Lesson 10 – How to Check Your Cervical Position

Lesson Objectives:

  • Learn how to check your cervix to determine cervical position
  • Learn how certain cervical positions can represent a sign of fertility

Major Points in this Lesson:

  • Cervical position is considered an optional, secondary fertility sign.
  • The cervix changes throughout a woman’s cycle in response to the hormone estrogen.
  • Cervical changes increase a woman’s odds of conception by making the cervix more receptive to sperm.
  • When fertility is high and ovulation is near, the cervix opens up and becomes high, soft, and harder to reach.

Monthly changes in cervical position

Estrogen plays a number of roles in reproduction. Increased estrogen causes cervical fluid production which promotes the nourishment and migration of sperm, leading to conception. Estrogen also causes observable changes in the cervix to allow the passage of sperm through the cervix and into the uterus. As ovulation nears, the cervix softens, opens, and rises to facilitate conception. After ovulation, the cervix lowers, closes, and becomes firmer.

Cervical position is a secondary, optional fertility sign. Similar to testing cervical fluids to determine the presence of estrogen, checking your cervical position can help you determine your level of fertility. Some women check just their cervical fluids or cervical position, while others check both. Before checking either, it’s important to understand how the cervix changes through a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

You can often determine where you are in your cycle by checking your cervical position. Early in your menstrual cycle, prior to peak fertility and just after menstruation, estrogen levels are low. During this time, your cervix is low, closed, hard, and firm. It’s also more easily assessable with your fingers. As estrogen increases and you near fertility, the cervix will become higher, straighter, and softer as it opens up.

These cervical changes cause the cervix to become more receptive to sperm, allowing semen to enter the woman’s reproductive tract and travel through the fallopian tubes to the egg to be fertilized. Following ovulation the cervix lowers, closes, and becomes more firm. Checking your cervical position through your cycle can tell you a lot about your estrogen levels and fertility. It can also be used to confirm observations made from checking your cervical fluids and basal body temperature (BBT).

While you can check your BBT with a digital thermometer, there’s now an easier way. To cut out the work of taking and charting your temperature night after night, YONO technology makes it easy by detecting your fertility window through an earbud device worn as you sleep. When you wake, connect the earbud to the base and sync all data to an application on your smartphone.  

It can take several cycles before you notice a pattern in your cervical positions. To get an idea of what you’re supposed to be feeling, check your cervix when you are fertile, indicated by a change in cervical fluids or a positive OPK. Check your cervical position again when you are not fertile, indicated by a thermal shift in your luteal phase. This method will allow you to feel the differences in cervical positions throughout your cycle.

It’s important to note that checking your cervix is not essential to determine fertility. If you are not comfortable checking your own cervix to find positional changes, you may look for other signs of fertility.

Checking the position of your cervix

If you are comfortable checking your cervical position, here are some simple guidelines to follow:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before starting to avoid infection.
  • Check your cervix once after menses. You only need to check once a day.
  • Check your cervix at the same time each day.
  • Use the same position daily when checking your cervix.
  • Empty your bladder before checking cervical position.
  • Good positions for checking your cervix include squatting or placing one foot on a toilet seat or stool.
  • Relax to more easily reach your cervix.
  • Insert just one or two fingers into the vagina and reach towards the back to locate the cervix. The cervix should feel round and smooth.
  • When feeling your cervix, make observations such as how high or low it is, if it feels soft or firm, if it’s opened or closed, and if it feels wet or dry. Women who have had children may have a cervix that always feels slightly open.
  • Record all observations found.

Checking cervical position is an excellent way to check for signs of ovulation and fertility. It may take time to get used to feeling for changes but once you know what to look for, you can better target ovulation and boost your odds of conception.