The Trying to Conceive and Just Starting Out Primer

This is a "primer" created by Krista (Rudylover) and posted by Jennifer (Tigger062077). We made this as a source of information for the "newbies" who are afraid to ask a "silly question"...and for the "oldies" who have been doing this so long they've forgotten the basics.

If you want to reach us, you can reach Jennifer at tess_2k2@hotmail.com and Krista at rudylover_1999@yahoo.com.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What is the Cervical Position?

The cervix is actually the neck of your uterus and it has an opening in the center which allows sperm to enter the uterus, and allows your uterine lining to be shed when you have your period. The cervix is also what dilates to allow babies to exit the uterus and enter the birth canal when labor is in progress.

The position and texture of your cervix can be another indicator of whether you are in a fertile phase of your cycle or not. Many women who prefer not to chart their temperatures still gain insight into their cycles by charting cervical position (CP) and cervical mucus (CM). Just as CM changes throughout the cycle, so does the position and texture of your cervix. As ovulation approaches, it usually rises higher into the vagina, becomes softer, and the opening gets larger to allow sperm to more easily swim through.

You can check your cervical position by inserting one or two clean fingers into your vagina and feeling for a knob or bump of tissue towards the upper end of the vagina. Most women find that checking the CP while sitting on the toilet, or standing with one foot up on the toilet works best for them. You should try to check the CP from the same position each day. Checking the CP once a day should be adequate for TTC purposes. (It is not necessary to observe your cervical position during your menstrual period.)

After your period, but before ovulation is approaching, your cervix will protrude lower into the vagina. It will have a firm texture that is similar to the firmness you’d feel by pressing the tip of your nose. The opening of the cervix (called the os) will be small and tightly closed. It feels like a small dimple in the center of your cervix. You note these characteristics on your chart as Low, Firm, Closed. Typically, you are not fertile when your cervix is in this state.

When your body is preparing to ovulate, your cervix will feel higher in the vagina. It may actually become difficult to reach with your fingertips. The texture gets softer and is more comparable to pressing on your lips than to the tip of your nose. The opening gets larger, so the dimple in the center your cervix will feel bigger than before. You note these characteristics on your chart, as Soft, High, Open. Typically when you are soft, high and open, you are considered to be in a fertile phase of your cycle.

CP is subjective. It does not feel exactly the same for each woman. It is best to check your CP each day (after AF is over) of your cycle to note how it changes and get used to what you are feeling. Just as with CM, it is possible to observe favorable fertility signs and not ovulate at that time. If you are not temping, you should BD each day or every other day that you note favorable cervical position to cover your bases.

The links below show pictures of actual cervixes at different stages of the cycle and may be helpful to you, but you should be prepared for their graphic nature, as they are real photographs and some people have trouble looking at them.

Garden of Fertility

Sister Zeus