Charting Basics - Cervical Positionby Lori Ramsey
The third fertility sign, and probably the most invasive, is the cervical position. Checking the cervical position is not highly recommended because of the fact that an outside force is invading the otherwise clean area of the vagina. I recommend it, because it helps me to know when ovulation is about to occur and tells me when it has definitely occurred. It can also give clues as to whether pregnancy has been achieved or not.
Checking the cervical position takes some practice and if you choose to chart this particular sign, there are some smart guidelines you must follow in order to achieve the best results. First and foremost, wash your hands thoroughly before checking the cervix. A good time to check it would be after a bath or shower. It would probably be a good idea to keep your nails trimmed as well, so as not to nick the fragile tissue. There are different ways in which to check the cervical position. Sitting on the toilet or squatting or standing with one leg on the edge of the bathtub are good positions to be in. Gently insert one or two fingers into the vagina. Feel for the cervix - located in the upper front or top. It usually takes a month or so to see all the changes in the cervix during the cycle.
During the beginning of the cycle, the time of menstrual bleeding, the cervix is normally low and hard and slightly open to allow the blood flow out. It feels like the tip of your nose. I normally don't check it during menstruation, simply because of the mess. After the bleeding stops the cervix remains low and hard and the opening to the uterus remains closed. This will change the closer to ovulation you approach. The cervix rises up to the top of the vagina and becomes softer and softer. At the height of ovulation the cervix feels more like your lips than your nose and the internal and external opening to the uterus are open, to allow sperm to enter in. Sometimes the cervix seems to disappear - which, of course, it has simply become so soft it blends in with the vagina walls and rises so high that the finger cannot touch it. This is known as SHOW - soft, high, open and wet.
The time frame for this to happen varies from woman to woman. Each woman is unique, and must give herself several cycles to determine when events take place. Sometimes ovulation will start to happen, and the cervix will rise and soften and then ovulation will be delayed for some reason. I have noticed that my own cervix seems to see-saw at different points - but by acquainting yourself with all your fertile signs, you learn how to recognize each one of them.
Once ovulation occurs, the cervix drops to low and firm - once again feeling like the tip of your nose. And the os become tightly closed. (The the opening to the uterus in a woman who has given birth vaginally will feel more open at all times because of the stretching that occurred at the birth of her baby.) This can occur immediately after ovulation, or not for several hours or days. Again, each woman is unique, and needs to find these things out over a several-month time frame.
When pregnancy occurs, the cervix will rise up and become soft, yet the the opening to the uterus will remain tightly closed. This occurs at different times in different women. Some women may find that twelve days after ovulation their cervix will do this, and is a probable pregnancy sign. Others won't experience this until well after the pregnancy has been confirmed.
When checking the cervix, use caution, always clean your hands and try not to do this too often - the cervix can sometimes become easily irritated. If you don't feel comfortable charting this sign, then don't do it. If you do, give yourself a month or two to acquaint yourself with the different changes the cervix goes through during the cycle. Some women actually use a speculum to observe the cervix.
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