Cervical Position In Early Pregnancy: Its Role And Changes

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The cervix plays a key role in pregnancy and childbirth. Changes in cervical mucus and cervical position in early pregnancy may help know that you are conceiving before the tests turn positive. Women aware of cervical positions in ovulation can easily identify these changes. Usually, the cervix position can be high during ovulation and low during menstruation. Cervix may remain in a high position if you are pregnant. However, not all women can accurately understand these changes.

Read on to know more about cervical positions in early pregnancy and how reliable it is to confirm pregnancy.

The Cervix And Its Role

The cervix is the narrow, lower part of the uterus and connects the uterus with the vagina. It is around 3-4cm in length. The lining layer of the cervix contains glands which produce hormone dependent mucus. During ovulation, the mucus becomes thinner, allowing the passage of sperms to the egg. Once you are pregnant, the mucus becomes thicker again to protect the uterus from harmful bacteria (1). In early pregnancy, changes take place in the position and texture of the cervix as well as in the consistency and color of cervical discharge.

Keep reading to know how the cervical position changes during ovulation and early pregnancy.

Cervical Position During Ovulation

As the ovulation date approaches, the cervix remains high inside the vagina to facilitate conception (2). During ovulation, the cervix softens and opens slightly, giving the sperm access to the uterus. After ovulation, the cervix becomes firm, the uterus opening gets closed with mucus, and the cervix drops down and remains shut until the next period.

Cervical Position In Early Pregnancy

When you conceive, the cervix will close with a thick mucus plug to protect the pregnancy (3). The cervix feels soft early in pregnancy due to the increased blood flow in the area caused by hormonal changes.

You can try and test for pregnancy by gauging the cervical position. Keep reading to know how.

How To Check For Pregnancy With The Cervical Position?

You can check the cervical position for pregnancy by inserting your finger into the vagina. But before you do, make sure you:

  • Clean your hands properly to reduce the chances of infection.
  • Cut your fingernails.
  • Get into a squatting position.

Once you are in the squatting position, insert the longest finger inside the vagina. You can feel a firm, rounded, lip-like structure that sticks out into the vagina, which is the outer part of the cervix (1).

  • Slide your finger upward – if the cervix feels high up and soft with a slight opening, it means you are ovulating.
  • If you feel the cervix lying low, hard, and closed, then it indicates that either you have not ovulated or the ovulation has already occurred.

It is not easy to determine the cervical position in the first go. You need to practice it every day: feel the cervical position and note down the changes.

Changes in the cervical position are also associated with the changes in the cervical mucus. Next, we tell you about the role of the cervical mucus in determining the position of the cervix.

Texture

Pregnancy increases blood flow to the cervix. If the woman has not conceived, the cervix is presented firm to the touch, like the tip of a nose, but if conception has been achieved the cervix is softer resembling the lips.

Cervical changes may be subtle and many women may not understand these changes.

How To Check For Changes In Cervical Position With Cervical Mucus?

If you want to ascertain the pregnancy with the changing cervical position, you must also pay attention to the cervical mucus. The mucus changes with the approaching ovulation and helps you determine the fertile time.

After the period, women observe reduced discharge or mild vaginal dryness. A few days later, but before ovulation, discharge becomes sticky and may appear white or yellow. In fertile window, but before ovulation, discharge increases and becomes creamy and opaque. At ovulation the mucus will be stretchy and looks like egg white. After ovulation if the woman has conceived, the mucus increases but if pregnancy has not been achieved, the mucus will begin to dry up and thicken.

Is It A Reliable Pregnancy Test?

No, because the cervical position can vary with different body positions. For example, the cervix’ position before sexual intercourse is not the same as that immediately after, and this could lead to misjudgment. Also, the changes in the cervical position follow a pattern, which you can understand only by tracking it for a few cycles.

Knowing the cervical position in early pregnancy may help ascertain conception before using a home pregnancy kit to confirm the result. The cervix usually feels softer on conceiving, moves higher up, and is plugged with mucus for protection. However, the cervical position may vary from one woman to another, and making a correct prediction may not be easy. You need proper practice to understand the changes and patterns of the cervix’ positions for accurate interpretation. Ensure proper hygiene measures before checking for cervical changes. Concomitant use of tracking methods such as basal body temperature and the cervical position may be helpful. Nevertheless, the only guaranteed method to check for pregnancy is with a pregnancy test.

Infographic: Cervical Changes In Pregnancy And Menstrual Cycle

The position of the cervix changes during the monthly cycle and it can indicate if you are pregnant. How to learn about pregnancy through cervical changes? The below infographic provides you with practical ways for checking:

  • Cervical position in pregnancy
  • Changes in cervical mucus
cervical position in early pregnancy [Infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • The cervix’s position and the cervical mucus’s consistency change during early pregnancy to ensure safe sustenance of pregnancy.
  • Accurately understanding these changes may help a woman know when pregnant even before confirming the same with the tests.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. The cervix; Canadian Cancer Society
2. Fiona McCulloch; 8 Steps to Reverse Your PCOS: A Proven Program to Reset Your Hormones
3. Cervical Effacement and Dilatation; Regents of the University of Michigan
4. What’s the cervical mucus method of FAMs?; Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc.
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shreeja pillai

Shreeja holds a postgraduate degree in Chemistry and diploma in Drug Regulatory Affairs from the University of Mumbai. Before joining MomJunction, she worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. As a writer, she aims at providing informative articles on health... more

Dr. Irene (Eirini) Orfanoudaki

(PhD, MD)
Dr. Irene (Eirini) Orfanoudaki is a gynecologist-obstetrician, having a private practice in Heraklion, Crete, and collaborating with private health clinic 'MITERA' - Euromeda in Heraklion. With more than two decades of experience as a gynecologist-obstetrician, she specializes in ultrasound, colposcopy, minimal and advance gynecologic surgery, aesthetic gynecology, fertility consulting, menopause consulting, operative obstetrics, high-risk pregnancy, normal deliveries, antenatal, intra-parum, postnatal... more