And, you can personally make a difference in the health of your cervix with regular screenings and by practicing safe sex.
To get the inside story on the cervix and everything it does, we turned to Vella Voice expert and board-certified OBGYN, Dr. Emily Sikking. Dr. Sikking specializes in women’s health, more specifically pregnancy, family planning, menopause and polycystic ovary syndrom.
With Cervical Health Awareness Month top of mind, we asked Dr. Sikking to give us a rundown of important cervical health facts:
“Often woman feel deep in the vagina and think they have a lump or mass and in fact, that is the cervix they feel.” – Dr. Emily Sikking
What is the cervix?
The cervix is a tube-like opening to the uterus, located at the top of the vagina. If you have a tilted cervix, it will lean towards the back making it harder to see during a cervical screening. The word cervix comes from Latin and means “neck of the womb.” The womb refers to the uterus. The cervix’s main function is as gatekeeper for the sperm. The cervix allows the sperm into the uterus for conception or rejects sperm — only the fittest survive! During pregnancy, the cervix forms a seal to protect both the womb and baby from viruses and bacteria. The cervix can open wide. Like, really wide. If you’ve ever given birth or observed someone giving birth, what’s dialated is your cervix. The cervix dialates to move the baby from the womb to the vagina where it is pushed out. Birth is the ony time the cervix completely opens up.
How should a healthy cervix feel?
Sort of like your nose with a dimple in it where the opening is.
How can I naturally make my cervix stronger and healthier?
Keep the cervix healthy and protect it from infection by having safe sex. Also have regular pap smears. Infection and cervical cancer are generally caused by HPV, which is contracted sexually. The GARDASIL® vaccine can also prevent HPV infection.
In 2018, the WHO developed a global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem. In fact, 62 million lives could be saved by 2120 if the cervical cancer awarness measures proposed by the WHO are implemented.
Ask your doctor, “am I up-to-date on my cervical cancer screenings and have I been recently screened for infections?”
A lesser known cervical health fact is that the cervix can also be a source of pleasure during penetrative sex. The opening itself is too small for penetration, but some women report pleasure — even full-body orgasms — when the cervix is accidentally or intentionally brushed up against.
Suffice to say, there are many reasons not just this month, but all year long to focus on maintaining good cervical health. The cervix plays such an important role in pregnancy and facilitating sperm into the genital tract for conception. The cervix also lubricates the vagina — especially during ovulation as it produces a thin stretchy egg-white like mucus that acts as a natural lubricant for intercourse and facilitates the passage of sperm into the female genital tract.
So, now that you’ve been properly introduced to the cervix, we hope you’ve gained a clearer picture on how you can maintain good sexual health all year long.