Cervix Examination - An Accurate Way of Detecting Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on August 13, 2012

Many women attempt to check for pregnancy by examining the position of the cervix. This is because the cervical position changes when a woman is pregnant. The position and nature of the cervix changes right when ovulating starts occurring. While ovulation is taking place, the cervix shifts towards the vagina. When implantation takes place, it goes back to its earlier position. In the initial stages of pregnancy, the cervix is rigid and firm. When fertilization of the egg occurs, it gradually starts becoming loose and more flexible.

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These changes in nature and position may vary from woman to woman. The cervix is the lower area of the uterus, which opens into the vagina. It has a narrow opening known as the os.


The menstrual flow occurs through the os and during pregnancy the cervical os closes so that the fetus remains inside the uterus until the time of delivery. The cervix also performs another important function during labor, when it dilates to allow the fetus to pass from the uterus into the vagina. As implantation of the egg takes place, there is an occurrence of several pregnancy symptoms. The cervix also undergoes changes that are indicative of pregnancy. However, checking the position of the cervix is generally not recommended as it involves the presence of an external force in the sensitive vaginal area. It also takes some amount of practice to chart this sign. Before checking the position of the cervix, one needs to wash the hands thoroughly. The best time to do this would be after a shower. The fingernails must be trimmed to prevent tearing of the sensitive vagina tissues. There are different ways to check the cervical position. One can do so either by standing with one leg placed on the rim of the bathtub or squatting or sitting on the toilet. Insert a couple of fingers gently into the vagina and feel the cervix.

At the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the cervix will feel firm, low and opened slightly. Once bleeding stops, it still remains firm and low, but the os closes. As ovulation approaches, the cervix moves to the top of vagina and becomes soft. At the peak of ovulation it feels softer and the os opens to allow the entrance of sperm. When pregnancy takes place, the cervix rises up and becomes soft and the cervical os remains closed. This may happen at varying times for different women. Some women may experience this about 12 days after ovulation, while others may experience it only after pregnancy is confirmed.

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