Cervix 101: A Complete Guide to Your Lady Donut
The cervix – unseen, mysterious, and absolutely awesome. We’re here to help you get to know the guardian of the uterus.
What does a cervix do?
The cervix is a small passageway connecting your uterus and vagina, and it does a whole heck of a lot for you. It produces its own lubrication to help sperm on its merry way, it knows when to open and close for sperm to get in and menstrual blood to get out, and it keeps unwanted bacteria and viruses out of your precious uterus. Plus, when you’re pregnant, it grows its own mucus plug to help keep baby secure in the womb.
During labor & delivery, the cervix is in the center of all the action – literally. Contractions pull your cervix up into the uterus, causing it to thin as it dilates, making way for baby.
What does a cervix look like?
Its Latin name, cervix uteri, translates to ‘womb’s neck’- and that’s a spot-on, though slightly unsettling, description of what your cervix looks like. Imagine your reproductive system with your uterus as the head, your vagina as the body, and your cervix as the neck connecting them.
The opening of the cervix looks more or less like a donut – round & squishy with an opening in the middle, hence the euphemism ‘lady donut.’
If you’re really curious, check out the photo gallery of the Beautiful Cervix Project to see real photos of real cervixes (warning: images are NSFW).
Where is my cervix?
The position of the cervix may change throughout your cycle as certain muscles contract, but it should be relatively easy to find. Identifying the location and height of your cervix can help you determine which menstrual cup is best for you.
What does your cervix feel like?
To find your cervix, insert a clean finger – lube is helpful here – into your vagina and feel around for a round, raised circle with a bump in the middle. Around ovulation, your cervix will feel softer – like an earlobe- compared to other times during your cycle when it will feel firmer, like the tip of your nose.
There seems to be some debate about whether or not the nerves in the cervix can be stimulated to orgasm, but enough people think it can to make your cervix search a potential for pleasurable exploration. Happy hunting!
How to maintain a healthy cervix
It’s important to take care of your cervix so it can take care of you. Getting regular pap smears is vital for detecting early cervical cancer signs. Gynecologists recommend an annual cervical exam starting at age 21 or 3 years after becoming sexually active, whichever comes first. If you’re under 30 and have an abnormal pap smear, your doctor may recommend an HPV test to check for the presence of the HPV virus.
Part of knowing yourself is knowing your cervix, so go ahead and get up close and personal!
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.
A collective group of “lady experts” at Intimina who love sharing our personal experiences, even when they are a little too personal. We believe it’s time to start breaking down the taboos around menstruation, motherhood, and menopause, and start owning our female health.