The state of the cervix also changes with fertility. It can be observed and recorded on a symptothermal chart as another indicator of fertility. Although not as common as charting basal body temperatures or cervical mucus, cervix observations can still offer valuable insight into fertility.
Just as estrogen affects cervical mucus as ovulation nears, it also has impacts on the cervix. These changes can be gauged internally and charted. Early in the cycle the cervix may be low, firm, and closed to indicate the infertile period. As ovulation starts to approach, the cervix becomes higher, softer, and more open. This transition can be monitored and used to help anticipate ovulation.
Cervix observations play a role similar to cervical mucus records. Both are good indicators of increasing fertility associated with the onset of ovulation. By identifying ovulation in advance, monitoring of the cervix can particularly benefit couples trying to conceive. Knowing when ovulation is approaching is priceless since it reveals when is the best time to try to get pregnant.
- Wash your hands
- Get yourself in position for a self exam. Consider raising one foot or squatting down.
- Insert one or two fingers into your vagina and feel upwards towards the cervix located at the back of the vagina.
- Note the following characteristics:
- Position: The position of the cervix can help indicate fertility. It will vary between low and tilted (infertile) and high and straight (fertile). It will take a cycle or two to understand the extent of this variation and appreciate the difference.
- Consistency: Note if the cervix feels firm or soft. A soft and wet consistency is an indicator of approaching ovulation. A firm and/or dry consistency suggests low fertility presently.
- Diameter: The diameter of the cervix can also hint at fertility. Near ovulation when fertility is highest, the cervix will be more open.
- Wash your hands
Recording on Charts
You can record cervix information on your charts. The position, consistency, and diameter can individually be recorded or collectively summarized. Since the state will vary from low, firm, and closed (infertile) to high, soft, and open (fertile), you may choose to summarize the individual observations with a single designator. Alternatively you can record each separately. Observations should be recorded daily except during menstruation.
The following letters are typically used on charts to indicate cervix observations:
- L - Used to indicate that the cervix is Low, Firm, or Closed (infertile). The letter L is used to indicate each of these (not just Low but Firm and Closed too even if they are recorded separately).
- M - Used to indicate Moderate fertility characteristics. These observations suggest that the chance of getting pregnant exists and is growing but has not yet reached its peak. Individually this corresponds to a position between low and high, a consistency between firm and soft, and a diameter between closed and open.
- H - Used to indicate that the cervix is High, Soft, or Open. This occurs right around ovulation when fertility is highest. Again the letter H is used to indicate each of these symptoms (not just High but Soft and Open too).
- Offers an earlier indicator of fertility often even before cervical mucus changes
- Can be used as a cross-check against other recorded symptoms
- Indicates ovulation before it occurs like Cervical Mucus
- Changes have been established to correlate well with ovulation and fertility
- Observation is more intrusive and involved than some other symptoms.
- Observations are qualitative and require experience to understand the normal degrees of variation (for example: what is firm and what is soft).
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