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 through the cervix and into the vagina.
Image: The female anatomy
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.
It is easiest to check your cervical position in the shower as you are likely to be relaxed and can wash easily.
How do I check my cervix position?
Wash hour hands well to avoid infection.
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.
Insert your index or middle finger into your vagina and slide it upward until you feel 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.
Image: The Cervix
Image source: http://www.webmd.com
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;
Image: The 'knuckle rule' used to determine cervical position
Your cervix is;
If you can feel your cervix at your 1st knuckle or the first bend in your finger.
If you can feel your cervix at your 2nd knuckle, roughly half way up your finger.
If you can feel your cervix between your 2nd and 3rd knuckle or can barely reach your cervix.
After monitoring your cervix position for a month you will have a good gauge of your overall cervix position.
Is your cervix on the move?
For some people, their cervix is almost always high and for others, almost always low.
However, if your cervix does move around 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).
Image: Clay models depicting the non-menstruating (12g pink model) and menstruation (23g red model) uterus.
As the lining of the uterus thickens, the uterus grows and can double in size and weight. This extra weight coupled with the increased 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 its original size and the cervix may move higher.
What does this mean for me when using JuJu?
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 your cycle and be hard to reach. Alternately, you may wish to consider a Model 4 JuJu Cup.
You may like to trim the stem of your JuJu at the base of one of the 'nodes' on the stem if you find it protrudes. Please only do this if you are comfortable with the removal of you JuJu at all stages of your cycle and only remove a small amount at a time, re-inserting after removing each node to check if it is at a comfortable length.
We recommend you choose a Model 3 JuJu Cup if your cervix is high as this is a longer bodied cup, designed specifically for a high cervix/long vaginal canal.
The shorter-bodied Model 4 JuJu Cup is not recommended for a high cervix as removal may be more difficult.
If you have a high cervix and are using a Model 1 or 2 JuJu Cup, please ensure you insert your JuJu Cup low – just inside the vaginal opening. Your cup may ‘travel’ on its own as sit higher than where you originally placed it and this is completely normal however removal may take a bit longer to master 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 stressed 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 centre 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.
Please seek the advice of a qualified health care professional if your cup is; sitting very low in the vaginal canal, causing bladder sensitivity or causing any discomfort as this may be an indication of pelvic organ prolapse or a loss of pelvic floor tone.
Image: Types of pelvic organ prolapse
- 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 increase 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.
- Research around The average human vagina
- How to Detect your Cervix Position (CP) and Cervical Mucus (CM) type for your Charts
- Clay uterus models
- Beautiful Cervix Project