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How to Check your Cervix for Ovulation: A Step-by-step Guide to Cervical Positions

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

Your cervix position during ovulation becomes high and your cervix becomes soft, wet, and open. You may use the acronym SHOW (soft, high, open and wet) to remember this. Your cervix position after ovulation becomes low and your cervix becomes firm, dry, and closed. 

It may sound easy; however, the majority of the women haven’t touched their cervix. Hence, when they touch it, they aren’t sure what does the cervix feel like. (For instance, they can’t make out how firm is ‘firm’ and how soft is ‘soft’).

What does a cervix look like?

The cervix is the narrow, cylinder-shaped lowermost part of the uterus, which connects the uterus and the vagina. It is about four centimeters in length. It is 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, it 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 a cervix do?

The cervix secretes mucus that helps in carrying male sperms (deposited in the vagina during sexual intercourse) from the vaginal canal to the uterus. In the uterus, one of the sperms fertilizes a mature egg if you are ovulating. If you are not ovulating, your cervical mucus thickens and forms a barrier not allowing the sperms to enter the uterus.

Why to check your cervix for ovulation?

It is important to check cervix position during ovulation if you are planning to conceive as it may provide vital information. You may be able to detect ovulation by keeping a track of changes in the cervix. Subtle changes occur in your cervix all through 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 the cervix feels like. 

Changes also occur in the cervix during childbirth and late pregnancy. The cervix thins, dilates, and shortens during childbirth. The cervical position in early pregnancy is high and the cervix is soft and tightly shut, whereas, the cervix is dilated to about 10 centimeters and completely thinned out at the time of birth. 

Checking ovulation day

How to check your cervix at home, step by step

Checking the cervical position is one way to get familiar with your menstrual cycle. It helps you to 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. You should try checking the cervix after a shower or bath. 

Step 2. Make sure to wash your hands using soap and water before checking the cervix. It is an important step to prevent the introduction of any type of infection in your reproductive organs. If you are suffering from any type of vaginal infection such as a fungal infection, you should let the infection get over before checking the cervix.​

Step 3. You should trim your nails as you may cause injury to your internal organs by long nails.

Step 4. Find a position that is comfortable for you in which you can easily reach the cervix. You may sit on the toilet or squat or stand with one of your legs on the edge of your bathtub. It is best to check the cervix at the same time and in the same position every day. 

Step 5. Insert your middle or index finger (longest one) into the vagina up to at least the middle knuckle or even far away until you are able to feel the cervix. Notice, what does the cervix feel like. It may feel like a protruding cylinder/nub toward the backside 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 like? Right before ovulation, it may feel soft like your lips. The cervix after ovulation feels harder, like your nose’s tip. 
  • Is the cervix angled to a side or placed centrally?
  • Is the cervical opening slightly open or closed?

Step 7. Note down the position of your cervix on a fertility calendar if you are trying to conceive. It may help you not only in understanding the cervical changes in a better way but also in detecting 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, whatever may be the period of your menstrual cycle. 

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Cervix position during ovulation

The texture and position of the cervix change during the entire menstrual cycle. As ovulation is about to occur, the cervical position is high and the cervix is soft and moist. Your cervix when ovulating becomes soft, open, and wet and rises high. This is called SHOW for soft, high, open, wet cervix. The cervix feels like your lips and the opening of the cervix is open so that sperms can enter inside it. The cervix is also more centrally placed during this time. You may increase your chances of getting pregnant by having sexual intercourse one to two days prior to ovulation.

Cervix position after ovulation

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

While you are having your menstrual bleeding the position of the cervix is low. At this time your cervix is hard and the opening is slightly open so that the menstrual blood can flow out. The cervix at this time also feels firm, just like your nose’s tip. It may be slightly angled to one side. 

Once your menses stop, the cervix still remains hard and low. The cervical opening is closed at this time of the menstrual cycle. 

Cervical position in early pregnancy

If pregnancy occurs, your cervix rises up and becomes soft. The cervical opening is tightly closed during early pregnancy. This happens at the different point of time after conception for different females. The cervical position in early pregnancy may change as soon as 12 days after you ovulate or after a pregnancy test or a blood test at a doctor’s office confirms your pregnancy. 

Cervical screening test: What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear, which is also known as a Pap test is a cervical smear test that is done to screen for cancer of the cervix. The cervical smear test checks whether cancerous or precancerous cells are present or not present on the cervix. During the procedure, cervical cells are scraped gently and examined for the presence of any abnormality. The procedure is performed at the doctor’s office. It may cause mild discomfort but usually doesn’t inflict long-term pain. 

If you are less than 21 years of age, not sexually active, and have no risk factors for infection or cancer such as being HIV positive or having a weak immune system from an organ transplant or chemotherapy, then you don’t require a Pap test. If you are less than 21 years of age and are sexually active, you need to undergo a Pap test every three years. If you are between 21 and 29 years of age, you also require a Pap test every three years. If you are between 30 and 65 years of age, you need to get examined every three to five years if your cervical smear test and human papillomavirus (HPV) test are negative. If you have HPV, then your risk of developing cancer of the cervix is increased. If you are over 65 years of age, then you may not require Pap test anymore. You should discuss this with your doctor. 

There are two possible cervical smear test results. It may be either normal or abnormal. Normal results may imply that no abnormal cells were present in your cervix. Presence of abnormal cells doesn’t imply that you have cancer. Abnormal cells have several levels. Depending upon your test results your doctor may either increase the frequency of Pap smears or recommend a procedure known as colposcopy. The results of Pap tests are quite accurate and by getting regular cervical smear test you may reduce the mortality risk due to cervical cancer by about 80 percent. 

 

The cervix is a cylinder-shaped organ that connects uterus to the vagina. It secretes mucus that helps in transporting male sperms from the vagina to the uterus. You can check your cervix during your menstrual cycle as it may help you predict when you are the most fertile during the month and when you are going to ovulate. Checking your cervix during ovulation may provide good information if you are trying to conceive. Your cervix during ovulation becomes soft, high, open and wet (SHOW). Your cervix after ovulation becomes low, dry, and firm and the cervical opening is closed. The cervix during early pregnancy rises up and becomes soft. The opening of the cervix is tightly closed. Practice and patience are required to check the position of your cervix. 

https://www.babymed.com/blogs/beautiful-cervix/cervical-changes-position-during-menstrual-cycle
https://www.babycenter.com/404_how-do-i-check-my-cervix-for-signs-of-ovulation_1336330.bc
https://www.healthline.com/health/pap-smear#hpv
https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/cervix-in-early-pregnancy#reliability
https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/cervix-uteri#1

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