Your cervix plays a vital role during pregnancy and childbirth. The cervical position changes during ovulation through conception and can be an indicator of pregnancy. Also, the changes in the cervical mucus can help you check and confirm your pregnancy right at home. Sounds interesting?
Read this MomJunction post to know how to check the cervical positions during your fertile window and if this is a reliable method for confirming 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.
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 increase but if pregnancy has not 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.
It is better to use other tracking methods like basal body temperature along with the cervical position method to ascertain conception. If you feel that you’re pregnant after assessing the cervical position, then use a home pregnancy kit to confirm the result. The only guarantee way to check for pregnancy is with a pregnancy test.
Tracking the sudden changes in the position of the cervix can help you identify the right time for conception. But as mentioned earlier, you need to understand the changes and patterns of the cervix’ positions for accurate interpretation.
Did you check your cervical positions to ascertain pregnancy? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.
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.