Cervix is a tiny organ within women’s body which can do many interesting things during pregnancy. It lengthens, softens, dilates, elongates, thins and does many other things that you can’t think about. The questions and answers below will serve your curiosity about this very important piece of our anatomy.
Things You Need to Know About Cervix During Pregnancy
What is cervix exactly?
Cervix is the entrance to the womb. The location is between vagina and uterus. It plays a crucial role in pregnancy and during labor process. The cervix will remain closed and blocked with a mucus plug during the pregnancy.
How big is the entrance of the cervix?
The opening of the cervix depends on whether she has had a vaginal delivery or not, If a woman has never had a baby deliver through her vagina, her cervical opening can be very small—as small as a pinhead, but large enough to allow for menstruation blood to flow out and for the insertion of a cytobrush (used when obtaining Pap smears). But if a woman has had a vaginal delivery, the external opening of the cervix can be described as a small ‘slit’ or ‘fish mouth’ but the internal ‘os’ (the junction between the cervix and the uterus) should be closed.
How does the cervix transform during pregnancy?
The cervix during pregnancy will remain closed firmly by design because it is intended to protect the fetus during its development. The cervix also designed resistance to pressure generated from growing structure above it (the fetus and uterus). But when the labor process is taking place, the cervix must be able to yield to the intrauterine pressure and contractions and serve dilatation and effacement (thinning out).
A progressing pregnancy results in influx of hormones which lead the external os (opening of the cervix) to shorten and even open slightly. The internal os becomes more bulging but the wall becomes thinner.
What does it mean when your cervix has ripened?
The cervix begins to ripen when the water content gets higher along with more vascularity. Increasing water content causes the cervix becomes softer and even cyanotic (blue in color). These changes allow the cervix to thin and stretch to the point that is adequate for responding the mechanism of labor contraction. The cervix commonly goes from being closed up to 10 centimeters dilation to allow the baby’s head progress out of the uterus towards to the vagina.
What does it mean when the cervix is short?
The pregnant uterine cervix length is ordinarily 3 centimeters or greater. The length can be measured by a transvaginal ultrasound. Potential problem during the labor such as an incompetent cervix can be indicated If the cervix length measures less than 3 centimeters. This also can be a signal of possibility to premature delivery.
What happen to the cervix after labor?
The cervix begins to close immediately after labor. But the quickness of the closing will depend on whether you are breastfeeding your baby tight away after labor or not. Breastfeeding after birth releases natural oxytocin into the mother’s system. Oxytocin helps the uterus to clamp down to prevent bleeding as the placenta separates out from the uterus wall. Artificial oxytocin also can be injected into the mother’s body after labor.