15 Sep 2020

Cervix basics and how it pertains to using a menstrual cup

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by The Hello Cup

Understanding the body is always important, but it can get a little confusing, which is why we decided to go back to the basics to talk about the cervix.

So what is the cervix?

Anatomically speaking, it’s the cylinder-shaped neck of tissue that connects the vagina and uterus.

It’s located at the lowest part of uterus and is composed primarily of fibro-muscular tissue with two portions: the ectocervix, which can be seen during a gynecological exam that has an opening in the center known as the external os, that allows passage between the uterus and the vagina, and the endocervix, or endocervical canal that is a tunnel through the cervix from the external os into the uterus. The diagram below will helpfully be helpful for those who're visual learners like us!

Cervix Diagram For Blog 480x480

Your cervix is pretty much the connection between the outside world and your reproductive organs — one that plays a role in both pregnancy and childbirth.

Depending on where you are at in your menstrual cycle, the cervix produces mucus that either prevents or promotes pregnancy. It also opens and closes to let sperm in during and just after intercourse. When you are menstruating, your cervix opens a small amount to allow the passage of menstrual flow. During childbirth, the cervix dilates widely to allow the passage of life. Should you become pregnant, your cervix will create a mucus plug that acts as an extra level of defense against various germs and pathogens from the outside world.

All of which is to say that the cervix is an important (and cool if you ask us!) part of the body.

Now that we have the technical stuff out of the way—let’s talk about the tactical aspects of the cervix like how yours is unique to you, how to find it, how to measure it, and what it means for menstrual cups.

How Do I Find My Cervix?
First off, your cervix changes locations throughout your menstrual cycle and those changes are quite unique to your body. With that said, the easiest (but perhaps the messiest) time to find your cervix is during your period. If you are worried about making a mess or blood makes you a little woozy—the shower is a great place to do this. You may want to consider practising this a few times during your cycle to see how your cervix moves so that you will have a baseline.

Before you do any exploring—you will need to wash your hands first. Once your hands are clean you will use a finger to locate where your cervix sits. Upon entering you will feel the vaginal walls, which are quite soft and may or may not have ridges. The cervix has a distinctly different feel that is both firm and smooth—sort of like the tip of your nose. You may also feel a small dip or slit, which is the cervical opening.

Typically, the cervix is located in the center of the vaginal canal. But, it could also point in other directions if you have a tilted, tipped, or retroflexed uterus. When it comes to the shape of the cervix it’s most commonly round, but the shape may change depending on where you are in your cycle.

How Do I Measure My Cervix?
We talk of cervixes as sitting at low, average or high height.

It’s important to know the position of your cervix as this can affect the way you should insert your Hello Cup and can also finding the right cup for you.

To determine the height of your cervix, we recommend using Put A Cup In It’s cervix ruler. You'll need to print this and have it handy. Please note, while there are other measurement techniques across the web (such as the 'knuckle' technique), we don't recommend these they are often inaccurate. This ruler is the best bet!

While on your period, insert your clean finger inside of your vagina to locate your cervix. Use your thumb as a marker, or remember how far your finger was inserted into your vagina.

Then, use the cervix ruler to align with how far down your finger was inside - measuring to the tip of the finger.

And voila! You know your cervix height.

(P.S: We’ll be developing on own ruler soon, too, so stay tuned!)

Your Cervix And Menstrual Cups
So what the heck does all of this mean when it comes to picking out a menstrual cup?

Selecting a menstrual cup that fits inside of your vajayjay without being too long is crucial for your comfort. If a cup is too long to fit beneath your cervix without it sticking out, this may mean you have a low cervix – and you’ll need a specific low-cervix cup.

Our Hello Cups are all currently designed for people with an average cervix height, but people with a high cervix often find they can use them, too.

While we don’t have a menstrual cup solution for those who have a low cervix *currently*—don’t fret. We are tirelessly working on a cup just for you. Stay tuned and as the launch date becomes closer we will make an announcement!

P.P.S: If you aren’t sure which size Hello Cup to use you can take our Size Quiz!

The gist is that our XS cup is our softest and smallest. It’s the perfect choice for teenagers, petite users or for those who prefer a ‘mini’ tampon. Our S/M cup is what we refer to as our “one size fits most” menstrual cup. We suggest this cup for anyone under the age of 35. If your lady bits feel a bit more ‘roomy’ or you are over the age of 35, our size L cup would be our suggestion. If you are physically fit regardless of age we find that our S/M size cup works best.

And there you have it… you’re a cervix master.

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