What’s pink, a little bit squishy and serves as the door to the uterus? The cervix, of course! Lots of people have a cervix, but few are actually familiar with it. I went a whole twenty years without knowing anything about my own cervix, what a shame! The cervix is a rarely-addressed part of reproductive anatomy, which is unfortunate because it is the gateway through which many of us were born. It also keeps the uterus safe from foreign invaders like bacteria.
If you have a cervix, are intimate with someone who does, or are just interested in reproductive anatomy, keep reading. Hold on to your caps though, these facts might just blow you away!
The cervix looks like a little pink donut that sits a few inches into the vagina. It actually looks a little bit like the head of the penis.
Hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle cause the cervical opening to dilate to different sizes throughout the month. Sometimes this dilation can be painful. If you’ve ever had mid-cycle cramping, it may have been because of your cervix!
Your cervix can move around. The cervix sits at different places in the vagina during different stages of the menstrual cycle.
Cervical mucus is important for fertility. During the menstrual cycle, cervical mucus changes consistency, which can help sperm get to the egg. Many hormonal contraceptives interact with cervical mucus so that sperm can’t move.
Many people observe changes in cervical mucus in order to familiarize themselves with their menstrual cycle or to predict fertility throughout the month. Though it is not a very effective method of contraception, cervical observation provides many people with a deeper understanding of their own body.
Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women. You can help prevent cervical cancer by practicing safe sex, getting an HPV vaccine and getting regular gynecological checkups.
Barrier methods like the cervical cap work by preventing sperm from passing through the cervical opening. These are usually used in conjunction with a spermicide.
Aardvarks have two cervices!
You may be familiar with your cervix if you have ever had a sudden pain during penetrative sex. It is possible that your partner bumped your cervix. Usually this is not a big deal, but if your pain lasts longer than a few seconds, you may want to see a doctor. Extended pain during intercourse could be a sign of an infection or an inflammatory disorder.
If you would like to feel your own cervix, wash your hands thoroughly and then feel a few inches into the vagina. You should touch a hard round spot. That hard spot is your cervix! If you would like to see your cervix, ask your doctor if you can take a peek with a mirror during your next exam. There are also techniques for self-exam with a speculum.
If you would like more information about the cervix, ask ReproCo or check out a great project at beautifulcervix.com.