The Low-Down-Deep on the Cervix

Most women have little interest in little parts of their body that no-one except their gynecologist ever sees, until something goes wrong. But considering the cervix is involved in some of the best and some of the worst functions of our bodies, and it is constantly sending us newsflashes about our fertility, our sexuality and our health, it’s a good idea to get a bit better acquainted.

The cervix is the end part of the uterus that joins up with the vagina. It is narrow and cone-like in shape. It is only a few centimeters wide, but changes with age, hormonal state and with the number of childbirths.

The bottom of the cervix protrudes into the end of the vagina. It has an opening called the os, which is the gateway between the vagina and the internal sex organs. The os looks and feels different at different points in the menstrual cycle, as well as before and after vaginal childbirth.

A woman can feel the end of her cervix by squatting and inserting a finger deep into the vagina. The cervix is the smooth convex surface at the top of the vagina, slightly towards the front wall. Generally the cervix feels slick with a little knob on it (the os). Around the time of ovulation (about 2 weeks before bleeding begins) the cervix feels softer and mushier than its usual more solid texture.

When a woman menstruates, the cervix gets told by the hormones to stretch, causing it to open up slightly and allow the menstrual blood to leave the body. The cramping that women tend to feel during periods is probably related to this stretching. The good news is that after childbirth, once the cervix has been opened wide and is looser, many women stop experiencing period pains.

After menstrual bleeding ends, the opening of the cervix gets blocked by the thick mucus that is produced in the non-fertile days. This blockage protects us from infection. When ovulation approaches, the mucus will become thinner, allowing sperm to pass through the cervix.

Natural fertility methods are based on active awareness of the type of cervical mucus being produced at each stage in the cycle, something of which our awareness is generally low, especially since synthetic contraceptives appeared. A woman using hormonal contraceptives, will not be able to notice these natural changes because the hormones tend to keep the cervical mucus thick.

During pregnancy, the cervix doesn’t have to release menstrual blood and needs extra protection from infection. Special antibacterial mucus is produced on the cervix and this adds protection for the internal sex organs and the mother.

In childbirth, the cervix opens up to 10cm in diameter. This natural magic trick is managed by a flood of hormones.

The Fun Angle

During penetrative sex, depending on the relative sizes of each partner (the length of a woman’s vagina and the length of a man’s penis) there can be contact between the penis and the cervix. The cervix does not have the same sensation as the outer part of the vagina, so it cannot feel pleasure, but can feel pressure. Some women enjoy this, liking the sense of fullness, while others consider it unpleasant and need to ask their partners to change positions or thrust shallower.

During orgasm, the cervix and uterus have contractions, which define (in part) the strength of the orgasm. Some researchers believe that the orgasm and the convulsions of the cervix are intended to draw sperm inside. Considering the limited time that a woman is fertile relative to the consistent orgasm potential, we can consider the option that not everything is about fertility; some of the cervix’s function could be just about sensual pleasure.

The Down Side

The cervix is associated with one of the more common cancers in women. The vast majority of cervical cancer cases are related to infection with the HPV virus.

Fortunately, cervical cancer can be identified in its pre-cancer stage and treated, with regular PAP smears. The new HPV vaccine will also change the prevalence of infections with the most dangerous strains, within a few years, if it is allowed to become part of universal health care coverage for youths before they become sexually active.

Not-such-nice Names

The cervix has been described with a lot of colourful names and metaphors which, among other things, emphasizes just how adaptive this little organ is:

A doughnut – the cervix is said to be doughnut-shaped because that’s the way it appears from the vaginal view.

A fishmouth – after childbirth, the cervix returns to almost its previous size, but the shape takes on the look of a pouting mouth.

Neck of the uterus – this is pretty much the same as the word cervix, which means neck in Latin. It’s just more evidence that female-only parts usually have nasty names (refer to sexual language regarding the vagina).

10 comments on “The Low-Down-Deep on the Cervix

  1. Royale, USA on said:

    I’m fortunate. MY CERVIX OS OPENED DURING INTERCOURSE, AND MY MATE’S PENIS ENTERED AND WAS STUCK, UNTIL I FINISHED HAVING THE ORGASM. (Note – I bore three ten pound babies and a set of twins total 16 pounds, I am also going through Menopause which means… soften cervix/os.) IT’S SAID THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE SINCE THE CERVIX/OS IS AN EXIT POINT. I BEG TO DIFFER. HERE’S ONE FOR THE MEDICAL BOOKS… My mate was taken to ER… The top Urologist at the VA Facility at first thought his penis was broken. My mate underwent MR imaging and a test that required dye injected in his penis to check for uretha breakage/leakage. He suffered an entire penis hemmotoma, [sorry for misspell]. The ream around the penile head was swollen an additional three inches. “Ouch! and Ugly”

  2. annabel on said:

    yes i totally understand. i was one of those woman and i no longer have my cervix, even though i asked my surgeon many times if this would effect my sex life. i am so so sad i feel empty and desperatly sad. what can i do. can they make some sort of cervix to enhance things for me. plaese help i am so unhappy.

  3. Medical Evaluation, Orlando USA on said:

    The cervix DOES FEEL PLEASURE SENSATIONS in many women as much as the sensitivity of the clitoris. Sorry for those of you who do not have this sensation, you will not understand what we are talking about. These nerve endings are directly connected to the brain stem, and trigger deeper orgasms than clitoral orgasm in many women. It is not the G-Spot. Yes man women feel pleasure in the upper third of their vagina and cervix. It performs various functions other than the structual entrance to the uterus. It is one of the innervated parts of a woman’s body. For those women, who have this type of orgasms, the removal of the cervix is sexual mutilation and causes intense lifelong sexual pain. Also, it is the nerve pathways that transmit the signals to the cervix to respond, not the hormones. Please reference the work of Karen Berkly, Ph.D., Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., and J.J. Collins, Ph.D. among others neuroscientist and neurobiologist. More educated gynecologist are aware of this, do not see one who isn’t. Women who do not experience this, usually can not understand this concept. You can determine this if stimulating the clitoris just gets you going with smaller orgasms but you have a big finishing orgasm with deep penitration.

  4. Frank, Greensboro, USA on said:

    The body’s immune system can take care of HPV without any invasive procedure. Watchful surveillance is a method of treatment. HPV does not necessarily cause cancer. Also, the HPV vaccine has been banned in India and Bhutan after the death of four girls. In clinical trials, the Gardisil vaccine caused genital warts. Read the side affects to determine if you want to take the vaccine. Also, it has not been determined on how long the vaccine lasts.

  5. Iris,United States on said:

    This information in the article is partially in error. In some women the cervix is just as sensitive or more than the clitoris, these women have deeper more intense orgasms upon stimulation of the cervix. Any operative procedure on the cervix such as a LEEP conization or hysterectomy will cause women to loose the ability to orgasm and in most cases pain upon intercourse or chronic vaginal or cervical pain. You can start the research by reading journal articles by Beverly Whipple, Ph.D. Karen Berkley, Ph.D., Neuroscientist; and J.J. Collins, Ph.D., Neurobiologist. Gynecologist MDs are not knowledgeable of these women who are many nor do they know how to treat the pain with the nerve damage associated with these types of surgeries. That is why a hysterectomy and LEEPs are sexual mutilation to these women.

  6. While most generic advice would say that by now your tear should be well healed, this is not a matter that should be dealt with in cyberspace.
    Discuss this with your midwife and your gynecologist. Have at least one of them give you a proper examination. It is not urgent, it can wait a few weeks, but prepare all your questions in advance, preferably in writing, so that you don’t forget to ask whatever is worrying you when you have the appointments. Wishing you a healthy and memorable birth, without further incident.

  7. Hi i gave birth normally to my son in march 2008, I am now pregnant again, i am 18 week’s but worried about my cervix. I think i have a torn cervix (right across). I did see my doctor before i was pregnant she said it was normal to tear but i am worried. Will this cause problems with this pregnany?? I ain’t due to see my midwife for 5 week’s and i do not want to wait that long. I am scared i might have a weak cervix that will not be strong enough to hold my growing baby and my GP isnt very helpful, please help. Thank you

  8. Strong cervix, minneapolis, MN on said:

    precancerous cells are often removed with cryo-therapy using a freezing method.

  9. Reader on said:

    Just a quick correction for the “Down Side” section – a PAP smear is not a treatment, it’s a test. Dysplasia (pre-cancerous cells) are usually treated by partial or complete amputation of the cervix.

    I really like how you acknowledge the role of the cervix in an orgasm. Every OB/OYN I’ve spoken with thinks nothing of chopping off half your cervix w/o warning their patients that there orgasm will be diminished. Thanks for the article!

  10. Julia,USA on said:

    This is great information for all girls and women to know. I remained abstinent throughout my teens and waited to have sex. My first and only partner was/is my husband. After having bad experiences with more common contraceptives, we started Natural Fertility Charting. I have appreciated the awareness is has given me of my own body.

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