What is the cervix?
The cervix forms a passage between the lower end of the uterus/womb and the top of the vagina. During menstruation blood passes from the uterus through the cervix and into the vagina.
Why would you want to know your cervix position?
Checking your cervical position (CP) may be familiar to people who have used this method to monitor ovulation however it can also be useful to a menstrual cup user. Knowing your cervical position may help you decide if a brand of cup will suit your anatomy or if you should trim the stem on your cup.
When should you check it?
It helps to check at roughly the same time each day and it's easiest to check your cervical position in the shower as you are likely to be relaxed.
Do not check your cervical position before, during or immediately after sexual arousal or intercourse as this may cause the cervix to move.
It’s also a good idea to check and record your cervix position a few times a week for a month, as your cervix is likely to move. After monitoring your cervix position for a month, you will have a good gauge of your overall cervix position.
A quick method to check your cervix position
- Wash your hands well to avoid infection.
- Find a comfortable position such as standing with one leg up on the bathtub. It’s best to check your cervical position standing or sitting and not lying down, as this is the cervix’s ‘normal’ position with the effects of gravity.
- Insert your index finger into your vagina and slide it upward until you feel your cervix. Your cervix is the shape of a small doughnut (as shown below) and it feels a bit like the tip of your nose.
- When you can feel your cervix, stop and take note of the point at which your finger protrudes from the vaginal opening - this is referred to as the 'knuckle rule' test.
If you can feel your cervix between your 2nd and 3rd knuckle or can barely reach your cervix, you have a high cervix and a Model 3 JuJu Cup. The Model 3 is a longer bodied cup, designed specifically for a high cervix or long vaginal canal.
Many people with a high cervix can still successfully use a Model 1 or 2 JuJu Cup however for some people, their cup may sit higher in the vaginal canal and be more difficult to remove. The Model 4 JuJu Cup is not recommended for people with a high cervix as this is a short cup and removal of this cup may be difficult.
If you can feel your cervix at your 2nd knuckle or in the middle of your finger, you have a medium height cervix and one of the following cups are recommended;
- Model 1 JuJu Cup if you are under 30 years of age AND have not had children
- Model 2 JuJu Cup if you are over 30 years of age OR have not had had children (regardless of your age)
If you can feel your cervix at the first bend in your finger or just inside the vaginal opening, you have a low cervix or short vaginal canal and a Model 4 JuJu Cup is recommended for you. The Model 4 JuJu Cup is a shorter-bodied cup and more bulbous in shape than other models.
If your cervix or cup is sitting very low in the vaginal canal, causing bladder sensitivity or causing any discomfort, please see your GP as this may be an indication of pelvic organ prolapse.
All sizing recommendations are a guide only as anatomy varies from person to person.
Trimming the stem
Your cup may be forced to sit lower due to the cervix location and the stem of the cup may protrude. In this case, we recommend you trim the stem of your JuJu as it may cause discomfort or irritate the labia. Please only trim the stem of your cup if you are comfortable with the removal of you JuJu at all stages of your cycle as your cervix may ‘retract’ towards the end of your cycle and be hard to reach. Only trim a small amount at a time; trimming off one node at a time then re-inserting after removing each node to check if it is at a comfortable length.
A more accurate method to check your cervix position
As finger length varies from person to person, a more accurate measure of cervical positions involves performing this same measure and against a ruler to get a more precise measure of vaginal length or cervical height.
- Whilst standing, insert your finger until you can feel your cervix. Take note of the position on your finger where it protrudes from the vaginal opening. (Note the anatomical model used for the purpose of this demonstration below has a high cervix and your cervix is likely to be lower)
- Using a ruler, measure the distance from the tip of your finger to the exit point on your finger.
- Check this measurement against the JuJu Cups sizing to make sure you have the cup that suits your cervical position.
JuJu Cup lengths are as follows;Model 1 = 65mm including stem, 46mm excluding stem
Model 2 = 69mm including stem, 50mm excluding stem
Model 3 = 78mm including stem, 58mm excluding stem
Model 4 = 50mm including stem, 40mm excluding stem
Is your cervix on the move?
For some people, their cervix is almost always high and for others, almost always low.
However, if your cervix does move around a bit, that's normal too! As the lining of the uterus thickens, the uterus expands and can double in size and weight. This extra weight coupled with the increased size of the uterus can push the cervix lower prior to and during menstruation. Then, as the lining of the uterus is shed during menstruation, the uterus will start to return to its original size and the cervix may move higher.
These model wombs are anatomically correct in size, shape and weight. They show the non-menstruating uterus (pink) which weighs 12g and the size of a menstruating uterus (red) which weighs 23g.
Image: Clay models depicting a non-menstruating (pink) and menstruating (red) uterus.
- Our bodies are all different and there’s a wide range of ‘normal’ in terms of our vaginal anatomical shape and size.
- As a quick gauge of your cervical position, you can use your index finger and the 'knuckle rule' or a more accurate measure using a ruler.
Illustration showing high, medium and low cervix using the knuckle rule test.
- During menstruation, your cervix is likely to sit lower.
- During ovulation, your cervix is likely to sit higher.
- The size and weight of the menstruating uterus can affect the location of the cervix.
- Kegel exercises will increase your pelvic floor tone and assist with keeping your cup in place.
- Please consult your physician if you feel you have an extremely low cervix (i.e. you can feel your cervix just inside the opening to the vagina) or if have a feeling of heaviness, discomfort or pressure within the vagina as this may be related to pelvic organ prolapse which affects approximately one third of women at varying levels of severity.