How to Check Your Cervix for Ovulation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Cervical Position

    Updated 01 February 2023 |
    Published 09 November 2018
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Dr. Andrei Marhol, General practitioner, medical advisor, Flo Health Inc., Lithuania
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Checking your cervix during ovulation may provide good information if you’re trying to get pregnant, especially if you feel uncertain about your other signs of fertility, such as changes in cervical mucus and body temperature.

    Remember: ovulation predictions should never be used for birth control.

    Cervix position during ovulation is high, and the cervix becomes soft, more wet, and open. The acronym SHOW (soft, high, open, and wet) can help you remember this. Cervix position after ovulation becomes low, and the cervix becomes firm, drier, and closed. 

    Lots of people have never touched their cervix. If you’re among them, you may be wondering, what does the cervix feel like? (For instance, how firm is “firm,” and how soft is “soft?”)

    Take a quiz

    Female anatomy, where is your cervix and ovulation

    Learn about more topics like this in medically reviewed articles

    Learn more with Flo

    What does the cervix look like?

    The cervix is the narrow, cylinder-shaped lowermost part of the uterus, which connects the body of the uterus and the vagina. It’s about four centimeters in length and composed mainly of fibromuscular tissue. It consists of two main parts:

    • Ectocervix: The external part of the cervix, which is visible from the inside of the vaginal canal during a gynecological examination, is the ectocervix. The external os is the opening in the central part of the ectocervix that allows passage between the vagina and the uterus.
    • Endocervix: Also known as the endocervical canal, this is a tunnel into the cervix, right from the external os inside the uterus. The opening of the cervix inside the uterus is known as the internal os.

    What does the cervix do?

    The cervix secretes mucus that helps carry sperm from the vaginal canal to the uterus. If you are ovulating, sperm fertilizes the egg in the uterine tube. In the uterus, the fertilized egg implants into the inner uterine wall. 

    If you are not ovulating (e.g., you are on hormonal contraception), your cervical mucus thickens and forms a barrier that prevents sperm from entering the uterus.

    Why check your cervix for ovulation?

    It is important to check cervix position during ovulation if you are planning to conceive because doing so may provide vital information. If you suspect you might be ovulating (using an ovulation calculator like this one) then you may be able to detect whether the release of an egg has happened by keeping track of changes in the cervix. Subtle changes occur in your cervix throughout the menstrual cycle. So you may find out when ovulation has already taken place and the days when your fertility is the greatest by checking what your cervix feels like. 

    Changes also occur in the cervix during childbirth and late pregnancy. The cervix thins, dilates, and shortens during childbirth. Cervical position in early pregnancy is high, and the cervix is soft and tightly shut. During delivery, the cervix is dilated to about 10 centimeters and completely thinned out.

    Discover how your body changes during pregnancy

    Learn about more topics like this in medically reviewed articles

    Learn more with Flo

    How to check your cervix at home, step by step

    Checking your cervical position is one way to get familiar with your menstrual cycle. It helps you predict when you are the most fertile during the month and when ovulation may occur. 

    How to check cervical position

    Step 1. You may need some practice to check your cervical position. Try checking the cervix after a shower or bath. 

    Step 2. Make sure your nails are trimmed to prevent injury.

    Step 3. Wash your hands using soap and water before checking your cervix. This important step helps prevent the introduction of infection into your reproductive organs. If you’re experiencing any type of vaginal infection, such as a fungal infection, let the infection pass before checking your cervix.​

    Step 4. Find a comfortable position from which you can easily touch your cervix. Sitting on the toilet or squatting or standing with one leg on the edge of the bathtub work for most people. It’s best to check the cervix at the same time and from the same position every day. 

    Step 5. Insert your middle finger into the vagina until you are able to feel the cervix. Ask yourself, what does the cervix feel like? It may feel like a protruding cylinder/nub toward the back of the vaginal wall. You may be able to feel your cervix by circling around it and also feel a small dent (the cervical opening) in the middle of the cervix. 

    Step 6. Notice the following:

    • What is the position of the cervix in the vagina? When the cervix is in a low position, you may feel your cervix with your finger inserted in the vagina up to the first knuckle. When the cervix is in a high position, you may feel your cervix with your finger inserted in the vagina past your second knuckle, or you may not be able to feel it at all.
    • How does your cervix feel? Right before ovulation, it may feel soft like your lips. The cervix after ovulation feels harder, like the tip of your nose.
    • Is the cervix angled to the side or centered?
    • Is the cervical opening slightly open or closed?

    Step 7. Note the position of your cervix on a fertility calendar if you are trying to conceive. This may help you both better understand cervical changes and detect ovulation. 

    Step 8. Avoid checking the position of your cervix after or during sex. Your cervix changes position according to the level of your sexual arousal, regardless of menstrual cycle phase.

    Different birth control options and cervical mucus and discharge

    Learn about more topics like this in medically reviewed articles

    Learn more with Flo

    Cervix position during ovulation

    The texture and position of the cervix change throughout the entire menstrual cycle. The cervix, when ovulating, is soft, open, more wet, and high. The acronym for this is SHOW: soft, high, open, wet cervix. The cervix feels soft, like your lips, and the opening of the cervix is open so that sperm can pass through it. The cervix is also more centrally placed during this time. You may increase your chances of getting pregnant by having sex one to two days prior to ovulation.

    Cervix position after ovulation

    Cervix position after ovulation becomes lower, and the cervix becomes firm and drier. What does your cervix feel like at this stage of the menstrual cycle? It feels like the tip of your nose. The cervical opening closes. These changes may occur immediately after you ovulate or may occur several hours or several days later. 

    During menstruation, the cervix is low. At this time, the cervix is hard; the opening is slightly open so that blood can flow out, and the cervix is still firm, like the tip of your nose. It may be slightly angled to one side. 

    After your period, the cervix remains hard and low. The cervical opening is closed at this phase of the menstrual cycle.

    Cervical position in early pregnancy

    If pregnancy occurs, the cervix rises up and becomes soft. The cervical opening is tightly closed during early pregnancy. This happens at different times for different people. The cervical position in early pregnancy may change as soon as 12 days after ovulation, but it might not change until after pregnancy has been confirmed.


    US Preventive Services TaskForce. “USPSTF Recommendation: Screening for Cervical Cancer.” JAMA, American Medical Association, 21 Aug. 2018,

    Nott, James, et al. “The Structure and Function of the Cervix during Pregnancy.” ResearchGate, Mar. 2016,

    Feltovich, Helen, and Lindsey Carlson. “New Techniques in Evaluation of the Cervix.” Seminars in Perinatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2017,

    Word, R Ann, et al. “Dynamics of Cervical Remodeling during Pregnancy and Parturition: Mechanisms and Current Concepts.” Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2007,

    Rosner, Julie, et al. “Physiology, Female Reproduction.” Europe PMC, 7 Feb. 2019,

    “Menstrual Cycle .” Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 16 Mar. 2018,

    Pyper, C M. “Fertility Awareness and Natural Family Planning.” The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care: the Official Journal of the European Society of Contraception, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 1997,

    History of updates

    Current version (01 February 2023)

    Reviewed by Dr. Andrei Marhol, General practitioner, medical advisor, Flo Health Inc., Lithuania

    Published (09 November 2018)

    In this article

      Try Flo today

      Sign up for our newsletter

      Our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.

      Thanks for signing up

      We're testing right now so not collecting email addresses, but hoping to add this feature very soon.