The cervix is the lower portion of a woman's uterus, located at the top of the vagina. It is somewhat doughnut-shaped, with an opening in the centre that can stretch open and close tightly. Though it remains tightly shut during most of a woman's menstrual cycle, it will open during menstruation to allow the endometrium to be expelled, and also during ovulation to promote the passage of sperm through the cervix and into the uterus. During childbirth, the cervix will dilate to several centimetres wide to allow the baby to pass through.
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The Cervix in Early Pregnancy
During the early stages of pregnancy, cervical position varies greatly from one woman to the next; there is no standard expectation for how and where the cervix will be oriented at the two-week point. Because of this variation, determining the position of the cervix is not a reliable indicator of pregnancy. However, certain changes in the position and texture of the cervix do take place during the early stages of pregnancy in all women. At some point during the first few weeks of pregnancy, the cervix should rise slightly toward the uterus and change from very firm to slightly soft. Depending on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle when she gets pregnant, this change can take place within a few days of becoming pregnant or more than a month later.
How to Check Your Cervix Position
The most reliable way to check the position of your cervix is to have your doctor touch it with his fingertips. You can also check it yourself. Before you attempt this, make sure your hands are perfectly clean and dry. Ideally, you should wear sterile gloves. If these are not available you should also neatly trim the nails on any fingers you use to touch your cervix, as the tissues inside the vagina are very sensitive and can be damaged by sharp or long fingernails. In order to reach all the way to the cervix, it may also be helpful to assume a squatting position, balance one leg on a raised surface or sit on the edge of a seat so you can do this comfortably.
It is helpful to feel the cervix at various stages throughout your menstrual cycle before you get pregnant, so you know how it will feel at all of the various stages. When you are menstruating, the cervix should be positioned low and should feel firm, with a slight opening in the centre. When you are ovulating, it should feel higher toward the uterus and much softer. During the rest of your menstrual cycle, it should feel low, firm and closed.
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