Have you been wondering how the heck to tell if you’re ovulating from changes in your cervix? Kim had heard this was one of the signs of ovulation, but had never tried to figure it out. One of her friends told her how easy it really is, and now she has one more tool to track down those sometimes elusive most fertile days during her menstrual cycle. She is willing to try anything, because she has been having difficulty conceiving.
What are the main 5 main signs of ovulation?
- Fertile cervical mucus
- Changes in your cervix
- Saliva ferning
- LH surge
- Rise in basal body temperature
In this article the focus will be on understanding the changes in your cervix. Additional articles on this blog discuss the 4 other signs.
What is the cervix?
First, the uterus is a hollow muscular organ within your pelvic cavity. It is within the uterus that the embryo implants and grows into a full-term baby. The narrow, lower portion of the uterus is the cervix. It projects into the vaginal canal, and the opening is called the os or cervical os. Menstrual blood passes through this small opening. During childbirth, the os dilates ten centimeters to allow the baby to be born.
How Is My Cervix One of My Signs of Ovulation?
For most women, charting cervical changes is not necessary to determine your most fertile days. In certain situations it can be especially helpful. These include when you are breastfeeding, coming off of hormonal contraception, or approaching menopause. At these times you may not have clear signs of fertile cervical mucus and you may not be ovulating regularly. Observing your cervix can give you enough extra information to help determine when you are fertile.
Many women have never felt their cervix, and it may take a bit of experimentation and practice to interpret the changes. Wait until your period has ended to start. Your cervix is a little lower and easier to feel after you have been up for at least a half hour and sometimes after a bowel movement. Squatting is the best position, because it pushes the cervix further down in the vaginal canal.
Check your cervix once per day, at about the same time and in the same position. Wash your hands, and put your clean middle finger (with a short fingernail!) all the way to the top of the vagina. You will feel something like your nose, perhaps a little to one side or the other. You may feel a slight indentation or opening at the os.
You are checking three things:
1. Texture: when you are fertile the cervix is soft, when you are not it is firm
2. Location: when you are fertile the cervix is high, when you are not it is low
3. Cervical Os: when you are fertile the os is open, when you are not it is closed
When you are fertile the cervix is soft and high, and the os is open. This is an excellent signal of your fertility to become familiar with. It is especially helpful if you are ovulate irregularly and your other signs of ovulation are not completely clear.
Add these observations of your cervix to your ovulation calendar, or put it on your fertility chart with your basal body temperature. This information is not just important for determining your most fertile days. If you are having trouble getting pregnant, it will be very valuable to understanding the health of your menstrual cycles. As you make changes in your life to support your health, you can watch the many aspects of your menstrual cycle for improvements that indicate you are making progress.
Just imagine that soon you will graduate from this course in learning about your health and fertility, and begin a whole new one – the changes that come with pregnancy!
To Your Vibrant Health!
Veronica Tilden, DO