Talking About the Cervix (without pregnancy or cancer)
Recently I got curious about my cervix. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve been having a lot of fun sex (hooray for cute boy who makes me smile) and I noticed that a certain position that I enjoy thoroughly was resulting in my cervix getting bumped some times but not others. I realized that I didn’t know much about the cervix and so I decided to do some research which quickly became frustrating when I realized that 99.876% (rough estimate) of the talking that gets done about cervixes involves either getting pregnant or cancer. I wanted to know about my body, just existing- what the heck, maybe even experiencing pleasure- but it seemed that unless it was part of a cautionary article about HPV (hell, we’re in the middle of “cervical health awareness month” which is basically, according to this, just “HPV month”) or an instructional post about how to get knocked up no one wanted to discuss it. As usual, twitter understood where I was coming from:
@Queeraschino Sit down. Are you sitting? Ok: Everybody has body parts and it's ok to talk about them without something medical happening.
— JoEllen Notte (@JoEllenNotte) January 8, 2014
So, yes, the cervix does just exist even when stuff isn’t happening to it and if you’re anything like me you know very little about it. Today we’re talking cervical facts, what it looks like, feels like and does and even why mine sometimes gets hit in that one position and sometimes doesn’t. So here goes-
Getting to Know the Cervix
What does it look like?
Picture a puffy disc with a depression (a dimple, if you will) at its center. True to form I, in looking for images to illustrate the appearance of the cervix, landed on food:
This is a bialy. Basically a bagel with a dent instead of a hole. It is delicious. It also looks like a cervix.
This, perhaps more accurate and appropriate, one is made of felt for the Felt Cervix Project
To see actual images of the cervix check out the Beautiful Cervix Project.
What does it feel like?
So, you can actually feel your own cervix! Reach inside your vagina with a finger and you’ll be able to feel something moist and smooth, kind of like if you take you finger and touch the inside of your cheek. Depending on where you are in your monthly cycle what it feels like can vary- sometimes it’s like the tip of your nose, sometimes like softly pursed lips.
What does it do?
The depression at the center of the cervix is called an “os” and it’s the hole through which menstrual blood flows, and, as it’s the opening of your cervix, it can dilate to allow for the birth of a baby. This is also the opening through which sperm passes unless a barrier such as a condom, diaphragm or cervical cap is in its way.
Why does Bedhead’s sometimes get hit in that one position and sometimes not?
So, the cervix moves during the menstrual cycle! During “infertile” times (usually around the time of your period), it cervix will be low, firm, and closed*, with dry or sticky cervical mucous. As you approach ovulation, the cervix moves upward, becomes softer and opens up a bit. The cervical fluid increases and becomes watery or slippery. Check out this illustration:
From this we can surmise that the times when I find my cervix being bumped are the aforementioned “infertile” times and thus times when my cervix is lower, firmer and drier putting it more in the line of penetrative fire (as it were) and more likely for that bumping to smart a bit. Ta-da! Science!!!
Again, shout out to the Beautiful Cervix Project where you can find a set of photos of one woman’s cervix on each day of her entire cycle.
Why did I make that last question so specifically about me?
Because everybody is different! Some cervixes sit lower or higher all the time. It’s possible that the position I enjoy so thoroughly during the time that (as I know it now) I’m ovulating, would feel great for you all the time or would never feel good for you ever. So, while that’s the answer for me it might not be the answer for you.
So, that’s my cervical story. What do you guys think? Did I miss anything? Let me know
*If you’ve had a baby, you will likely have a slight opening even during the infertile period.