So… cervix height. If you’ve never measured the height of your cervix before, you may be a little confused as to why (and…how?) women are measuring the height of their cervixes.
Like many things in the female body, the importance of cervical height has been largely ignored by modern science. The lack of information surrounding the female reproductive system, in general, results in a lot of women being left completely In the dark about things that are actually important.
Exhibit A… Cervix height!
In this article, we will be taking you through the reasons why measuring your cervix height can be extremely helpful- don’t worry, we’ll also take you through how you can measure your cervix height.
Let’s get started.
Why is the cervix important?
Okay, so why should you even bother measuring the height of your cervix? You’ve come this far in life having never done it before so… why start now?
Well, there are actually lots of different reasons as to why knowing your cervix height can be really beneficial. From aiding pregnancy to having more comfortable periods, being ‘in the know’ with your cervix is really useful.
However, before we dive into those, it may be useful to learn a little more about your actual cervix. Read on…
So, your cervix is basically a little passageway which connects your vagina to your uterus. It’s a muscular canal and is positioned right at the bottom of your uterus, directly above your vagina. It’s pretty small (0.8 to 1.2 inches on average) and has a hole in the middle.
Other than dilating an incredible amount during labour, your cervix actually has a lot of other jobs to do as well. Your cervix protects the rest of your body from unwanted bacteria and viruses, that may enter through the vagina. The cervix also dilates when aroused, to let sperm in and also contracts to push menstrual blood out.
It’s also important to note that the cervix will change from woman to woman. For example, a woman who has never had a baby will have a very small hole in her cervix whereas a woman who has experienced birth may have a larger hole in her cervix.
In addition, for every woman, the cervix is incredibly sensitive to hormonal changes. This means that the position, size and length of the cervix can change throughout the different stages of the menstrual cycle.
For example, your cervix becomes very soft around ovulation and is positioned higher in your abdomen- this may be why some women experience bloating around this time. The cervix is also slightly open at this point, to allow any sperm in for potential conception.
During your period, the cervix is lower and harder but remains open slightly for menstrual blood to flow out. Contractions from your uterus (to push out blood) may put pressure on your cervix, making it feel more sensitive.
During the other parts of your cycle, the cervix usually remains quite low and hard, and the opening to the uterus remains closed, to prevent infection.
Why should I measure my cervix?
Okay, so now we are all in-the-know about all the different jobs your cervix does for you, let’s get back to the case in point.
Why should you be measuring your cervix?
Well, the first reason is that measuring your cervix can really help you track your fertility. Charting the changes in your cervical height can help you pin-point ovulation- especially when paired with other methods such as tracking discharge and basal body temperature.
Knowing exactly when you’re ovulating can be beneficial for every woman- whether you’re wanting a baby or not! The day of ovulation, as well as the day before and after, are the peak opportunities for conception during the menstrual cycle.
Another benefit to knowing your cervix height is getting more enjoyment from intercourse. When aroused, the vagina swells which ‘pushes’ the cervix higher.
However, If you’re still experiencing pain or discomfort during intercourse, there may be a chance that your cervix is low. If this is happening, you can discuss further will your partner and tell them exactly what feels good and what is painful. You can also experiment with different positions, use lots of lube and be liberal with foreplay.
You can track your cervix height over the month to figure out the times that your cervix is higher, and sex may be less painful for you.
Knowing your cervical height is not just useful for sex, it can also be really good for figuring out which menstrual products are best for you.
Many women experience discomfort with tampons and menstrual cups, as they can actually hit your cervix when inserted. Measuring your cervix height can help you find the correct sizes of menstrual products for you to get through your period comfortably.
Okay, how do I measure my cervix?
Right, so now we know why measuring your cervix is so good, we can move onto how you are actually going to do it.
Good news is, it’s really easy! Having a look at your fingers, you can see three lines that mark each knuckle- these are going to be important for measuring! You should also keep a tape measure nearby.
Step One: Wash your hands + trim those nails! If you’re wearing false nails, it may be best to wait until you have them off (at least one finger) to do this. We don’t want you hurting yourselves!
Step Two: Get into position. Make sure you’re in a comfortable position, this can be sitting on the toilet or hoisting one leg onto the bathtub or toilet seat. Basically, any position that will give you easy access into your vagina that feels best for you.
Step Three: Insert your Finger. Insert a finger into your vagina and keep moving your finger upwards until you feel a change in texture. It should been firmer- this should be your cervix. Always remember to take it as your own pace and use lubrication if you’re feeling uncomfortable.
Step Four: Measuring Time! If you were only able to insert the first line (or knuckle) of your finger before feeling your cervix, then you have a low cervix height. If you inserted two lines, then it is medium. If it was three, then you have a high cervix height. You can use a tape measure to convert your measurements into cm/inches.
As we mentioned earlier, your cervix height changes throughout your menstrual cycle. Therefore, it would be best if you measured your cervix numerous times throughout the month and kept a note of any changes. By doing this, you’ll have a better grasp of your menstrual cycle as well as getting to know your own body on a deeper level.
It’s always worth remembering that all women are different. So don’t feel bad if your cervix is higher or lower than ‘normal’. However, if you are experiencing extreme pain during intercourse or any other time of the month, it may be best to consult your healthcare professional, just in case.