Cervix and pregnancy research: what can the cervix tell us about fertility and pregnancy? What does a low, open or hard to touch cervix mean
Cervix and pregnancy research
Knowledge of the role of cervix in fertility has expanded significantly in recent decades and this has prompted experts to emphasize the importance of monitoring the state of the cervix and cervical mucus if you are at search for a pregnancy. Let’s see, therefore, to deepen: what the cervix is and what role it plays in fertility and in the probability of getting pregnant.
In this article
What is the cervix
The cervix is the lowest and narrowest part of the uterus and is connected to the upper part of the vagina. It consists of an external and an internal part:
- the outside is called exocervix o portio,
- the inside is called endocervix, and is crossed by a cervical canal, formed by a very elaborate system of crypts lined with epithelium of cells that secrete mucus. It is these cells that ensure the correct production of cervical mucus, so important during the ovulatory phase, to favor conception.
The cervical mucus
The cervical mucus, which can include small amounts of endometrial, tubal and even follicular secretions, is produced at a rate of 20-60 mg per day in women of reproductive age and this production increases to 700 mg per day during the preovulation phase.
According to recent research, mucus plays a key role in female reproductive capacity and has several functions:
- interacts with spermatozoa favoring their passage and motility;
- acts as a barrier for sluggish and abnormal sperm.
In terms of infertility evaluation, postcoital tests examine precisely the quality of cervical mucus: in other words, if there is an adequate number of motile spermatozoa in the endocervix, a favorable cervical factor is presumed and mucus can be excluded as cause of infertility.
How to check the cervix and cervical position
During the menstrual cycle we can assist and learn to monitor changes in the cervical position. In search for a pregnancy, following the progress of these changes can increase the chances of conception and help identify the fertile period, that is, the days close to ovulation in which it is good to intensify sexual intercourse. The cervix also changes in the last weeks of pregnancy and during childbirth.
Here are some tips to train you to evaluate the location of the cervix during the days of the menstrual cycle:
- Don’t check your cervical position during or after sex
- try to check the cervical position every day, even when you are far from supposed ovulation;
- check the position of the cervix at the same time every day.
Here’s how to proceed:
- Wash your hands well
Find a comfortable position, such as sitting on the toilet or resting one leg on the edge of the tub or squatting
Reach inside the vagina with one finger
use your index or middle finger by slowly making your finger inward as much as possible, in a sort of upward motion
identify the cervix: it is similar to a firm and round dimple.
If you are not in the fertile period it will be easier to find the cervix, if you are ovulating there cervix will be higher and more difficult to achieve.
Keep a diary of the changes you feel in the cervix to be able to identify the days of ovulation.
When you are in the fertile period the cervix looks more soft: this feature is due to the action of estrogen on the cervical tissue.
Open or closed cervix
The cervix will be only slightly open as soon as before ovulation. It is a minimal opening similar to a crack, which we are not always able to identify. It will then open again just before and during menstruation. During the period, then, the cervix will be located lower in the vagina (and not higher, as before ovulation), so the cervix before menstruation Sara lower and harder.
Cervix and fertility
In conclusion, you can evaluate the location and characteristics of the cervix to be able to understand which are the fertile days, those in which there is more chance of getting pregnant. You have to do a little practice and have a lot of patience because these changes are often imperceptible and not always easy to identify. In summary, we can conclude that:
- In the fertile days, those straddling ovulation, the cervix rises and moves away, it may be more difficult to be able to touch it. Also you can feel a small opening: one high, soft and open cervix is a fertile cervix;
- in infertile days the cervix is closed, harder and lower.
To evaluate your fertility using the …