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Cervical Position

We get quite a few questions from women asking how they can tell if they have a high or low cervix.

What is the cervix?

The cervix forms a passage between the lower end of the uterus/womb and the top of the vagina. During menstruation blood passes from the uterus though the cervix and into the vagina.

cervixillustration.jpg

Image: The female anatomy
Source: http://www.ccsb.org/

Why would you want to know your cervix position?

Checking your cervical position (CP) may be familiar to women who have used this method to monitor ovulation however it can also be useful to a menstrual cup user. Knowing your cervical position may help you decide if a brand of cup will suit your anatomy or if you should trim the stem on your cup.

When should you check it?

It helps to check at roughly the same time each day.

It’s also a good idea to check and record your cervix position a few times a week for a month, as your cervix is likely to move.

Do not check your cervical position before, during or immediately after sexual arousal or intercourse as this may cause the cervix to move.

Where should I do this?

It it’s easiest to check you cervical position in the shower as you are likely to be relaxed and can wash easily.

How do I check my cervix position?

Step 1: Wash hour hands well to avoid any infection.

Step 2: Find a comfortable position such as standing with one leg up on the bathtub. It’s best to check your cervical position standing or sitting and not lying down, as this is the cervix’s ‘normal’ position with the effects of gravity.

Step 3: Insert you index or middle finger into your vagina and slide it upward until you fell your cervix. Your cervix is the shape of a small doughnut (as shown below) and it feels a bit like the tip of your nose.

cervixillustration2.jpg

Image: The Cervix
Image source: http://www.webmd.com

‚Ä®Step 4: Take note of how far your finger is inside the vagina when you reach the cervix. To do this you can use the ‘knuckle rule’. Your cervix is;

cervicalpositionknucklerule1.png

Image: The 'knuckle rule' used to determine cervical position

Your cervix is;

  • Low: If you can only insert your finger to your 1st knuckle or bend in your finger.
  • Medium/Middle: If you can insert your finger to the 2nd knuckle – roughly half way up your finger.
  • High: If you can insert your finger beyond your 2nd knuckle to the 3rd knuckle.

After monitoring your cervix position for a month you will have a good gauge on your overall cervix position.

Is your cervix on the move?

For some women their cervix is almost always high and for others, almost always low.

However if your cervix does move around it bit it’s not surprising! These model wombs are anatomically correct in size, shape and weight. They show the non-menstruating uterus (pink) and the menstruating uterus (red). 

jujuwombmodels4.jpg  jujuwombmodels3.jpg

Image: Clay models depicting the non-menstruating and menstruation uterus. 

As the lining of the uterus thickens, the uterus grows and can double in size and weight. This extra weight coupled with the increase size of the uterus can push the cervix lower prior to and during menstruation. Then, as the lining is shed during menstruation, the uterus will start to return to it’s original size and the cervix may move higher. 

What does this mean for me when using JuJu?

Low cervix

Your cup may be forced to sit lower due to the cervix location and the stem of the cup may protrude. In this case, we recommend you trim the stem of your JuJu as it may cause labial skin irritation. Please only do this if you are comfortable with the removal of you JuJu at all stages of your cycle as your cervix may ‘retract’ towards the end of you cycle and be hard to reach.

Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional if your cup is sitting low and causing discomfort as this may be an indication of poor pelvic floor tone or pelvic organ prolapse which may be causing your cup to be pushed lower..

uterine-prolapse.jpg

Image: Types of pelvic organ prolapse
Source: http://afairgo.net/vaginal-prolapse/

Medium cervix

Your JuJu will most likely be easy enough to reach to remove and you probably won’t need to trim the stem.

High cervix

If your cervix is high please ensure you insert you JuJu low – just inside the vaginal opening. Your cup may ‘travel’ on it’s own as sit higher than where you originally placed it and this is completely normal and nothing to worry about however removal may take a bit longer to get the knack of given your menstrual cup will be harder to reach.

If you are having difficulties reaching the base of your cup to release the suction seal because it is sitting high try the following tips;

  • take a deep breath and relax - this is the most important tip as getting stessed will also cause the vaginal muscles to tense and make removal harder
  • either sit on the toilet and tilt your pelvis forward (i.e tuck/curl your tailbone under) or squat down in the shower as both of these positions will help shorten the vaginal canal and make your cup easier to reach
  • whilst bearing down lightly, insert your index finger only up beside the cup and press it towards the center to release the suction seal

If you have just woken up your cervix is likely to be higher too so give yourself an hour of being up and about as gravity will often help move the cervix and cup lower during the day. 

If you are still having difficulties take a break and try again in an hour. If you continue to experience difficulties removing your cup please make an appointment with your doctor or visit the emergency department. 

See the Removal section of our FAQs for some additional tips on removal.

Remember

  • Our bodies are all different and there’s a wide range of ‘normal’ in terms of our anatomical shape and size.
  • During menstruation your cervix is likely to sit lower.
  • During ovulation your cervix is likely to sit higher.
  • The size and weight of the menstruating uterus can affect the location of the cervix.
  • Kegal exercises will increasing your pelvic floor tone and assist with keeping your cup in place.
  • Please consult your physician if you feel you have an extremely low cervix (i.e. you can feel your cervix just inside the opening to the vagina) or if have a feeling of heaviness, discomfort or pressure within the vagina as this may be related to pelvic organ prolapse which affects approximately one third of women at varying levels of severity.

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