Cervix Before Period: What Are The Changes To Expect?
The position of the cervix before period and throughout the menstrual cycle, change a lot of times. One example is that the cervix can start rising while ovulating in preparation for conception or it can also become reduced to make to allow the tissues related to menstruation to effective pass via the vagina. Every positional change of the cervix can be associated with a specific phase in the cycle of menstruation or other changes to the hormone such as being pregnant.
Having the texture or the position of the cervix checked along with the mucus of the cervix can assist individuals to track and monitor their current status within their menstrual cycle. This kind of information can be quite useful for people who are trying to track whether or not they are ovulating or those who are attempting to get pregnant.
Before having the cervix checked
The cervix is located in the body of the individual and serves as a connective canal to lower portions of the uterus and into the vagina. Healthcare professionals will usually have special instruments (e.g. speculum) inserted into the vagina for the cervix to be accessed. Although fingers can be safely used at home when checking on the cervix, it can be challenging to locate or feel where the cervix is located. There are different factors why people may be unable to easily locate their cervix and none of these reasons are major health concerns. These are:
- The cervix can settle at a position that is higher while an individual is pregnant.
- The individual may be experiencing ovulation resulting in the cervix being located much higher
- The individual may have a vaginal canal that is long making it difficult to have the cervix reached.
Cervix Before Period: How is the Cervix Checked?
People can have their cervix checked through the process detailed below:
- Empty bladder: A full bladder can lead to a cervix that is elevated which can make it more difficult to feel and find.
- Wash hand thoroughly using antibacterial soap and warm water: Those who won’t observe this second step for proper hygiene may end up pushing in harmful microorganisms (such as bacteria) from the fingers and deep into the body through the canal of the vagina.
- Access the cervix in the most comfortable way possible: Several individuals find that elevating one foot while standing (e.g. using a stepstool) can provide easier access. Others, on the other hand, may prefer to just squat. The bottom line- look for the most comfortable position before checking the cervix.
- Use a mirror if you want to visibly check on the cervix: Individuals may have to use their off-hand (nondominant hand) to part the labia for an easier view of the cervix.
- Have the middle or index finger inserted into the vagina: Observe how the skin can have its texture change as the finger closes in on the cervix. The canal of the vagina will usually have a feeling that is spongy and soft. On the other hand, the cervix will usually be much firmer and may also have a smooth texture. However, the said texture can be based on the cycle of menstruation. There are some comparisons for how the texture of the cervix may feel from “lips that are puckered as in a kiss” and such as the “tip of one’s nose”.
- In the middle of the cervix, try feeling for an opening or a dent- Medical professionals refer to this spot as the cervical os. It must be noted that the texture of the cervix should be observed whether if it is closed or opened slightly. The changes can be an indication of what stage one is in the cycle of menstruation.
- Ideally, observations are noted and recorded– A dedicated journal or logbook may be utilized to write down certain observations or use some form of a computer program or mobile app to have changes of the cervix better monitored or tracked.
It must be noted though, that people should not check on their cervix if they have determined that they have some type of infection. This can include yeast infections or UTIs or urinary tract infections. Checking the cervix while being pregnant should also be avoided especially once the water has already broken. Doing this can lead to risks for your pregnancy and result in infection as well.
Different Cervical Characteristics
Below are some of the different characteristics of them depending on the course of pregnancy or the menstrual cycle:
- Follicular Phase: During this phase, the body is getting ready for the attachment of the egg that is fertilized to the lining of the uterus. As a result, the cervix will have a firmer feel to it due to low levels of estrogen.
- Ovulation: Estrogen levels start to increase during ovulation which can lead to a thicker lining of the uterus. This results in the lining of the uterus feeling much softer. During this phase, individuals may also observe increased cervical mucus.
- Luteal Phase: While the uterus can remain thick due to constant progesterone, the cervix may still have a soft texture with the mucus from the cervix getting much thicker along with having a cloudy appearance and a sticky consistency.
- Menstruation: During menstruation, the cervix can be more easily felt as it is located lower in the body for easier flow of blood (menstruation)
- Vaginal sex: While having sex, the cervix can move from a higher spot to a lower one.
- During Conception: Conception checks won’t be able to confirm if one is pregnant or not so it is best to consult a doctor for this. A pregnancy test kit at home can also be a good tool to confirm if one is pregnant or conceiving.