If you’ve used a menstrual cup or researched menstrual cups at all, you’ve probably read about the importance of measuring your cervix for the proper fit and placement.
Cervix position is likely something you have never thought much about. But it can actually tell you a lot about what’s going on in your body at different times during your cycle. And while measuring your cervix isn’t required in order to use a menstrual cup, being familiar with the placement and position of your cervix may make it easier to find the perfect fit and help you feel more comfortable using a cup!
On the Pixie Cup Blog, we do our best to tell you everything you could ever want to know about your period… and that includes answering frequently asked questions such as “is it normal for my cervix to move during my period?”
The short answer is yes! Your cervix actually goes through lots of changes during the month due to hormonal fluctuations. In fact, not only does your cervix move, it also feels different depending on where you are in your cycle.
What is the cervix?
Before we go any further, let’s talk about what the cervix is. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus. It forms the passage between the uterus and the vagina.
The opening of the cervix is small — it may feel like a thin slit or a dimple. (If you’ve vaginally delivered children, the opening to your cervix may be slightly larger.) That means if you’re using a menstrual cup, it can’t get “lost” in the vagina or be inserted too far. Your cup can only go so far before it hits your cervix!
How to find your cervix
You can locate your cervix by inserting a finger into the vagina (wash your hands first!). If you feel squeamish about checking your cervical position, this is perfectly normal! It’s not something most of us are used to doing, but it will get easier in time. Breathe slowly and try to relax. It may help to squat or put one foot up on the edge of the bathtub. Slowly slide your finger in until you feel the firmer tissue at the top of your vaginal canal. That’s your cervix.
You can tell the difference between your vagina and the cervix because, while vaginal tissue is soft and gives way to pressure, the cervix is more firm. It may feel like the tip of your nose.
Depending on where you are in your cycle, the position and feel of the cervix can change. If you are ovulating, your cervix may be softer, higher, and more difficult to reach. If you’re tracking your cycle, these cervical changes provide important signals about your cycle and your fertility, such as when you’re more likely to get pregnant.
Here’s what happens to your cervix during the different phases of your menstrual cycle, and what all those changes mean.
Cervix position during menstruation
During your period, your cervix is likely low and firmer to the touch, and the opening is a bit larger to allow the menstrual flow to escape.
This is why, if you’re trying to find the right menstrual cup for you, it’s best to measure your cervix right before or during your period. You don’t want to measure your cervix during a time when it’s higher, only to find your menstrual cup doesn’t fit.
Some women find that their cervix is still high during menstruation. If this sounds like you, it could mean that your uterus is situated higher in your abdominal region. Many women also have a tilted or tipped uterus, which can affect the position of the cervix. A high cervix, a high uterus, or a tilted uterus is usually not a cause for concern, and many women don’t even know about these factors until they become pregnant.
Cervix position directly after menstruation
After your period ends, your cervix remains low and firm for a little while. The opening of your cervix will begin to close after the menstrual flow has finished.
Cervix position nearing ovulation
In the days leading up to ovulation, increasing levels of estrogen cause the cervical tissue to soften. The cervix begins to prepare for conception by becoming softer, higher, and more open. At this point, your cervix may feel more like your lips, and it may be hard to reach. All of this means your body is preparing for a possible pregnancy, so if you’re trying to conceive, these are important signs to watch for!
Cervix position during ovulation
During ovulation, your body is most fertile. At this time, your cervix will rise very high, while growing very wet, soft, and open. This is often referred to as SHOW: soft, high, open, wet. This is to allow sperm to pass into the uterus to create a pregnancy.
Cervix position after ovulation
After ovulation, as estrogen levels decline, your cervix will begin to close and drop low once again, becoming firm to the touch.
Cervix position during pregnancy
If you become pregnant, the cervix will not drop, but will remain high and soft. It may feel more closed than it does during ovulation.
However, a high cervix following ovulation doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pregnant. Everyone’s body is different, and it may take a while for your body to adjust to the changing hormones throughout your cycle. Regularly tracking your cycle will help you learn what’s normal for you. (Interested in tracking your cycle? Try our free period tracker download!)
Live free every day of the month
At Pixie Cup, our mission is to empower women to live in freedom every day of the year. We believe gaining a greater understanding of all the changes happening during our menstrual cycle will help us do exactly that! It may take some time to get comfortable measuring your cervix and to learn what it all means, but in time you’ll find that it all helps you understand your body better.
Have questions about your cervix or your cycle? Drop them in the comments below!
Your Pixie Cup purchase helps a woman in need
We’re also on a mission to empower every woman in the world with a life-changing period by putting a Pixie Cup in their hands through our Buy One Give One program. It’s a big mission, but with your help, we can do it. As of today, we’ve given over 60,000 cups to those in period poverty — and we won’t stop until every single woman or girl in need has the resources to manage her period with dignity.
This content was originally written on September 9, 2019, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.