Changes in your cervix during early pregnancy
During early pregnancy you will experience changes in your cervix. Find out how it feels and how to check the cervix position.
During early pregnancy you will experience changes in your cervix, which is located between your uterus and vagina. The position of this can change during pregnancy, and it is possible to tell when conception occurred by looking at the position of the cervix. In addition to changes in your cervix position you’ll also experience changes in the position of the mucus around the cervix. The position of both the cervix and consistency of the cervical mucus can confirm whether you’re pregnant early on.
What is the cervix?
The cervix is a narrow, tubular-shaped structure that is at the at the lower end of the uterus. The cervix extends into your vagina and fills with mucus during pregnancy, this is called the mucus plug which is a protective barrier. When you’re pregnant the cervix position is firm, long and closed until the third trimester.
How does the cervix feel in early pregnancy?
During early pregnancy your cervix is likely to feel soft and rise up. The feeling of softness comes as during pregnancy your cervix will contain more blood due to rising levels of estrogen in your body.
The cervix will rise although it’s hard to know exactly when this will happen as every woman experiences this differently. This means that although you can sometimes tell if you’re pregnant by feeling the position of the cervix, it’s not always accurate as it may not have risen yet. It’s always best to confirm you’re pregnant with your doctor.
How is the position of the cervix tested?
You can check the position of your cervix yourself. First you need to be able to locate it. The cervix is about 3-6 inches inside your vagina and generally feels like a small donut with a tiny hole in the centre. To check the position of this, firstly remember to wash your hands properly with soap. You could even do it straight after coming out of the shower. Also remember that you don’t want to have long nails as this may cause injury.
Once you’ve done the above to avoid transmitting bacteria, get into a sitting position and move your longest finger into your vagina. You may have to insert your finger up a few inches before you can feel your cervix.
Cervical length during pregnancy
Cervical length is usually associated with preterm labour (labour that begins before you are 37 weeks pregnant). Your cervix should, in normal circumstances be rigid and closed, and gradually open up as your baby grows. When your cervix opens up too soon, you may be at risk of having a premature birth.
Your cervical length may also change if you have an overstretched uterus, bleeding complications, inflammation or infection.
Cervical mucus in early pregnancy
This mucus will change during early pregnancy and it will be thick, clear and viscous. This will turn into the mucus plug during pregnancy.
If you find that the mucus is yellow or green in colour, has an unpleasant smell, and secretion comes with itching you may be dealing with an infection and you should see your doctor immediately.