix. It’s possible that you’re still to understand how does the cervix feel.
You can follow the knuckle rule to decide whether you’ve cervix high, medium or low.
- If your finger goes entirely inside the vagina without pain, then cervix is high. All the three knuckles going inside and yet not reaching the cervix shows ovulation.
- Anywhere between the entire finger and more than a knuckle is medium cervix. Two knuckles inside the cervix don’t mean much. You could be going to have your period or moving to fertile days. Undoubtedly you will be able to recall if you had your period two weeks ago or long back.
- The lesser the finger goes inside, the lower is the cervix. One knuckle depth means that cervix is low. Nearing the due date, you can reach cervix easily by inserting the finger just one knuckle deep.
Step By Step Guide For Checking Cervical Positions:
Steps to check cervix position:
- Wash your hands with soap and pat dry. The caution about getting an infection is not something that you can let go.
- Stand with legs apart or squat so that your vagina opens and is accessible. You can even sit on the toilet seat or keep one leg on a stool or chair.
- Now gently insert your middle finger inside the opening as deep you can without hurting.
- Feel the cervix and the opening of the uterus, check whether the cervix is soft or hard
- Your cervix can be at an angle if you are near menstruation. The cervix is like a protruding structure at the end of the vagina and will have an opening in the centre. Walls of the vagina are like soft cushions to the opening of the cervix. This opening leads to the uterus. If you are performing the check near period day, then you will reach your cervix easily.
Look For 4 Signs When You Check Cervix Position
- Is your cervix high or low down?
- Does it feel firm or limp?
- Amount of cervical mucus you feel.
- Does the internal os (uterus opening) feels opened or like squished lips?
Never try to check by forcibly poking finger. Even when you are pregnant don’t cross that mark. The cervix is a pathway from the vagina to the uterus but remains closed.
Also, make sure of the following:
- Empty your bladder before checking. You might feel the urge to pee after poking your fingers inside. Make sure you don’t do this away from the loo.
- Don’t check after having sex because it forces the cervix to close after climax. Checking after your gut is empty is the best time.
- Use the same position for checking the cervix throughout. Checking once a day is enough. Don’t keep poking!
- During menses, there is no need to check. The changes during those days are quick and short-lived. Pushing blood back into the uterus can cause infections.
- Relax your muscles and don’t let arousal affect you. The more you are relaxed and focused the faster you will be able to learn to do the two fingers vaginal test (on yourself).
What does an open cervix feel like? How to check the cervix is open?
The open cervix is considered a sign of fertility as the uterus opens the gateway for sperms. After a certain stage, a woman’s cervix is always slightly open. It doesn’t mean she is fertile 365 days.
Every woman can herself check the position of her cervix. Nevertheless, it will take, time to be able to understand the changes in cervical position.
You need to first make out the kind of changes your cervix goes through during your menstrual cycle. Every vagina, cervix, uterus, and woman is different.
After you keep checking your cervix for three-four cycles you will be able to get what cervix positions mean.
Cervix Position at Different Stages Of Menstrual Cycle And What Do They Mean?
Cervix Position During Ovulation
At the time of ovulation, the estrogen levels are high and cause stretching of the ligaments. The cervix rises up and is tight. The os is very slightly open and the position of cervix favors pleasurable sex. Cervical mucus is stringy and like egg white. The consistency of cervical mucus allows smooth sex.
A woman is most fertile near ovulation and has higher chances of getting pregnant. The cervix is deep in the vagina during ovulation and the opening feels like pursed lips.
Cervix Position Before Period
After ovulation, the levels of estrogen drop and progesterone picks up until menses start. The cervix gradually moves down and feels hard. During the period your cervix is low to allow the os to release blood. High cervix before period can be at an angle. As the period is near the cervix shifts down and is open. Cervix opening doesn’t open much until the period start.
Cervix Position After Period
After period flow ends your cervix tilts back. You will feel a dryness during the last day of the menstrual period. Soon the glands lubricating the cervix will exude mucus. This mucus is not the fertility sign.
Instead, it’s just for moistening the internal os and walls before next lining forms. Your cervix os will feel sealed. Seeing weird vaginal discharges during this stage is common. Old blood, mucus from different glands and some other sheddings.
Cervical Position Before Period vs Early Pregnancy
After conception, the cervix rises up and stays there instead of lowering down for the period. Every pregnancy is different and so the time for rising up of cervix differs in women. The unpredictable timing makes cervical position to be an unreliable indicator of pregnancy.
Cervix before the period is the low and hard state that doesn’t happen in case of a pregnant woman. But some women have a period for the first three months and the position of the cervix will be relative to it. When a woman undergoes a vaginal birth her cervix undergoes massive dilation. The ligaments stretch open and she can have soft cervix here on. A titled uterus may not show cyclic changes of position.
Women who have such angled uterus can reach their cervix even during ovulation days. You will have to figure out the pattern of changes in your cervix position. The parallel events of change in cervical position, basal body temperature and cervical mucus time your fertility window. Just like charting basal body temperature you must check cervix position every day.
Changes In Cervical Position During Pregnancy
Even after getting pregnant there are changes in cervix you can record. This time the hygiene will matter more.
Unless you need to check for some reason don’t insert your finger or anything in the vagina during pregnancy. Tracking every day is absolutely not needed.
Changes in the cervix during labor, are checked by trained doula or OB.
Here is the chronological order of changes in the cervix during pregnancy:
Cervical Position After Implantation
Implantation is the attachment of blastocyst to the wall of the uterus. It must happen within 7 to 10 days after conception. There are not many evident signs of implantation and implantation bleeding is not universal. Cervix position during implantation bleeding can help detect it. During implantation the cervix opening allows blood to flow through. Implantation spotting is brief and involves a very little amount of blood.
Cervix Position Early Pregnancy
How does your cervix feel in early pregnancy? Early pregnancy is nearly the same time as ovulation. The cervix is high up and soft with a slight opening. The cervix position after implantation is the same, but the opening is closed.
Just like ovulation cervix during early pregnancy is high up and soft. The male fluid first condenses and then travels up the cervix. You will feel a tightening sensation near external os. The opening to the uterus will close if conception occurs.
How soon will the cervix close after ovulation? This is the tricky part because there is no standard. Conception occurs within 24 hours after ovulation. Your cervix can close by 12 hours after it or take days to completely close.
Cervix Position During Pregnancy
Your cervix undergoes dilation and effaces or thins out during childbirth. By the third trimester, your cervix shortens and opens up. Your doula will check how wide your os is. When the cervix is effaced and opens about 10 cm active labor pushes out your baby.
During pregnancy, the cervix is spongy because the blood circulation is increased multiple folds. Your cervix will remain high up but not as much as it used to before getting pregnant. After delivery, the opening may not close entirely and stay separated.
Cervix Position Changes Before Labor
As labor approaches your mucus plug will come off the cervix. The cervix will thin out and open wide lying low.
You must note that cervical position for labor is less important than dilation and thickness. You feel the cervix opening up wide.
Cervical Position After Delivery
When a woman undergoes a vaginal birth her cervix undergoes massive dilation. The ligaments stretch open and she can have soft cervix here on.
Especially in cases, where there is a husband’s stitch or after healing from a third-degree tear, cervical changes are intense. Infections or surgery in the area equally affects it.
VBAC success is greatly hampered because of these changes. Even the muscles and ligaments are not able to get to the prior state easily.
That doesn’t mean that you can never have the agile cervix. Exercises and ointments can significantly improve your cervix health.
Tracking Cervix Position But Can’t Get Pregnant
A titled uterus may not show cyclic changes of position. High cervix or low cervix can pose pregnancy complications.
Women who have such angled uterus can reach their cervix even during ovulation days. You will have to figure out the pattern of changes in your cervix position.
The parallel events of change in cervical position, basal body temperature and cervical mucus time your fertility window.
Just like charting basal body temperature you must check cervix position every day. And remember that cervix position is a secondary fertility sign. Consider it among other factors not alone.