Seriously, what is a cervix?


Today, my lovable dogs met my friend’s dog for the first time. It was a perfect day for a hike and our dogs became quick friends, despite the nervous tension at the first meeting. It quickly dissipated and they were soon all sniffing the same leaf without a care in the world. Our walk drifted into a pleasant conversation about what I do, (which I love to talk about)

I always find it amazing how little, grown women know about their bodies, that very often it is not until we get pregnant or start thinking about getting pregnant that we even start to ask some basic questions about how the damn thing even works. Seriously what is a cervix? Trust me,I didn’t have a clue either when I got pregnant. All I knew was I had endometriosis and my doctor told me to come back in six months if I couldn’t get pregnant. (And I had that “Oh Crap!” moment, when I thought, what if the surgery to relieve the pain of endometriosis could of caused me to lose out on getting pregnant.)

So many friends of mine are effected by this disease, and so many feel that wave of panic of “what if I can’t have a baby?” Like I did. Now twelve years later I’m kicking my sons out of the house to go ride their bikes, buy a gallon of milk at the local store or make their beds.

So here I am enjoying my hike with a friend and she is asking the same questions I had, heck I was talking with my hairdresser about the same thing yesterday, too. Women are aching to learn more about their bodies, so I’m always happy to explain or simply listen.

My friend, like many of us wanted to put blame on her body, protect it, bubble-wrap like a fragile egg from one of her chickens. The uterus is protecting that possible fertilized egg nestled inside her. Jumping up and down will not cause a miscarriage, I reassured her and  it did not cause any from the past. The uterus is protected by three amazing layers of muscle tissue that will grow and expand with the baby.

The cervix is the bank safe that needs the right combination to open up. It is also like the man’s penis, and becomes “erect” so to say, when we are ovulating and when we are about to give birth, it moves from being tucked to the back of the vagina to shift forward. If you reach inside your vagina in the far back you will find your cervix. It is a hard cartilage structure that will feel like a bent knuckle. You may even be able to feel the “os” the opening. Once you are nine months pregnant, your cervix will move forward, after being tilted back, protecting itself and the little baby inside. The cervix’ hard cartilage is like your nose and will become as soft as your earlobe as it thins and dilates. The cervix is strong, and will hold your baby in until the bitter end. So ladies trust our body it can do this.

Side Note:

Getting pregnant isn’t easy- it sometimes takes between 6-12 months, sometimes even years. Because we generally don’t know crap about how our body works let alone how menstruation, ovulation or the benefit of actually having an orgasm during conception. Or the fact that we don’t all ovulate like clockwork, hell my cycle was never the same. Did you know that you have a 2 day window during the month to actually get pregnant. Be gentle with yourself, be kind. If you start the conversation you will find that most of your friends have dealt with miscarriages, pelvic pain, ovarian cysts and doctors like mine that told me, “If you can’t get pregnant after this surgery within six month call me.” Most women have felt that pang of heart ache when they thought their bodies were defective. Trust me it’s not.


About Kate Sullivan

I have been teaching HypnoBirthing and attending births as a HypnoBirthing Labor Companion since 2008. My passion comes from empowering every family, whether it is a quick inquiry to learn more or a client that I joyfully spend hours counseling with HypnoBirthing or rushing off to a birth at 2 in the morning. I want to teach you how to trust yourself, your body and give your partner those same tools so that you can begin your journey as parents with confidence.
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