Cervical Changes During Pregnancy

Submitted by Nic on January 17, 2012

The cervix is the portion of a woman’s anatomy that joins the uterus to the vagina. The cervix plays a crucial role in pregnancy as it is through the cervix that sperm travels to the fallopian tube to fertilize mature eggs. Only after successful fertilization, can a pregnancy proceed. At the end of the pregnancy term, the cervix acts as a doorway, letting out the baby from the confines of its mother’s womb into the world outside, through the natural process of childbirth. Hence, like all other changes that occur during pregnancy, the cervix also undergoes certain changes to suit the pregnancy as well as facilitate childbirth.


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However, these cervical changes in pregnancy often go unnoticed as most women do not check their cervix on a regular basis, especially since it is not externally visible.

Cervical changes during pregnancy are a part of the long list of changes that occur in the expectant mother’s body as a result of the pregnancy. Following ovulation, the cervix feels firm as it drops lowers in the vagina.

On successful fertilization and implantation, the cervix rises a bit and becomes softer. Some people experience cervical changes during early pregnancy around the same time as their period would be due. Others realize this change after the confirmation of the pregnancy. To protect the developing baby and prevent infection from passing into the uterus, operculum is formed in the cervix. This is a mucus plug that acts as a protective barrier that seals the mouth of the uterus. In addition to this, the mucus glands in the cervix secrete more mucus and this leads to an increase in cervical discharge. This mainly happens due to the hormonal changes occurring as a result of the pregnancy as well as the increased blood flow to the pelvic region. Through the term of the pregnancy, cervical discharge continues and the cervix clams shut so as to hold the growing baby in the expanding uterus.

Cervical changes during late pregnancy include a softening of the cervix, essential for dilation which in turn is a main segment of labor and childbirth. As the contractions begin, the cervix relaxes and thins. The mucus plug is expelled through the vagina as the time for the baby’s arrival nears. This may occur in the form of a blood stained blob of mucus or a thick discharge streaked with blood. If this is followed by a steady trickle of fluid or blood, consulting your medical practitioner at the earliest is recommended.

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