For anyone with a vagina and uterus, or anyone who has ever been sexual with them, you may have noticed deep inside the vagina is a hard fleshy organ that you can feel. That, my friends, is the cervix. Extending into the vagina, it is the lower portion of the uterus and connects the two in an elongated passageway usually a few inches in length. It may be easy to reach with a finger, or it may be sitting further back. You may have even noticed that it can sometimes be firm like the tip of your nose and other times soft like your lips. You may never have noticed any of these things but thought to yourself ‘Wow, why does penetration feel so different this week?’. The answer could lay in your menstrual cycle and how it effects your cervix’s position, sensitivity, and firmness.
This may seem like a boring topic, but I promise you it is anything but. Discovering how your (or your sexual partner’s) body functions will allow you to bio-hack your sex life. But there are broader benefits to understanding the changes to your cervix like tracking your fertility and checking for any abnormalities relative to your baseline normal that may need to be followed up on by your gynaecologist. Many STIs can live in the cervix and severe infections, or abnormalities can lead to serious illness and infertility, so it is important to stay on top of your sexual health.
When we are taught from the pages of a book in high school, the classic diagram of the female reproductive system does very little to communicate how we as individuals experience that anatomy in our lives - especially our sex lives. This lack of translation into the lived reality can result in a lot of doubt about if what you are feeling internally is “normal” or something to be concerned about, especially if it seems your internal landscape feels different every time you feel around in there. This article will not only take you through the science you need to know, but also how you can implement different styles of sex, positions, and incorporate different toys to complement the internal sensations people with cervixes will experience.
PRE & POST OVULATION:
During this time your body wants to protect the inner workings of your follicular stage as eggs develop in your ovaries and the uterine lining grows, or the potential process of successful fertilisation occurs in the upper reproductive organs. The cervix therefore sits lower, extending the passage from the vagina to the uterus and is further protected by the closed opening. It should be noticeable and harder to the touch, feeling more like the tip of a nose and more sensitive. As the cervix starts to produce acidic non-fertile mucus you may be able to feel a small opening, but it will generally remain closed. The mucus will mainly be dry or feel creamy like primary school glue (think Clag Paste glue).
In summary, the cervix will be: low, hard, closed, dry or sticky.
Non-fertile times can be a bit drier so now is the time to bring out silky soft lubes, to find the best kind for you check out this article to learn more. This will vary from person to person as some people enjoy the increased sensitivity of cervix stimulation (or C-Spot), even enjoying orgasms from it, while for others it is incredible painful. If penetration is painful for you in this time then the Ohnut can help if you still want to engage in penis-in-vagina sex in a shallower way to match the shorter vaginal canal. Positions that have less depth can also be wonderful like laying side by side, or cowgirl. Otherwise this can be a wonderful time to engage in the more targeted pleasures of fingering, incorporating smaller G-Spot toys like Lelo’s Ella, or focusing on clit-based pleasures with oral sex with or without wonderful toys like air suction technology like Lelo’s Sona 2 or the soft fleshy vibrations of Tenga’s Iroha+ Kushi. For more tips about having sex when penetration is painful check out this article about sex with endometriosis.
As this is your most fertile time all the changes in your cervix serve the greater purpose of increasing your fertility. Rising oestrogen softens the cervical tissue making it spongier and more alike to the feel of your lips, so it should feel less sensitive and more malleable if pressed. To make the journey shorter for any sperm released into the vaginal canal the cervix rises higher so that the uterus and any awaiting eggs are closer to the vagina. This has the added benefit of increasing the depth of the vagina allowing for deeper penetration. Furthermore, the opening into the cervix dilates slightly to allow for potential sperm to be carried into the uterus and to allow a greater quantity of release the fertile cervical mucus into the vagina. Cervical mucus, also called vaginal discharge, is another secondary fertility sign and changed throughout the cycle. Around ovulation is should look like egg whites and increase the overall wetness of the vagina to create a passage for sperm while also alkalising the normally acidic vagina for the equally alkaline sperm.
In summary, the cervix will be: softer, higher, open, and wet.
As noted in the article about hormonal effects in the menstrual cycle, you are more easily aroused during this time and everything will be wetter and slicker. Penetration will be easier and more pleasurable while sensations are softer and more sensual. It can even feel like your body hugs anything that enters it once aroused, sucking it in deeper. You are more likely to welcome deeper sensations for longer and thus I recommend that this is the time to bring out the bigger penetrative toys to let you feel the filling stretch like Fun Factory’s Tiger G5, or the increased sensations fo dual literal and internal stimulation with Womanizer’s Duo. Partnered positions that allow for deeper penetration like doggy, seated cowgirl (where the penetrator sits on the side of the bed or on a chair), or lifted missionary (raised hips with legs over the penetrator’s shoulders) could be especially pleasurable.
As the endometrium lining of the uterus sheds the cervix opens to allow the blood and lining through and into the vagina. At this time your cervix will also be low and hard. Due to the general increased sensitivity during this time and the uterine cramps that may extend to the greater pelvic muscular region, your vaginal canal and cervix may be more susceptible to pain upon contact.
In summary, the cervix will be: harder, lower, open, wet.
Some people find that penetrative sex during menstruation relieves period cramps, is slicker and needs less lube, and even more spiritual and intimate. However, some would also like to keep the fun localised to the vulva and other erogenous zones that tend to be more sensitive during your period like nipples or inner thighs. This can be a wonderful time to explore softer sensations along the entire body with, maybe use that Doxy Wand for its original massage purposes. For those who still love some internal loving though, the Ziggy menstrual cup can be worn during penetration!
CHECKING YOUR CERVIX:
Checking your cervix may be something you wish to incorporate into your check-ups or it may not. Either way, you will be able to feel the greater changes to sensitivity and position if you engage in any penetrative activities from fingering, toys, penis in vagina sex, or inserting a menstrual cup (which you can get here!) or tampon and can note changes that way.
- Firstly, make sure your hands are clean and you do not have any existing infections or health concerns that prevent ease of self-penetration like vaginismus or endometriosis.
- Squat or put a leg up on a bench
- Use your index or middle finger to insert into your vagina (lube is recommended)
- Note the changes in texture, firmness, sensitivity, and position (it may help to feel around the outside of its protruding form when it rests low and firm, or note the slight differences of texture between spongey and smooth when it is high and soft)
- Record any abnormalities down if you need to see a doctor.
- Go have the perfect sex for your specific internal needs that day!
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide and overview of the subject matter. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions. Seek advice specific to your situation from your medical professional or mental health professional. Safe - Sane - Consensual