The cervix, also known as the neck of the uterus, or simply Cervix Uteri in Latin, is one of the most essential parts of the reproductive system of the human female. Most people regard it as the gatekeeper of the uterus as it prevents many things such as sex toys, fingers, tampons, and penises from getting past it.
It has a shape that appears as cylindrical and measures about one inch long (two to three centimeters). More importantly, this part of the uterus changes in both texture and position during pregnancy. Due to this fact, a woman can possibly tell whether she is pregnant by checking the cervix position by inserting in the vagina, her middle finger.
This article describes the changes in the cervix during pregnancy.
Changes In the Cervix During Pregnancy
Just before pregnancy, cervix is completely closed and very firm. However, during the time of early pregnancy, it begins to soften gradually. Additionally, it rises up or changes its normal position. But rising starts during the time of ovulation when the cervix gets to the highest position in-the-vagina. When a woman is menstruating, it goes to the lowest position, but when she conceives, it still remains in the highest position in-the-vagina.
Moreover, the cervix length decreases. It becomes also thinner as the body prepares for labor. This is very important because it allows it to open easily so as to give birth. Premature birth happens in a situation when cervix opens prior to the thirty-seventh week. When an expectant mother experiences pre-term labor signs and symptoms such as dull backache, pelvic pressure, regular contractions, and vaginal spotting, a doctor may perform several examinations to see if the cervix has started to open. This may follow various remedies and treatments to ensure that the pregnancy stays healthy and longer.
If a person had suffered a repeat miscarriage or premature birth sometimes back in the past, chances are that they had a weakened or incompetent cervix. This is where the uterus or cervix is malformed or damaged probably because of a birth defect, DES exposure, or past surgery. The patient should, therefore, make sure that her cervix is checked well by a health professional in order to prevent premature births and miscarriages.
The other significant change of the cervix during pregnancy is that it begins to rotate to face anteriorly, and also to dilate, as labor progresses. In fact, when the child is being born, the cervix is supposed to dilate to about 3.9 inches (nearly 10 cm) of diameter so as to allow the head to pass through. Another change is that the mucus that forms around it gets thicker. This is good in preventing sperms from entering-the-uterus. Moreover, the mucus prevents bacteria and other disease-causing-microorganisms from entering the womb and harming the fetus.
There are many other changes that happen to the cervix during pregnancy. This article, however, has looked only at the major changes. In addition, this method, although it can be used to test the presence of pregnancy, cannot be relied upon since the cervix can be positioned differently in various women depending on various factors, for instance, if they have had sex recently. A pregnancy-test should only be used to confirm whether a person is pregnant or not.